9th Annual International Graduate Research Conference

2017 International Research Conference for Graduate Students (1)

SJMC graduate students at 9th Annual International Graduate Research Conference

The Graduate College at Texas State University hosted a conference for graduate student to showcase their research on Nov. 7-8. SJMC graduate students shared their research about Hurricane Harvey media coverage, relief efforts, immigration, the 2016 election and political interactions on social media by college students.

Mass Communication student Janel Lee presented her research on “If Hair is Relaxed, are Folks Truly Relaxed? A Study of Modern Audience’s Perceptions of Natural Hair in the Media.” She shared that audiences tend to have an overall positive viewpoint of natural hair while believing that natural hair in the media is portrayed in a more negative light. “I greatly enjoyed listening to the research of my fellow Mass Communication students ,” said Janel. “I also appreciated the opportunity to look at other schools’ research through the poster session.”

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Mass Communication student Ryan Leach presenting his research paper at the conference

Another Mass Communication student Ryan Leach presented his research on “Visual Framing of Immigrants During the 2016 US Presidential Election.” He examined whether the New York Times employed xenophobic visual frames in the month leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election and found that the New York Times did not employ negative visual frames of immigrants.  “It was an overall pleasant experience,” said Ryan. “It was nice seeing some of the people in my online class in person.”

We are very of proud that many of our SJMC graduate students made a significant contribution to the conference. We would like to recognize and thank those who contributed to the success of the 9th Annual International Graduate Research Conference!

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SJMC Grad Students Got Seoul

SJMC graduate students, Nikole Smith and June Leal, presented their research in South Korea this past spring semester

Nikole Smith and June Leal are more than just the typical Texas State SJMC graduate students; these two jet-setters can now claim to be international scholars specializing in Korean popular culture. Nikole and June were able to merge their love for traveling and scholarship by collaborating on a research project, titled #OppaNoticeMe: The Influence of and Idol Instagram Account on Sasaeng Behavior, and presenting their research in Seoul, South Korea this past semester.

The Seoul International Conference on Social Sciences and Management held its third annual conference in February, which was a fitting choice for these two Texas State grad students when considering where to present their project. Nikole and June began working on this research endeavor in Dr. Rao’s International Communication course nearly one year ago and continued to work closely with Dr. Rao as they added the final touches to their submission. Their research focuses on the correlation between K-Pop, or Korean pop music, idols’ Instagram pages and saesang (fan) behavior.

“As a fan of K-Pop since 2005, I always hear stories about these saesangs’ behaviors and it just blew my mind at the lengths they would go to get these idols’ attentions,” said June.

The two hope that this will provide an understanding on how idols influence fan behavior, a topic that is scarcely covered in Korean popular culture research.

Smith and Leal are no strangers to traveling abroad, both having traveled to South Korea in the past, which ended up being a great excuse to travel once again.

“I honestly never thought that doing a project over K-Pop idols and saesangs would get me back to Korea. It’s one thing to present in front of your classes, but to present in front of other people in your field from all over the world is another level,” said June.

Not only were the duo able to present their research in the homeland of K-Pop, their research was noteworthy enough to secure publication in the International Journal of Communication and Media Studies.

“I would have never imagined that this project would have actually gotten us to Korea, let alone get published,” said Nikole.

These two SJMC grad students can proudly boast that their unique research article can be found in the April 2017 edition of IJCMS, a goal of nearly every grad student of the discipline.

As far as tips for traveling during your academic career, Nikole and June recommend aligning research undertakings with a topic and location that you are passionate about. Once you figure out your passion, the rest will fall into place. “Take the chance and do it! You never know where your research will take you are what things will happen when you travel. You can learn new concepts and meet interesting people, plus new opportunities may be presented in the future,” agreed Nikole and June.

If not on the campus of Texas State, these two can be found sipping on a South Korean favorite, bubble tea at the local San Marcos shop, Kung Fu Tea. As any SJMC grad student or instructor who has had the fortune of having Nikole and June in class know, these two live and breathe their research interests. Have a question about anything K-Pop or idol influences? Stop by and visit our resident experts for some invaluable knowledge about international research. You won’t be disappointed!

Check out these photos from their adventures in South Korea for your daily dose of jealousy!

 

8th Annual Graduate Student Research Conference

Photo by Dr. David Nolan

Photo by Dr. David Nolan

The Graduate College once again held a conference for graduate student to showcase their studies and projects. Held on Nov.15-16, it was the Eighth Annual International Conference for Graduate Student Research at Texas State University. Mass Communication graduate students presented their research and plan for furthering their research questions and studies. All the presentations were reviewed and open for questions by those who sat in on the presentations.

Mass Communication student Dylan Lochridge-Fletcher presented her research on “Women of Color on Television.” She delved into the stereotypes women of color usually have on screen as well as the set roles they are limited to play. She picked three different television shows that represented the stereotype role, has a woman of color play the sidekick role and then one show that had a woman of color as the lead role. She brought attention and insight to the topic of stereotypes of women of color as they are portrayed on television.

Another Mass Communication graduate student, Sara Shields, presented her topic of “Exploring Effects of Social Media on Brand Perception.” She explains that brands online reach not only more people but have transformed to a more personal and relatable technique to sell. She gave examples of commercials that show stories or things that have little to do with the actual product and more of what she calls “pulling of the heart strings.” She brought fresh insight to the new method of brands connecting to their audience.

There were many presenters from all fields and majors of the graduate program that shared new ideas and fields of research to be considered. The conference not only had student speakers but  the keynote speaker for the luncheon on the 16th was Dr. Cal Van Aacken, the Learning Lab Coordinator at the Student Learning Assistance Center at Texas State University. He presented “Veterans Transitioning to Graduate School: What it is like and what you can do to support them.”

Overall the panels, speakers and student presenters brought new ideas, insight and thought to their fields of study as well representing the students who further their study and education.

Story by Annabel Fidler

SJMC student wins regional award for thesis

Sergio Carvajal-Leoni in a suit

Sergio Carvajal-Leoni. Photo from http://www.italchannel.tv

As a SJMC graduate student, Venezuelan-born Sergio Carvajal-Leoni, won a campus-wide award for his thesis, the Graduate College’s Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award in Digital Scholarship.

Now he has won again, at the highest level, the regional level, where he is receiving the Digital Scholarship award from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. His award, a plaque and $1000 honorarium, will be presented at the CSGS Awards Luncheon at the Omni Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, NC on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 at 11:30 a.m., and he attributes some of his success to his time at Texas State.

“The stuff I did in San Marcos, was the best decision of my life,” he told me. “I’ve decided to finish up with a PhD.”

Carvajal-Leoni called his research project the Intercultural Transmedia Approach to Learning, or ITAL.

“I’ve been working on models of community building media,” he said. “Any group of people who share an interest.”

By founding ITAL, he was able to focus on applying Communication Infrastructure Theory while creating a hyper-local documentary series called the Texan Italian Stories.

The key research concept behind the series, was how creating media could bring together the Italian niche community in Central Texas.

He attributed his success to both the freedom and guidance his thesis supervisor, Dr. Sandy Rao, provided him.

Carvajal-Leoni also thanked two Texas State University researchers on his thesis committee, Dr. Federico Subervi and Dr. Moira DiMauro.

ITAL partner, Romina Olson

Romina Olson. Photo from http://www.italchannel.tv

“Texas State played a crucial role in that journey,” Carvajal-Leoni told me. “This award is like, a validation, that this was the right journey to take.”

Despite being the lead researcher, writer, editor and director, Carvajal-Leoni was very modest about his achievement. He praised his ITAL partner, Romina Olson, as well as two USC researchers Dr. Sandra Ball-Rokeach and Dr. Henry Jenkins that played an instrumental role in the project.

If there’s one thing Carvajal-Leoni made clear, he loves Texas.

“I’ve been living in Austin since ’99,” he said. “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.”

SJMC Student selected to present at NCA Conference

Graduate student Joshua Morrison, will be representing Texas State and SJMC at this year’s National Communication Association’s 101st Annual Conference. The conference will take place Nov. 19 – 22 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This is Morrison’s second time to present at the conference and will be presenting two papers — one in the Performance Studies Division and the other in Rhetorical and Communication Theory Division.

The rhetoric division is the biggest at the conference, and Morrison will be presenting as one of the top four papers in that division.

He discusses how celebrity studies is an emerging and growing field in academia, a very broad and interdisciplinary field that includes departments in English,FullSizeRender history, sociology and communications.

“The intersection that I meet at when I study this topic is rhetoric and communication, media studies, performance studies and critical cultural studies,” Morrison said.

Morrison is interested in the role the media plays in celebrity culture and the conversations the media industry has about fame and celebrities, especially women as public figures.

According to Morrison, the conversations regarding men usually revolve more around their craft as a performer, but the focus of women is more about what they are wearing and less about their craft.

Morrison encourages expanding the institution of celebrity studies to increase awareness about the disparity of gender, racial and class lines that exist in the media’s coverage.

“Who better to change these conversations than the people who write the headlines?” Morrison asks.

Best of luck to Joshua at the conference this week!

SJMC Attends SXSW Eco 2015

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Last week, Oct. 5-7, a group of SJMC students and faculty had the opportunity to attend SXSW Eco in Austin. In its fifth year as an annual offshoot of SXSW, the three-day conference covered a variety of eco-conscious topics. From the future of food production to using memes to raise climate awareness, Texas State professors and students dove head first into a realm where the world’s problems are being solved through creative innovation.

SJMC part-time lecturer Jordon Brown was impressed by the range of technologies being used for ecological and social good:

As someone who has attended several other SXSW events (a few i’s, a couple Edu’s) I wasn’t prepared for the absolute insane vision of the future that was SXSW Eco. In the span of three days, I heard about a method of transportation that moves at the speed of sound, meat being grown in labs, self-driving cars, a town that’s moving to 100% renewable energy (in Texas, no less!), and crowd-sourcing satellite imagery that identifies areas of need after natural disasters. As someone who is an advocate of tech, Eco and I got along splendidly. My main takeaway from Eco: the future is here, the future is amazing and I want to be a part of it.

Several panels discussed gendered global issues. SJMC graduate student Josh Morrison found out what gender has to do with sustainability at one of his favorite panels:

Panelists at Sex and Sustainability: Youth Reproductive Rights couldn’t help but joke that it was the only conference session with the word “sex” in the title. Far from being an opportunity to talk about sex, the panel was an insightful exploration of issues of the body, specifically reproductive rights, and their implications in the struggle to care for our planet. Advocacy is imperative for the implementation of reproductive regulation tools in parts of the world where they are culturally taboo. Cat Lazaroff and Jade Begay of Resource Media stressed the importance of communication in social advocacy. I spoke with Cat Lazaroff after the panel to find out more:

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Run, Cheyenne Run!

This past Saturday, the Running with the Graduate Deans organization participated in the 2015 Country Roads 10k. Texas State was well represented with a sea of maroon by seven graduate students who ran with the deans, including SJMC graduate student Cheyenne Meyer.

Cheyenne-running

Not only did Meyer participate, but she was the overall female champion in the 10k race, which is the equivalent to 6.2 miles. Originally from Houston, Meyer is studying strategic communication and was a former student athlete during her undergraduate studies.

Associate Dean Eric Paulson was the male master’s champion and several other runners from Texas State placed in their age groups, as well as set their own personal best records.

The organization encourages fitness and community building within the graduate programs, and the Graduate College matches the amount of the race fee for everyone who participates as a runner, helper or spectator wearing their logoed shirts. The group raised $420 to be put into a scholarship account for the coming year.

Meyer beat both graduate deans, thus raising twice the amount of the entry fee for the scholarship.

“When I found out about the Running with the Graduate Deans challenge, I was ecstatic. I’m a competitive distance runner and had already signed up for the Country Roads 10k many months ago. But when the deans sent out the email issuing the challenge, I knew it was my time to represent the School of Journalism and Mass Communication grad program, as well as earn some money for the scholarship fund. Associate Dean Paulson is a fierce competitor; he only finished a minute behind me. I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure he didn’t pass me,” Meyer said.

The next event will be the Día de lost Muertos 5k in downtown San Marcos on October 31. All you need to do is bring your race registration to The Graduate College (280 JC Kellam) and pick up your shirt to participate. You don’t have to be a runner to participate, email graduatecollegedean@txstate.edu to volunteer and cheer on our graduate students and deans!

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Taking a Tour: BBC in London

Story by SJMC Study Abroad graduate student, AJ Arreguin:

The British Broadcasting Corporation is one of the most recognizable, highly creditable news organizations in the world. From local to worldwide news coverage, the BBC brings the highest quality of news from journalists that reach outlets such as radio, television and social media. Unlike some news companies around the world that are owned by the government, BBC operates by an annual licensing fee, which citizens of England pay in order to run radio, television broadcasts and premiere shows such as Doctor Who, The Office (English version) and many more. corporation

Courtyard at the BBC

Courtyard at the BBC

The BBC headquarters is located in London (between Portland Place and Langham Place) and contains the BBC Broadcasting House with television studios, radio studios, the main newsroom (where some of the BBC program is recorded), and a small theatre boasting concerts held by A-list musicians.

Our Tour
After getting through security and getting our backpacks and purses scanned and checked, we waited in a lobby that showcased TARDIS, the Doctor Who famous telephone booth, in front of a small gift shop overlooking the BBC Newsroom. Our tour guide first provided us a brief overview of the history of the BBC and its mission statement toward the people of Britain and viewers from around the world. During this brief lecture, we stood in front of a wall made of glass that overlooked the hundreds of employees and desk of the BBC Newsroom. As the tour went on, the guide paused and mentioned that a live weather report was happening. Sure enough, we saw the weatherman a few feet away and on the tube. Finally, we traveled from the newsroom to the studio station, which was in another building that had radio and television sets. Along the way, we passed through historical pieces from the longevity of the BBC, from the microphone used by Edward R. Murrow in World War II broadcastings, to all the memorabilia from celebrities. Walking through the Broadcasting House was a mass communication history lesson in itself.

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After viewing the theatre, radio and television studio, it was time for us to have a bit of fun. The tour allows participants to take part in a newscast and small, scripted play. After it was all said and done, the BBC tour was a must-do if you catch yourself in London. It does not matter if you’re a journalist major, advertising major or public relations major, there is something to learn and grasp from the BBC.

Studio One Panoramic

Studio One Panoramic

For more information on how to book your tour in advance for the BBC Broadcasting House, please visit their website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/tours/.

Top 5 reasons to join the SJMC Graduate Program

Many Texas State University students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as well as students from other undergraduate universities, will be graduating within the year. Preparing to graduate can be exciting but also very overwhelming. For students who do not have a post-graduate job secured, entering the real world can seem scary, as graduates are expected to make big, life-altering decisions for their futures in just a short amount of time. If you are looking to take your education one step further, have a leg up on the competition in your professional life, or simply to take more time to figure out what you want to do next, graduate school in the SJMC might be the right fit for you.

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The School of Journalism and Mass Communication is housed in beautiful and historic Old Main, located at the top of the hill on the Texas State Campus. (Photo by SJMC Blog)

Here are the top five reasons why you should enroll in the SJMC grad program: Read more of this post

Digital Speaker Series features SJMC graduate and NY Times staffer Maira Garcia

by Becky Larson:

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Maira Garcia at TX State’s Digital Speaker Series

Maira Garcia is a senior staff editor at the New York Times. She works to organize, strategize and push content for the paper’s homepage, NYTimes.com.

Interviewed by digital media graduate student Jordon Brown and speaking to what felt like a hometown crowd, Garcia, who is a Texas State graduate, returned to the university this past week as the most recent speaker in the SJMC’s Digital Entrepreneurship Series.

“I learned a lot at TX State…”

Garcia earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree with Texas State and was one of the first to matriculate under the graduate program’s Digital Media concentration.

It was this skills-focused digital concentration that she told the audience was one of the most important aspects of her time at Texas State.

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