Communication and Art, 2013
  • Cultivating the Seeds of Hope
    Rachel Breuning
    Mentor: Renda Ross, Sharon Stout-Shaffer, Michaele Barsnack, Dina Lentsner, Janette McDonald, Amy Oehlschlaeger, Deborah Shields, Andrea Thomas


    Hope manifests itself in innately personal, individual expressions with unique capacities for sustaining the human spirit (Bauman, 2004; Duggleby, 2010; Webb, 2007; Snyder, 2002). Focusing awareness on the highly contextual images, practices, and situations embodying hope for an individual can preserve and cultivate even greater hope (Yohani, 2008). This project’s purpose is to explore and synthesize personal symbols into a sculpture whose visual dynamics articulate my understanding of hope’s diverse elements identified in class literature. In creating the piece I discovered specific characteristics of hope I had not previously realized. This piece may catalyze internal dialogue for observers, illuminating their own reflections. Articulating what uniquely speaks of hope in their own lives may cultivate broadened awareness of hope’s multifaceted manifestations.

    To Have Hope or Not to Have Hope
    Kayla Doucet
    Mentor: Daniel Heaton, Renda Ross


    Hope plays an important role in motivation and goal planning. Miller and Powers define hope as “an anticipation of a future which is ‘good,’ based on…psychological well-being, purpose and meaning in life, and a sense of the ‘possible’ ” (Davis-Maye & Perry, 2007, p. 313). The purpose of this project is to write a monologue of the author’s definition and experience of hope. The monologue will use a mystory creative writing technique (Ulmer, 2004). The mystory will combine autobiographical experience and expert knowledge of hope to create an original piece. The author expects to further her understanding of hope through personal reflection and a review of hope research. This mystory produces a definition and dramatic example of hope.

    An Examination of Changes in Meteorological Technology and Broadcasting Practices
    Kaitlyn Ebling
    Mentor: Sharon Croft, Jeff Gress


    This presentation examines how technological advances and an increased understanding of weather have affected communication practices by broadcast meteorologists. Further, it includes information on the history of meteorology and broadcasting as well difficulties found in the field, misconceptions, and community relations. The methodology is examined using both primary and secondary sources as well as in person interviews and studio visits. The findings accurately define the main points addressed throughout this presentation. This presentation has allowed me to learn how important communication is and how it has changed the field of broadcast meteorology over time.

    Hopeful Thinking
    Andrea Green
    Mentor: Sharon Stout-Shaffer, Michaele Barsnack, Renda Ross, Deborah Shields 


    The concept of hope, while extremely complex, can be portrayed in a multitude of different ways depending on one’s point of view; but at the same time, can bring people together as it creates a similar connection to people all over the world (Bauman). This art piece represents my discovery of hope through the study of different methods that involved interdisciplinary explanations of literature, art, music, interviews and more, relating to hope. The purpose of this project was to explore the essence of hope, and develop a personal definition of hope that can be useful to my nursing practice, and express this definition in an art form that can be appreciated by others. Now that I have developed an understanding, I think of hope as a way that brings people together in order to reach a goal in which a certain outcome can be fulfilled. I choose to use art as a way to show a different perspective that cannot always be expressed through words; rather, the words can only add an increased effect to the meaning of hope in which the art is displaying. This piece may be useful in the future to help me remain aware and reflect upon the meaning of hope in my future career as a nurse and to create a better relationship with those I care for.

    The Legend of La Llorona
    Abigail Hardin
    Mentor: Daniel Heaton


    The Legend of La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) is a well-known myth in several Spanish speaking cultures. It is told to children of all ages throughout Central Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Through the tradition of storytelling, the history and myth of this character can come alive. The performance begins with a haunting Old Spanish song, warning the listener of the ghoul they are about to encounter. The origins are disputed, but the conclusion is always the same; La Llorona must forever wander the Rio Grande River in the dark crying for her children. La Llorona is a “boogey-man” type character and therefore the purpose of the story is to discourage young ones from going out alone after dark.

    Spin or Professionalism: How the Public Views Public Relations Due to Dissemination Method and Motive of the Organization
    Kelsey Hutchinson
    Mentor: Lois Foreman-Wernet


    The public relations profession has evolved to have higher ethical standards. However, many people still have a negative perception of the profession. Public relations professionals use a variety of communication tactics and are often responsible for managing or promoting corporate social responsibility activities. The purpose of this research was to see how the public perceives public relations by examining dissemination methods and motives of the organization. Participants read an article about a public relations scenario at a fictitious company that included information about one of two dissemination methods (traditional news release or social media) and one of three motives (altruistic, selfish, or mixed) and completed a questionnaire that asked their opinion about the scenario in the article and public relations in general. Participants rated the public relations practitioner as less professional when social media was used. There were few differences due to assigned motive of the organization. However, there were many differences due to perceived motive of the organization. This research demonstrates that perception of motive can be more important than the actual motive. Future research should attempt to replicate these findings in real world public relations situations.

    The Somali-Columbus Relationship
    Jonathon Jasper
    Mentor: Lois Foreman-Wernet


    My research examines the relationship between the city of Columbus and its Somali population from a Communication and Public Relations standpoint. The purpose of my work was to find the most effective way to manage a relationship between a local government and one of its larger populations being of different culture backgrounds. The research was conducted using a co-orientation approach, which looks at both parties’ points of view and opinions and determines if said groups are aware of the other’s thoughts. Through the research I was able to find that, in Columbus, there is strong, thoughtful relationship present between the government and its Somali population due to their strong reliance on continued education on both sides. This research and analysis helps lay the foundation for further studies into the development and maintaining of successful local government/multicultural resident relationships.

    How Do Adolescent Boys in a 12 Step Recovery Program Perceive Their Higher Power?
    Elizabeth Ladrach
    Mentor: Michaele Barsnack


    How do adolescent boys in a 12 Step Recovery program perceive their Higher Power? This is a significant question when it comes to drug rehabilitation because it is thought that there is more success among those who believe in a Higher Power compared to those who do not. Research has shown that there has been a tremendous amount of success in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and other 12-step programs, in part, because there is openness to the role of spirituality (Malchiodi, 2012). To learn more, the method of art was used to explore the spiritual ideas and values of eight adolescent boys in a residential treatment program for drug addiction. Three art directives were selected from literature and incorporated into the activity of an existing art therapy group. With the input of a group therapist and art therapist, the results were interpreted into language that provides more insight for those who work with this population.

    Views of Hope: Interviews Regarding Life Experiences
    Amelia MacKinnon
    Mentor: Sharon Stout-Shaffer, Deborah Shields, Renda Ross, Michaele Barsnack


    The human experience of hope is important to social workers and those they serve, and thus for the profession. However, literature definitions of hope can be confusing and there are many variations in how hope is used. This project determines the connection of hope to the idea of quality of life. The researcher is interviewing people of a variety of ages, and looking at their personal hope experiences to see if there is a connection of aging and quality of life to hope. The participants include a variety of ages ranging from single digits to elderly, with most participants being on the later end of the spectrum; both males and females respond. The interviews are conducted in person or over the phone, at the participant’s convenience. Data of personal hope experiences are analyzed using content analysis; the researcher maintains objectivity during both interview and analysis. Findings are compared to the current literature. This project contributes to the understanding of the experience of hope among people of different age groups. It also contributes to the researcher’s confidence and ability to talk about hope with people of different stages of life.

    The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West
    Kim Mollett
    Mentor: Dan Heaton


    The purpose of this project is to exemplify the importance of communication through storytelling. This story is crafted for an age group of 10 to 12, although people of many ages can connect with it. My performance style is energetic and kinetic so that my audience will be excited. I went through a few different steps to complete this project. The selection of the story was easy in itself because The Wizard of Oz has always been dear to me. The selection of this western, graphic novel version is more updated for today’s audience. After reviewing and reading multiple texts, I settled on the main idea of the “Wicked West” and wrote my script for the performance. I learned that being able to create this different scene for the story incorporates physical as well as linguistic adaptation. The way we move creates the story behind our words. This work combines elements of popular culture examined through the lens of blurred temporality.

    The Russian Sleep Experiment
    Mark Mullen
    Mentor: Daniel Heaton


    Most people can recall at least one sleepless night in their life; others may understand the feeling of insomnia, but eventually everyone sleeps. In this presentation the audience will hear a story of unknown origin about prisoners being forced awake for 30 days. The Russian Sleep Experiment explores the largely unknown function of sleep and gives it a purpose that most people would not want to think possible. In preparation for this performance, I compared various short horror and thriller stories, selected and edited the text, rehearsed the performance several times to practice facial expressions and staging. I also considered other performance elements such as costume and lighting. Through this performance I learned about the entertainment value of storytelling and the effort a speaker must put forward to keep the audience’s attention. The performance will be without props or media, and I will be using my communication studies experience to illustrate the story with only spoken word and stage movement.

    Conception and Creation: A Playwriting Journey
    Andrew Protopapas
    Mentor: Bill Kennedy


    In his 1984 book on playwriting, Louis Catron states that the playwright is a craftsman as well as an artist. For my Theatre and Honors Capstones, I wrote a play. My goal was to write a two-act, full-length, and dramatic play. As I began the process, I researched by reading books and plays about grief (the subject matter of my play), interviewing professional counselors, and reading materials about playwriting itself. I created an outline for the play after researching and began writing during the summer of 2013. My advisor helped me improve the drafts of my play. The play now has a total of six drafts and has been submitted to both the Communication Department and the Honors Program. From this experience, I learned that creative and academic works really are not that different. Both require immense research and are mostly written as they are rewritten. I think these lessons I learned from this experience are the reason why this work is important. Those working on projects should grow as individuals through their work. If he or she is not, then they are not as invested as they must be to grow as a person.

    The Cultural Economy of Fandoms: An Examination of the Current Television Fan
    Kallie Stahl
    Mentor: Dan Heaton, Sharon Croft, Lois Foreman-Wernet, Steve Bruning


    My research examined current television viewers from a historical standpoint, highlighting the importance of technological advancements on fan culture. The purpose of this research was to gain a better understanding of fandoms, specifically fans of the television show Firefly. I combined the cultural theories of both Lawrence Grossberg and John Fiske to create my own levels of investment regarding audiences’ investment to popular culture, they include: viewer, fan, and fanatic. Additionally, I conducted an ethnographic monologue at the 2012 Comic-Con International Convention in San Diego, California from July 11, 2012, through July 15, 2012. The ethnographic study is based on my personal observations, experiences, and interactions among various fan communities at Comic-Con. In applying my research, I have concluded that there are various reasons for individual’s participation in fan culture, and degrees of investment in television programs vary based on individuals. This research is significant because all individuals invest in some form of popular culture. Throughout the course of my research, I have gained a better understanding of fan practice, Comic-Con as a culture, and a little bit about my own status as a super fan.

    Grandmother’s Tale
    Tierra Whitley
    Mentor: Dan Heaton


    The Path of Needles and Pens: Little Red Riding Hood by Teri Windling encourages readers to not trust everyone you encounter. Though this story has some gory elements to it, this story is geared toward a diverse audience. The narrator presents the story with an attitude that is both sweet and fierce, because these are some of the elements within the story. By performing this story, actors can encourage listeners to not talk to strangers and to be their own super heroes. My performance will focus on appealing to diversity. I also want to encourage everyone to think before speaking, because any word could be their last. The significance of my performance is to help perspectives of those who do not have a chance to share their voices.

    Water Dragon Day
    Joshua Woods
    Mentor: Dan Heaton


    This is a performance of the story Dragon Rock by Ellena Ashley. This story is for the ages of 6-8 and is trying to convey the importance of believing. The purpose of this performance is to create the town in the story, bring forth the images into a different aesthetic plane, and recreate the imagery from the text. The narrator is fully embodied, as well as the emotions of the townspeople and the children. I want the audience to be excited about Water Dragon Day and the festivities that follow.