Aiken, SC (10/17/2022) — The University of South Carolina Aiken (USC Aiken) hosted the 2022 Annual Carolina Communication Association (CCA) Conference "Back in the Saddle Again" on Sept. 23 and 24.
For students considering graduate school, the conference provides the opportunity to present their research findings.
Grace Fulton, a USC Aiken communication student, was awarded the Mary E. Jarrard Prize Top Undergraduate Student Paper at the 2021 CCA conference. This year, recent USC Aiken alum, Taylor Herndon was on the top undergraduate panel and presented his work on political rhetoric that grew out of his capstone project.
Lindsey Plunkett and Megan Swistak, current Communication and Emerging Media students, also presented at this year's conference.
Plunkett displayed a poster that illustrated her current capstone experience working in speech therapy, and Swistak presented her research findings on influencers in digital marketing.
"I chose to major in communication because it offered me the opportunity to combine all of my interests into one field of study," said Swistak. "I began my research in Dr. Munsell's class and he was a great help throughout the entire process."
Faculty in USC Aiken's Communication and Emerging Media department foster relationships with students in the program and mentor them throughout their time at USC Aiken.
"Our faculty are amazing and award winning," said department Chair Jason Munsell "They come from some of the best graduate and PhD programs in the country."
David Morris, an assistant professor in the Communication and Emerging Media department, presented his research titled "One Size Fits All: Examining Design Considerations on Newspaper Websites" and was awarded The Monica Pombo Early Career Teaching Award during the conference.
Mitch Combs, an assistant professor in the Communication and Emerging Media department, presented his research that explores the communication of local food truck communities in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Combs is new to the department, but said he was drawn to USC Aiken because of the students and class structure.
"As a first generation college student having to navigate college for the first time and figure out work-life balance, I really feel like I can connect with many students at USC Aiken who also share these experiences," said Combs. "USC Aiken also provides an opportunity to practice teaching methods like small discussion and dialogue skills in class."
Rachel Whitten, an assistant professor in the Communication and Emerging Media department, co-authored and presented research with current USC Aiken student, Abbie Chancey and recent alum, Olivia Caver.
USC Aiken offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication or Emerging Media through traditional delivery and through the online Palmetto College.
The program provides students with comprehensive experiences in strategic communication across different media platforms and within a professional environment.
"In our age of misinformation, we need cyber and media literacy, ethical communication and the like," said Munsell. "In our department we teach the competencies needed to be successful in our personal and family lives, our professional and working lives, as well as our civic lives as engaged citizens of our country."
The USC Aiken Department of Communication and Emerging Media currently has approximately 120 to 130 students and boasts small class sizes that allow for interaction between students and faculty.
For more information about The USC Aiken Department of Communication and Emerging Media, please visit https://www.usca.edu/communication/.