May 10, 2013 | 9:32 a.m.
By Alennah Westlund '14
This spring, the held their annual conference in Kansas City, Mo., where 36 Bethel University students attended and presented their research. The CSCA, known for hosting some of the top communication departments in the country, holds the conference to allow scholars to share their latest research and discuss important topics in the communication field.
The CSCA also holds an honors conference for undergraduate students during the same weekend, giving them the opportunity to present research at a prestigious regional conference and to connect with graduate schools. The honors conference recognized several Bethel students for their outstanding work. Chris Lund received a Top Paper Award and Top Poster Award for "Narrative Analysis of Refugee Spray-Painted Murals." Vicki Long, Brooke Johnson, Emily Zlab, and Kory Keller won a Top Poster Award for "Vocal Impressions." Other topics covered in Bethel's undergraduate research included "Communication Styles, Relational Satisfaction, and Forgiveness," "Effects of Disney Princess Movies on Women's Perceptions of Love," and "Perceptions of Profanity in Interpersonal Relationships." Chair Nancy Brule states that Bethel has an exceptional reputation for undergraduate research at the CSCA conference. Communication studies student and CSCA conference participant Austin Wilder agrees, noting, "Because I was from Bethel, these scholars were familiar with my program and the reputation that I have as a Bethel student: one with strong knowledge of the discipline and instructed by professors who are passionate about their students."
Top Poster winner Johnson says the conference helped her see Bethel's communication studies department in a new way. "During the conference I gained a great appreciation for the field of communication as a whole, but more so the Bethel department specifically," she says. "I realized in talking with other undergraduate and graduate students how privileged I really am to be a part of the Bethel communication department. The work that we are being challenged to do with our research is far beyond what many other undergraduates are doing."