Four OBU communication arts students presented their research papers at the University of Oklahoma's Sooner Communication Conference March 6-7 on OU's campus in Norman. The conference featured graduate and undergraduate communication scholars from across the nation discussing developments in theory and research in communication. Each student selected went through a blind-review process.
OBU's accepted students included Kyra Cochran, a senior from Oklahoma City, with the paper, "I Tweet Dead People: A Study of Condolence Messages via Twitter;" Rikki Earnest, a senior from Pampa, Texas, with the paper, "Oklahoma! Where the Win Comes Right Behind the Reign: An Analysis of Mary Fallin's Campaign Advertisement Strategies;" Alex Schauer, a junior from Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, with the paper, "Sanctioned Inspiration: An analysis of mission statements in Oklahoma's religious institutions;" and Sophia Stanley, a senior from Tulsa, with "It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Crises: P.R. Methods in Primetime Television." Stanley competed with a second paper as well, titled, "Fitting the Bill: Assessing Wendy Davis's Filibuster Through the Well Made Play."
For the fifth time in seven years, an OBU student took the prize for top paper. Schauer's paper, "Sanctioned Inspiration," was selected by the conference as the top paper of 2015. Stanley's paper, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Crises," was named a top three paper.
Four of the papers were written to fulfill part of the requirements of the communication course Information Gathering and Research, taught by Dr. Vickie Shamp Ellis, associate professor of communication arts. Stanley's second paper, "Fitting the Bill," was researched and written as part of a political communications class taught by Dr. Kaylene Barbe, professor of communication studies.
"We are so proud and honored that our kids worked so hard," Ellis said. "The part that makes working at OBU incredibly special is seeing how successful these students are compared to other institutions. Conducting this type of research and presenting it in this way usually doesn't happen for undergraduates. Our students' hard work make this an extra special teaching opportunity."