Seniors present theses at Colloquium

In sports, there is the basket before the buzzer, an interception run back for a touchdown or an out-of-the park home run; in the world of communication seniors, there is the Senior Colloquium.
Several students, faculty and family members gathered in D Vickers Hall to see the hard work put into thesis papers and presentations of the  20 seniors majoring in mass communication who plan to graduate in December. Attendees congregated in the lobby enjoying refreshments provided by the communications department at 5 p.m. and preceded to room 138 for the opening ceremony at 5:15.
Department Head Dr. Lucia Harrison welcomed those in attendance and introduced the moderators and respondents of the presentations scheduled to follow. Dr. Claire Procopio then announced Ruby Burkholder as the recipient of the Top Paper Award. Burkholder is a graduate student who researched during her experience with study abroad. She was elated to win the award and attributed her success to her professors, husband and her children.
“I couldn’t have done it without them,” explained Burkholder. “I really do love my school.”
Students were required to compose a 20-page thesis paper supported by research, a relevant theory and 20 relevant sources. Following the completion of their paper, a presentation reviewed by faculty respondents and questioned by peers and audience members had to be complete.
The topics ranged from sports to tattoos and political culture in the 21st century to communicating in the 21st century.
Many seniors were nervous to give their presentations while others were excited to get them over with. A feeling of achievement is what most felt after surviving the paper, presentation and question segment from those who witnessed their presentations.
“I felt very confident in the work that I had done and in the fact that I was first and could start the presentations off with a bang,” said Christopher McKinley. “The biggest reward was knowing that I completed something that I had worked so hard on, for so long. I felt amazing! I felt as though I had earned the right to call myself a communication scholar. I was proud to have made it, along with my classmates, to the final stretch.”
Although many seniors felt anxiety prior to the presentations, the feeling of relief was common among all participants.
“I was very nervous, but I also am not a huge fan of giving speeches,” said Matthew Young. “It was an amazing feeling once I sat back down on the panel after I gave my speech. I knew at that moment I was near the end.”
The Fall Commencement Ceremony is scheduled to take place on December 8 at 10 a.m. in the University Center.  Between now and then, seniors plan to study and pass their comprehensive exam, finish strong in classes other than 498, complete their internships and begin or continue their search for jobs.
“My plans are to finish strong in my statistics class, study hard for my 498 comprehensive exam, work and continue my internship with Key Rouge PR in Baton Rouge, “added McKinley. “I also plan to go to graduate school to obtain my masters in mass communication in the fall.”