Colloquium sends off communication seniors

Seniors in the Department of Languages and Communication enroll in communication 498 as a sign they are nearing the light at the end of the tunnel. The senior thesis class marks the end of their college career at Southeastern. This fall semester, the department honored 31 senior mass communication students, with various concentrations, as they presented their senior thesis in front of students, family and friends at the Senior Colloquium.
During the annual event, on Nov. 14, professors of the communication department acted as respondents to the seniors after their presentations and gave constructive criticism on their research papers.
According to Associate Professor Amber Narro, even though this was the first research paper many of her students had written, they all did a good job at writing and presenting the topic.
Developing a topic starts with developing a research question based on an area of the students expertise or passion.
Topics ranged from hip-hop, beauty, movies, television, scandal, social media, journalism, reporting and organizational communication. Senior Brad McMorris was ready to present just as much as he is already ready to walk across the stage in December to receive his diploma. The best part of the 498 process was the end.
“[Just] getting it over with,” McMorris said. “I’ve been in school so long I’m just ready to get out.”
The title of his paper was “Did the Media Demonstrate a Particular Bias toward the Maris and Mantle Homerun Chase of 1961?” McMorris explained this through the gate keeping theory. This staple of communication theories states that the “gatekeeper” decides what information is distributed to an individual or group and what is not. After reading almost 100 newspaper articles from 1961, McMorris found there was no bias. The reason he chose this topic was because baseball was something he is very passionate about.
“The New York Yankees are my favorite baseball team,” McMorris said.
A word of advice from McMorris, for future 498 students, would be to start developing your topic and research question early so you don’t get behind and “know about the theories” which make up a large part of the research paper.
Even though he had previous experience writing a research paper, the most difficult part of the 498 process was the researching and typing of an almost 20 page paper.
“I never wrote a research paper,” McMorris said. “Now I wrote one for 291, which is now 391, but that was years ago. So that was the hardest part, so just doing the research. It was a lot of work. I had to read like 70 to 75 newspaper articles, but see it was stuff I like. So I chose a topic that I liked. Baseball, see everybody is doing stuff on news, I wanted to make sure it was something I liked.”
Southeastern’s Fall Commencement Ceremony will he be held on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 10 a.m.