IM this article to a friend!

April 22, 2003

Undergraduate students present research at honor's conference

From: Louisville Cardinal - Apr 22, 2003

By Jennifer Hornek
Special to The Louisville Cardinal
April 22, 2003

University of Louisville Communication majors Megan Daugherty, Marian (Chi-Chi) McDonald, Veronica Bullitt and Jennifer Hornek traveled April 2-6 to present competitively selected research at the Southern States Communication Association Conference in Birmingham, Ala.

The students went to Birmingham to present papers written in fall 2002 classes. Dr. Margaret Dsilva directed Daugherty, Bullitt and Hornek on their individual research projects in an Intercultural Communication class, and Dr. Walker directed McDonald's research in her Health Communication Class. The students then worked in pairs and developed two joint research papers.

Bullitt and Hornek analyzed the recent events on campus involving the African-American and white communities. They analyzed campus media and conducted an interview with an African-American professor, Dr. Ede Warner. McDonald and Daugherty researched the deaf culture. They analyzed the views within the deaf community concerning cochlear implants. The hearing believe the implants are a solution. The Deaf culture disagrees.

At the conference, the women met with professors from universities such as, Maine, Arkansas, Southern Mississippi and Kentucky. They learned about graduate programs at the different schools and the types of research graduate students are doing. The students also discussed their papers with other undergraduate students from other universities and shared ideas on future research that could be done to expand their own work..

Hornek described her participation in the conference "an experience of a lifetime."McDonald said, "Being chosen to present in the SSCA was a chance of a lifetime. The fact that I was able to share the rich heritage of the deaf culture to the 'hearing world' was an honor. Many people are ignorant to the 'deaf world' which keeps discrimination alive. I believe educating people about the deaf and issues concerning them is a start to breaking the sound barrier between our worlds. Presenting in this conference opened doors for me and my future in Communication. This gave me an opportunity to brush my communication skills and learn from my peers."

Bullitt described the experience as very enriching for all the women. "I came away with a can do, will do attitude," she said, reflecting on a new perspective of the academic world, the next level of education, and what professors do outside the classroom.

Hornek, commenting on the reception to her research project said, "Even though they were completely separate from the events that took place at U of L, they could still relate. I think that these things need to be talked about and not pushed under the rug. When we avoid the problems, and we have, they only get worse. This was an excellent opportunity to open up the floor and to have an academic discussion on something that is only discussed in the privacy of one's own home. I don't think that I could ever replace this experience."

All the women report that this trip would not have been possible without the dedication of Dr. Dsilva who helped each one of them through revision after revision. Dsilva read the papers over and over until she felt they were good enough for the conference, taking time out of her Saturdays to help get ready for the presentation at the conference.

Hornek said, "I know for a fact that I wouldn't have gone if she hadn't shown such tremendous support from the very beginning. I would have never thought that my paper and my research was good enough to submit to an academic conference, not to mention good enough to be selected. I think that I can speak on everyone's behalf and say that we really want to thank her for this experience."

Dr. Dsilva isn't the only one to thank though. The students received funding from different departments all over campus, including the Vice Provost for Diversity, the Associate Dean for Diversity, the Honor's program, and the Department of Communication.

© 2003 The Louisville Cardinal Online