When I was at college in China in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I was never able to see my college president in person. Later when Chinese university presidents are becoming less and less secretive, the chances for students to meet with their presidents face-to-face are still rare. One of those rare chances would be seeing university presidents deliver scripted official speeches at graduation ceremonies.
Western Illinois University students are clearly luckier than their counterparts in China. They have abundant opportunities here to meet with top administrators.
Such chance came on April 15 when students were presenting their poster presentations for 2015 Undergraduate Research Day. The purpose of the annual event is to promote undergraduate student scholarship with the help of professors.
Both Western President Jack Thomas (right in the following photos) and Provost Kenneth Hawkinson (left in the following photos) came to the event and presented Certificates of Participation to students. Below are photos I took for students in my JOUR415 mass communication research methods class.
My students’ poster presentations were based on their in-progress research proposals. For most students, it was the first time to attend such a conference. Their presentations covered a wide range of communication areas, from use of social media by gays and lesbians to portrayal and perceptions of women in horror movies, from college students’ perceptions of plagiarism and fabrication to perceived and actual self- assuredness of news anchors, from how college students in public relations perceive the importance of social media to how average U.S. citizens view net neutrality and prior restraint, from dating behaviors of young adults to the role of Twitter in sports. Students proposed to combine quantitative approaches such as experiment, content analysis, surveys with qualitative methodologies such as in-depth interviews and focus groups.