RIT Hosts Conference for Undergraduate Research in Communication, April 8

Follow RITNEWS on Twitter What do President Richard Nixon and Disney heroines have in common? Both will be research topics presented at Rochester Institute of Technology’s 2004 Conference for Undergraduate Research in Communication on Thursday, April 8.

Sponsored by RIT’s Department of Communication, this event—the first of its kind in the area—will draw student presenters from RIT and five other area colleges and universities including State University of New York at Brockport, Ithaca College, Alfred University, SUNY Geneseo and SUNYIT Utica. Students will discuss topics such as a rhetorical analysis of President Nixon’s resignation speech and a critical analysis of contemporary Disney heroines.

The event—free and open to the public—will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Alumni Union on the RIT campus.

The conference will kick off with an opening address from Andrew Moore, dean of RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, followed by a welcome from Bruce Austin, chair of RIT’s communication department. Three panel discussion and poster presentation sessions will fill the remainder of the morning and early afternoon. The event will close with an awards ceremony recognizing the three best conference papers and the best poster.

Participation in this conference will also help posture undergraduates for careers in graduate study, where research and thesis papers are more common.

Keith Jenkins, assistant professor, and Patrick Scanlon, professor, from RIT’s communication department co-organized the conference.

“This conference will be an opportunity to not only showcase our own students, but to expose them to research from their peers at other institutions,” says Jenkins. “The idea for this conference came out of a faculty retreat, when we decided on a direction for our program and curriculum. We thought, ‘We have the skills and expertise to do a wonderful job with this; let’s do it.’”

Adds Austin: “Few undergraduate programs emphasize research as ours does. By having this conference and presenting research, our scholarly obligations to share research are fulfilled while stimulating our own thinking on other topics to pursue.”

Plans are in the works to make the conference an annual event. “We’re off to a really good start,” says Austin. “Success breeds success, and there is potential to grow the conference both here and at other institutions.”

For more information, contact Patrick Scanlon at 585-475-2449.