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For Immediate Release
April 15, 2008

Communication Studies students make strongest showing, win award at New Jersey Communication Association Annual Conference

EWING, NJ … Comprising more than one fourth of student presenters, the largest representation among all schools, students from The College of New Jersey presented refereed papers, projects, and health communication campaigns at the 12th Annual New Jersey Communication Association Conference  (NJCA) at Marymount Manhattan College on Saturday, March 22, 2008.  In addition to the strong showing, junior communication studies major Janna Raudenbush won the award for best undergraduate paper, “Stay-At-Home Fathers”, explaining the partnerships that facilitate fathers nurturing children while mothers advance their careers.  Another single-authored paper was presented by Rachel Bloch on “Attitudes of Female College Students toward Marital Naming.” Both papers were written for a course in intergender communication taught by Anntarie Sims, associate professor of communication studies.

Most of the papers presented by TCNJ students were co-authored. Nationwide Newspaper Coverage of Adult Obesity: A Community Structure Approach”  was written by Kristen Kiernicki, April-Crystal Holmes, Allison DiMeglio, and Cindy Sura.  “Nationwide Newspaper Coverage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform: A Community Structure Approach” was co-authored by Patrick Hall, Alex Liberton, and Steven Viani. Both adult obesity and immigration reform papers were also two of only forty selected nationwide in blind, refereed competition for presentation earlier in March at the annual honors undergraduate communication conference at DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana.

Other papers presented included: “Cross-National Newspaper Coverage of Sexual Education” by  Jennifer Higgins, Megan Van Der Stad, Colleen Doughtery, and Allison Williams; “Nationwide Newspaper Coverage of the ‘No Child Left Behind’ Act: A Community Structure Approach” by Janna Raudenbush, Alyssa Conn, and Gina Miele; and “Nationwide Newspaper Coverage of Same-Sex Marriage: A Community Structure Approach” by  Jessica Haake, Kristen Campbell, Lauren Musacchia, and Amanda Roggenburg.

Another notable accomplishment was the first health communication campaign panel at NJCA, created and presented by students from TCNJ. All papers developed sophisticated strategies to promote healthier, less risky behavior. “Promoting Breast Self-Examination” was co-authored by Amanda Burd, Erin Dillon, and Cindy Sura . “RADAR: Raising Awareness of Date and Acquaintance Rape” was created by Jennifer Hill, Eliana Reyes, Michael Wargo, and Matthew Wasser (posthumous). “Safe Oral Sex” was crafted by Mark Bartkiewicz, Stefanie Haar, and Truc-Lan Vu; and a project called the “Bipolar Disorder Institute” was constructed by Rowena Briones, Danielle Catona, and Brian Keefe.  Respondent Pamela Zubow Poe, Ph.D. from the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine commended both students and faculty at TCNJ on the high quality of the health communication proposals. All co-authored papers and health communication campaign projects were created in courses taught by John Pollock, professor of communication studies.

Commenting on the extraordinary success of paper presenters at the NJCA conference, Susan Ryan, chair of the Communication Studies Department, said, “These multiple presentations by so many communication studies students from TCNJ demonstrate our department’s strength in encouraging students to write papers that merit selection for presentation at statewide, regional, national and international scholarly conferences.  The accolades our students receive for their papers at professional meetings are well-deserved, and we are delighted to be part of the college’s broader effort to encourage student and faculty-student collaborative research across all schools and departments.”