Ashland University’s Department of Communication Studies Makes Strong Showing at Regional Conference

Ashland University’s Department of Communication Studies Makes Strong Showing at Regional Conference
Ashland University’s Megan Salatino, a junior who is triple majoring in public relations and strategic communication, health and risk communication, and sport communication, stands beside her poster presentation titled “The Gender Role Portrayal in the Disney Princess Line.” She won the top undergraduate poster award at the ECA conference this year.

4/29/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ashland University Department of Communication Studies made a strong showing at the 106th annual Eastern Communication Association (ECA) conference this past weekend in Philadelphia, Pa.

ECA is the nation’s regional conference in communication that has a history of achievement in research, criticism, communication, theory and excellence in teaching. It is the oldest professional communication association in the United States.

This year, seven students represented the Ashland University department, and six of them presented research done in classes at Ashland. Students who presented created posters to outline their research on a number of different topics including sports, gender identity and cancer research.

"Presenting research at conferences is a vital teaching tool and professional experience for students. The skills they develop directly correlate to securing professional positions upon graduation, said Dr. Theodore Avtgis, chair of the department. “The AU Department of Communication emphasizes a culture of scholarship that translates to Ashland University students and faculty being well represented at state, regional and national conferences."

The poster competition is competitively judged by a number of different communication scholars, and the winner receives a cash prize. This year the top undergraduate poster award was presented to Ashland University’s Megan Salatino, a junior whose presentation was titled “The Gender Role Portrayal in the Disney Princess Line.”

“I was truly honored to be able to receive this award. I presented against a number of talented researchers and being able to present my research at this regional conference was exciting,” said Salatino.

Salatino’s research detailed the gender identity problems within the Disney films and focused on the discussion of language throughout the earlier films until present time.

Dr. Deleasa Randall-Griffiths, adviser of Salatino’s research, said "I was so excited to hear about Megan's award. She is hard-working and creative. It is wonderful to see that rewarded. It was also very validating. I think Megan is exceptional and it was nice to know that others agree."

“It is clear that the students are fully reflecting the department motto of “Leave No Doubt,” said Dr. Avtgis.

The students in attendance at the conference were:

--Zoe Escandon, a graduate of Hilliard Darby High School in Hilliard, Ohio, who is a senior double majoring in public relations and strategic communication and health and risk communication. Her presentation was titled, “Risks Associated with the Usage of Methadone Maintenance Versus Non-Opioid Replacement for Heroin Addiction.”

--Lauren Fattlar, a graduate of Westlake High School in Westlake, Ohio, who is a senior triple majoring in health and risk communication, public relations and strategic communication and sport communication. Her presentation was titled, “Exploring Perceptions of Lung Cancer and Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Initial Campaign Design.”

--Lauren Miller, a graduate of Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin in Mentor, Ohio, who is a senior majoring in health and risk communication. Her presentation was titled, “Exploring Perceptions of Lung Cancer and Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Initial Campaign Design.”

--Haley Pittman, a graduate of Ontario High School in Mansfield, Ohio, who is a sophomore triple majoring in public relations and strategic communication, health and risk communication and sport communication. Her presentation was titled, “Then and Now: The Kardiac Kids.”

--Megan Salatino, a graduate of Brooke High School in Follansbee, W. Va., who is a junior triple majoring in public relations and strategic communication, health and risk communication and sport communication. Her presentation was titled, “The Gender Role Portrayal in the Disney Princess Line.”

--Courtney Troyer, a graduate of Dover High School in Dover, Ohio, who is a sophomore double majoring in sport communication and public relations and strategic communication. Her presentation was titled, “Then and Now: The Kardiac Kids.”

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###