Faculty members Israel Balderas, Amanda Sturgill and Shannon Zenner received awards at the Association for Journalism and Mass Communication Education’s 2022 national convention.
With a dozen faculty, staff and students in attendance, the Elon University School of Communications was well represented at the Association for Journalism and Mass Communication Education’s 2022 National Convention. (AEJMC) in Detroit last week.
The conference, which took place from August 3-6, was the first in-person meeting of the AEJMC in three years and the four-day event included several highlights from ElonComm, including faculty members Israel Balderas , Amanda Sturgill and Shannon Zenner collecting awards.
Sturgill and a team of Interactive Media graduate students won first place in the Communication Technology and Visual Communication divisions’ Best of the Web/Best of Digital competition. In early 2021, a group of six students partnered with the Terra Cotta Heritage Foundation, located in Greensboro, to preserve the history of more than 200 families who lived and worked at Terra Cotta. As part of their project, the graduate students interviewed community members and conducted their own research to create a new website for the foundation, www.terracottaheritage.org. The new site has been designed to share the story of Terra Cotta in an engaging and accessible way for future generations.
Led by Sturgill, the student group included Yasmeen Grandison (Project Manager), Meagan Chalmers (Head of Video), Madeleine Horrell (Content Strategist), Meg Boericke (Head of Design), Michael Boyd (Head of Photography) and Ben Johnson (web developer).
Zenner was recognized for her first-place faculty paper in the visual communication division. She presented her co-authored research entitled “You’re Just Not My Type: The Relationship between Fonts, Political Ideology, and Affective Polarization”. Additionally, Zenner was recognized as the winner of the 2022 Innovations in Teaching Competition for her research submission titled, “The Simple Self Evaluation: An Ungrading Technique to Increase Risk-Taking and Creativity.”
Finally, Balderas won third place in a teaching ideas competition panel presented by the association’s Law and Politics division.
In addition to this year’s winners, Elon’s conference attendees included Vanessa Bravo, Dan Haygood, Jenny Jiang, Amber Moser, Jane O’Boyle, Hal Vincent and Qian Xu, as well as students Leila Jackson ’22 and Lindsay Gelman ’23.
Below is a recap of other Elon-related activities at the AEJMC convention:
- Israel Balderas was a panelist on the panel on First Amendment Topics titled “‘Deplorable Speech’: The Radicals, Scoundrels, and Reds Behind Free Speech Precedents.” Organized by the Law and Policy Division of the AMCY, the panel profiled the individuals and groups behind many of the most lauded and famous precedents in free speech, including their motivations and reactions to their cases. Balderas was also a panelist on a teaching session titled “Designing and Teaching the Combined Law and Ethics Course.”
- jenny jiang and Qian Xu co-presented “Co-evolution of discourse between influencers and regular users: A case study of tweets using the co-hashtags of #StopAsianHate and #BlackLivesMatter” as part of a committee-based article research session of reading. The session highlighted the positive impact of social media. Jiang, Xu, and Ashleigh Afromsky shared additional research, titled “What do employers expect for jobs requiring media analysis? A Comparison Between In-Person and Remote Positions During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” during the Internships and Careers Interest Group Best Papers session.
- Amber Moser was a panelist for a teaching session titled “Preparing for Careers Beyond Academia after PhD”. The panel explored how PhD students can prepare for careers outside of academia by talking with PhD students. graduates who have secured employment in the technology industry.
- Leila Jackson ’22 presented “Black, biracial or otherwise? An Analysis of Tweets Concerning Meghan Markle’s Race” as part of the Cultural and Critical Studies Division’s peer-reviewed article session. The session focused on critical and cultural studies in media communication.
- bravo vanessa moderated the Minorities and Communication Division High Density Research Session and served as a commentator for the Division’s Best Papers, MAC Division Session. Additionally, Bravo presented the faculty and student scholarships to the respective winners at the MAC Division Social Gathering.
- Shannon Zenner moderated a research group session titled “The Future of Visual Research and Visual Meaning Creation: Shaping Our Tools, Techniques, Methodologies, and Partnerships” and co-hosted the Visual Communication Division’s annual luncheon . Additionally, she served as a commentator for the division’s peer-reviewed papers session (poster) examining conflict, ideology, and memory.
- Hal Vincent facilitated a session on professional freedom and responsibility titled “Beyond the Classroom: Leveraging Extracurricular Experiences to Equip Students from Diverse Backgrounds to Compete for the Best Jobs.” He was also a panelist for a session titled “Welcome Home: Celebrating, Encouraging and Coaching the Hybrid Practitioner/Scholar/Teacher Model at AEJMC”.
- Amanda Sturgill participated in the discussion at the Communication Technology Division’s Top Faculty Research Session.
Also present was Elon’s graduate Contia’ Prince ’18, G’19, a doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prince presented a research paper titled “Instagram Faces and Fashion Nova Bodies: Black Women, Cosmetic Surgery and Hyper-Visual Culture,” at a session hosted by the Minorities and Communications Division.
The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) is a non-profit educational association of educators, students and media professionals in journalism and mass communication. The association’s mission is to advance education, foster scholarly research, cultivate better professional practice, and promote the free flow of communication.