Graduate Student Research Accomplishments

Conferences, Awards and Special Research Projects

Jessica Willard (Class of 2014) and Mike Farrell (Class of 2014) presented at The 2nd Annual U.C. Academic Advising Conference on the topic of social media and advising. The presentation was titled “Social Media in Higher Education: Are Students Really Paying Attention?”

Students in Dr. Heather Zoller’s COMM 8010 Dialogue and Communication partnered with Beyond Civility (organized by community leaders to reduce partisanship and promote governance among elected officials) and UC’s student group Orange Band (promoting student conversations about important issues) to create training modules that can be used to teach skills in dialogue, group deliberation, listening, and civil communication.

Janeen Foriest (Class of 2013) presented a paper at the 2013 National Communication Association Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Connecting the Dots: African American Women Surviving and Thriving at Predominately White Institutions of Higher Education. Foriest discussed the ways she stayed connected and informed while attending PWIs for both undergraduate and graduate education.

Desiré Bennett, Allison Luntz, Courtney Toy, and Eva Van Benschoten with the help of Prof. John Lynch presented at at the 2013 National Communication Association Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Bridging Science and Journalism: An Initial Exploration of Science PR. This paper performed a close study of the press releases from biomedical public relations offices to see how they framed the story, circulated in the public sphere, and were incorporated into subsequent journalistic publications. In addition to being a joint effort between Lynch and graduate students who took rhetorical methods last year, it also highlighted the limitations of deficit models of communication and the need to model view communication through more interactional, co-constructive models.

Katherine Wilson (Class of 2012) presented two papers at the 2011 National Communication Association Annual Conference in New Orleans. Her paper, "The Voice of Breast Cancer? Constitutive Rhetoric in Nancy Brinker's 'We All Come Together,'" was presented in the Advancing Women's Voices in Technology and Science division. Her paper, "Going Green? A Rhetorical Analysis of Environmental Initiatives in American Museums, Zoos and Art Parks and the Nature/Culture Debate," was presented during a Scholar-to-Scholar poster session.

Krysten Stein (Class of 2012) presented a research poster at the Ohio Communication Association Conference called "Facebook Fandom and The Bachelorette."

Allison Dunkle (Class of 2012) worked with the Woman's City Club of Greater Cincinnati to create a recruitment strategy to drive younger, passionate and dedicated members to join the club. She also outlined a multi-tiered marketing and development strategy, recommended the club adapt its operating structure to include digital meeting opportunities, and recommended member engagement strategies to help current members feel more involved and appreciated.

Felicia Anderson (Class of 2012) and Associate Professor Nancy Jennings are planning a Media Literacy Camp for local youth ages 13-18. Campers will be able to participate in the critical analysis of media as well as the development of short documentary-like media pieces.

Kayla Gaug (1st year graduate student 2011-2012) co-authored an essay with Professor Heather Zoller titled "Occupy Public Health: A Defining Moment for Health Communication?". She presented at the International Communication Association Convention in Phoenix in May 2012.

Keally DeWitt (Class of 2011) received a Top Student Paper award from the Environmental Communication Division of the National Communication Association in 2010. Her paper, titled "The (Priestly) Voice of the Scientist in the Climate Change Debate: A Rhetorical Analysis of Dr. James Hansen's 'Global Warming Twenty Years Later: Tipping Points Near' " examined the rhetoric of scientist James Hansen.

Anna Rankin (Class of 2010) was awarded the top Health Communication Fellowship at the University of Kentucky for admission into their Communication Ph.D program following her UC master's work (the R. Lewis Donohew Graduate Fellowship in Health Communication).

Michelle Lohmann (Class of 2010) received a Top Paper Award of the Student Division of the National Communication Association in 2009. Her paper, titled "Constitutive Rhetoric as a Weapon: Osama bin Laden's Role in Polarizing Identities, Creating History, and Predicting the Ending," analyzed bin Laden's speech addressed to the United States before the 2004 presidential election, and its powerful sociopolitical effects.

Seven graduate students presented papers at Central States Communication Association in 2010. One panel was titled "Public health challenges: Organizational Issue Management and Civic Engagement." Papers were developed in the Seminar Public Health and Issue Management taught by Heather Zoller. Students includes Anna Rankin (Class of 2010), Collin Noronha (Class of 2010), Michelle Lohmann (Class of 2010), Jessica Damman (Class of 2011), Tabitha Sallee (Class of 2011), and Annie Dames (Class of 2010). A second panel, chaired by Stephen Depoe, was titled "Civic Engagement in Environmental and Health Communication: Rhetorical Analysis of Oppositional Arguments" with presentations by Katie Hunt (Class of 2009), Michelle Lohmann (Class of 2010), and Annie Dames (Class of 2010).

Anna Rankin (Class of 2010) and Stephen Haas presented a paper titled "Doctor-patient communication: Communication skills training and managing uncertainty" at the annual Kentucky Conference on Health Communication in April, 2010.

Stephen Haas presented a paper titled, "Communicating thin: Stigma and the co-construction of online enabling support groups in the pro-anorexia movement" at the annual conference of the Central States Communication Association in April 2010. This paper was co-authored by Meghan Irr (Class of 2008), Nancy Jennings, and Lisa Wagner.

Leland Spencer (Class of 2009) has presented at numerous conferences including:

  • Central States Communication Association (2009): Making standpoint theory queer- and quare-friendly.
  • Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender (2008): In the pulpit, out of the closet: Narrative in the Rev. Beth Stroud's coming out sermon.
  • 3 papers at Ohio Communication Association: Philanthropy as a group persuasive speech assignment and To radicalize, first moderate: The persuasive strategies of Lucy Stone in 2008; and Sexual harassment in the workplace: Men don't have to take it either in 2007.
  • National Communication Association (2007): Rhetoric, Christianity, and gender identity in the United States.

Jessica Combs (Class of 2004) and Stephen Haas presented a paper titled, "Communication apprehension and self-disclosure of views on race relations: Comparing online and face-to-face interactions" at the annual conference of the National Communication Association in November, 2005.


Leland Spencer (Class of 2009) published an article in the Southern Communication Journal titled "Touring Homophobia: Understanding the Soulforce Equality Ride as a Toxic Tour."

Heather Zoller and Meagan Tener (Class of 2006) published an article in Management Communication Quarterly titled "Proactivity as a discursive fiction: Issue management in environmental health disputes" in 2010.

Gail Fairhurst co-authored a book chapter with Marthe Church (Class of 2009), Danielle Hagen (Class of 2008), and Joe Levi (Class of 2008) in Reframing difference in organizational communication studies: Research, pedagogy, and practice edited by D. Mumby (2011). The chapter is titled "Leadership discourses of difference: Executive coaching and the Alpha male syndrome."

Stephen Haas, Meghan Irr (Class of 2008), Nancy Jennings, and Lisa Wagner co-authored an article for New Media & Society titled "Communicating Thin: A Grounded Model of Online Negative Enabling Support Groups (ONESGs) in the Pro-Anorexia Movement."

Nancy Jennings co-authored a report with Kathleen Hunt (Class of 2009), and Michelle Altenau (Class of 2009) along with Deborah Linebarger from the University of Pennsylvania for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting titled, "Electronic company: Children's parasocial relationships and loneliness" in 2008.