Seniors present theses at Colloquium

Dr. Joe Burns and Dr. Claire Procopio decorates Haley Mader with her master’s hood.
Nathaniel Callaway/The Lion’s Roar

The Communication Senior Colloquium is considered by some to be one of the most important events of any communication major. It is the event where all the graduating seniors give their presentations that they had been putting together for a few months, and Associate Professor Dr. Amber Narro was very proud of her students’ participation and hard work.

“Of course, it is an absolute pleasure to see them go through this process,” said Narro. “They all seem so appreciative of this moment. They’re scared to death of it but they’re so proud of themselves after it’s over with. To get to see them come through that scared and fearful thing to this, it’s just amazing. I mean, look around at how excited everyone is and all the smiles and laughter. This is our crowning moment, it’s the moment any student majoring in communication waits for.”

The event was held from 5-9 p.m. on Thursday, May 4 in D Vickers. It opened with the pinning ceremony, where each graduate had their pins pinned on them by a particular loved one of their choosing. For some, it was their parents, others’ friends and still others’ significant others. The ceromony was followed by different presentations scattered throughout the building in different classrooms. One of the highest honors bestowed for the night was the Best Paper Award, given to both Kaylee Collier and Anna Rudesill. Collier, whose paper was entitled “Presidential Posts: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Obama Administration’s Facebook Posts,” discussing the evolution of the White House’s first Facebook page for when Barack Obama  was elected in 2008. Collier talked about some of what that prize means to her.

“It’s a huge weight lifted off because you kind of second guess yourself by the time you get done,” said Collier. “You’ve just been working on it for so long, you’re like, ‘I’m sick of looking at it. I hope this is good. I’m just gonna turn it in.’ At that point you just have no idea. You proofread it once and you hope that it’s OK. So it is really nice to get to say I was second guessing myself for no reason. To kind of get to confirm, ‘OK, I know what I’m talking about and I know what I’m doing.’”

Collier was very pleased with her work, and on top of the fact that the award does mean a lot to her, Collier also felt that despite her love of her topic, there were plenty of other worthy contenders who all had strong papers with well-written topics and subjects.  

“It’s just so personal because it’s my baby and just getting that award was really great,” said Collier. “I wasn’t expecting it at all because you know we have a huge class and we have a lot of really, really strong papers by a lot of people. For a lot of them I was just thinking, ‘Man, that is a great idea. I wish I had done that. I wish I had come up with that idea.’ I mean, I love my topic. I actually had a similar topic in 391 but then I was just looking at the campaign for the presidency so I have been working on this for six months now.”

Narro stated that while there were some papers that needed a little work overall, she really  was very happy with the work and effort put in, and how all the students should be proud of the fact that they got it done and since it is their first time is an accomplishment in and of itself. In the end though, all the professors were very happy and proud of their students.

“Our professors are so funny,” said Narro. “Actually Anna’s mentor Dr. [Barbara] Overton, who is one of our new professors here at Southeastern, is just proud as a peacock right now. As soon as someone we’ve mentored through the process wins top paper, we walk around like it’s ours. But really we’re always very excited to see them all get to this point.”


Dr. Amber Narro, above, addresses the audience during the opening ceremony of the Communication Senior Coloquium.
Nathaniel Callaway/The Lion's Roar