Rhetoric and media studies students present research papers in Idaho

by University Communications,

Five Willamette University students — all rhetoric and media studies majors — are presenting their research at the Northwest Communication Association conference in Couer d’Alene, Idaho from April 17-19.

The students are Anna Walling ’15, Nichola Greenblatt ’14, Miles Sari ’14, Ryan Anderson ’14 and Amara Fanucci ’14. Jeanne Clark, an associate professor of rhetoric, is accompanying them.

“It is a real pleasure to listen to other students present on research in media, ethics and other fields very different from my own,” says Greenblatt, who is also majoring in politics. “Overall, the NWCA conference is a great to way to develop my skills as an academic and gain exposure to the research interests of other scholars in the field.”

The Northwest Communication Association is a scholarly organization that caters to students and faculty alike. Its mission is to promote the study, criticism, research and teaching of communication.

From 1999 to 2013, Clark says 13 Willamette University students have won the award for presenting the best paper at the conference.

The Presentations:

  • Walling: Her research concludes that Special K, a breakfast cereal brand, departs from a truthful form of advertising when it tells its audiences to be proud of the way they look while also encouraging the use of Special K products to lose weight.
  • Greenblatt: She evaluates President Barack Obama’s 2009 address at Cairo University, where he called for intercultural tolerance in American Islamic relations. Given widespread misinformation and the socio-political pressures at the time, Greenblatt seeks to identify how he negotiated audience expectations while reconciling his own religious identity.
  • Sari: His paper compares the framing of the Boston Marathon bombings by elite media and citizen journalism.
  • Anderson: Using James Cameron’s film “Avatar,” Anderson shows how certain myths and narratives — specifically the American frontier myth — can negatively affect conceptions of the environment when regenerated through modern-day media.
  • Fanucci: Her paper argues that the recent attack-style ads Microsoft made against Google are unethical and put the advertising industry down a wrongful trajectory.