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
Allison Vredenburgh (left), who is a junior double majoring in public relations and strategic communication and sport communication, and Kylie Shober, a junior double majoring in health and risk communication and public relations and strategic communication, pose with their poster presentation at the 107th annual Eastern Communication Association (ECA) conference this past weekend in Baltimore, Md. The Ashland University Department of Communication Studies made a strong showing at the conference.

4/5/16 - ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ashland University Department of Communication Studies made a strong showing at the 107th annual Eastern Communication Association (ECA) conference this past weekend in Baltimore, Md.

ECA is the nation’s eastern 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, five students represented the Ashland University department and presented research done in classes at Ashland. Students who presented created posters to outline their research on a number of different topics including health literacy, sports and media.

"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 Studies 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.

Not only did AU have five undergraduates present research in a poster presentation, but they had a graduate student present as well. Wendy Hall, a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Health & Risk Communication, presented her research titled, “Toward a Combined Theory of Situation Awareness and Sensemaking.”

After presenting research, students were able to participate in different communication panels and paper presentations at the conference, as well as attending networking opportunities with other professionals.

“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:

--Allison Vredenburgh, a graduate of Ontario High School in Mansfield, Ohio, who is a junior double majoring in public relations and strategic communication and sport communication. Her presentation was titled, “Analysis of Play60 and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.”

--Hannah Wiles, a graduate of Smithville High School in Wooster, Ohio, who is a sophomore double majoring in health and risk communication and biology. Her presentation was titled, “Linking Health Literacy to Health Communication Behavior: A Pilot Study.”

--Kylie Shober, a graduate of Shanksville High School in Berlin, Pa., who is a junior double majoring in health and risk communication and public relations and strategic communication. Her presentation was titled, “Analysis of Play60 and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.”

--Hailee Heironimus, a graduate of Medina High School in Seville, Ohio, who is a senior double majoring in digital media journalism and sport communication. Her presentation was titled, “Into the Great Unknown: Transforming Traditional Media in a Digital World.”

--Jonathan Albaugh, a graduate of New London High School in New London, Ohio, who is a junior majoring in health and risk communication. His presentation was titled, “Linking Health Literacy to Health Communication Behavior: A Pilot Study.”

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, 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. ###