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Bellman, Sacha DeVroomenA STUDY OF THREE COMMUNITIES’ COMMUNICATION EFFORTS TO ENCOURAGE RECYCLING IN A CHANGING MEDIA LANDSCAPE
Master of Technical and Scientific Communication, Miami University, 2013, English
In today’s changing media landscape, communities are using multiple platforms to communicate with its residents to encourage recycling participation. This study looks at the way communities are keeping up with the changes and finding new ways to communicate with residents about recycling. The study includes rhetorical and textual analysis of each community’s Web sites, social media and traditional media sources.

Committee:

Michele Simmons, Ph. D. (Advisor); Jean Lutz, Ph. D. (Committee Member); Prytherch David , Ph. D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Environmental Studies; Technical Communication

Keywords:

Recycling; technical communication; rhetorical analysis; textual analysis; visual analysis; recycling participation; Web sites; social media; Rumpke; Colerain Township; New York; Hamilton, Ohio;

Poland, BaileyThe Impact of Sexist Rhetoric on Women's Participation in News Comments Sections
Master of Arts (M.A.), University of Findlay, 2017, Rhetoric and Writing
The introduction of the comments section to online news articles enabled new forms of interaction, allowing readers to participate directly in the conversation. Scholars have hailed the comments sections as digital public spheres of democratic discourse. However, scant research has been done on how sexist rhetoric affects women’s ability to participate in online discourse, despite research indicating that such rhetoric is a problem. This thesis project draws connections between research on the comments sections, uninhibited behavior and flaming, cybersexism, and women’s participation in discourse to look at the impact of sexist rhetoric. I conduct a close reading of comments from BuzzFeed, MSNBC, and Fox News, analyzing the material using feminist and sociological rhetorical criticism. I argue that the presence of sexist rhetoric leads to a reduction in women’s participation in the comments and negative effects on women’s agency within the comments. Findings include consistent patterns of sexist rhetoric on all three sites, and consistent patterns of responses from women, the most predominant of which is silence. If the comments are to meet the ideal of a democratic public sphere, then the role of sexist rhetoric must be understood and mitigated.

Committee:

Ron Tulley, PhD (Committee Chair); Elkie Burnside, PhD (Committee Member); Kathy Mason, PhD (Committee Member); Christine Tulley, PhD (Advisor)

Subjects:

Communication; Composition; Gender; Language Arts; Mass Communications; Mass Media; Multimedia Communications; Rhetoric; Technical Communication

Keywords:

sexism; feminism; comments sections; comment section; cybersexism; news; media; BuzzFeed; Fox News; MSNBC; sexist rhetoric; feminist rhetoric

McMillen, Suzanne R.Threads of Deliberation: A Textual Analysis of Online News Comments
Master of Science (MS), Ohio University, 2013, Journalism (Communication)
This thesis is an exploratory study into the deliberative properties of social interaction in online comment threads. The sample for this study is online comment threads collected from three different online news sites (thehill.com, thenation.com, and thenationalreview.com). The study builds upon existing theoretical literature on public deliberation and applies it to the subject of online comments. It also employs a method of textual analysis to address a gap in empirical research of comments where comments are studied in relation to those around them rather than as separate units of analysis. The comments analyzed show evidence of informal conversational style and show three common themes of social interaction: tolerance for hostility, encouraging quality debate, and a value of information exchanges.

Committee:

Bill Reader (Committee Chair)

Subjects:

Communication; Journalism; Mass Media; Social Research; Technical Communication; Web Studies

Keywords:

public deliberation; textual analysis; online comments; online journalism

Silvestro, John JosephChanging the Conversation: A Case Study of Professional, Public Writers Composing Amidst Circulation
Doctor of Philosophy, Miami University, 2017, English
This project examines how writers compose research texts, such as reports, infographics, digital content—so that they might circulate. Specifically, I study a group of writers at The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (TWF) and their writing processes for their research texts, texts they write both to inform audiences and to motivate those same audiences to share and discuss the texts with others. TWF researches and distributes information on the unique socio-economic challenges women in Cincinnati face. They strive to change the local conversation about socio-economic issues so that everyone from citizens to businesses leaders to local politicians understand the distinct challenges that women face. They want to inform Cincinnatians about these issues and equip them to engage in discussions with others about these issues. Studying TWF’s efforts to get their research texts discussed so as to change local conversations affords the opportunity to study how professional writers compose texts both to inform and to circulate. More specifically, it enables an examination of the ways writers compose amidst circulation, both its possibilities to expand conversations and its limitations. Additionally, it enables me to articulate specific strategies that other professional writers can draw upon in their efforts to compose texts for similar public engagements and circulation. To study TWF, I use a Circulation Studies methodology and corresponding methods to perform a multi-part case study of their strategies for a few representative research texts. I first outline the local conversation that TWF works to change, establishing the narrow constraints that influence what texts and information circulate. From there, I study TWF’s understanding of that local conversation, particularly its narrow perspective on local social and economic issues. I next present how TWF incorporate that understanding into their research texts—infographics, reports, presentations, digital content, keynote speakers, hashtag campaigns—to better enable their texts to circulate in local publics. Lastly, I examine how TWF combines strategies to motivate audiences to share their research into publics that otherwise block their research. In sum, my case study suggests several strategies for composing research for circulation. The strategies suggest that writers need to carefully study the ongoing circulation in their target publics and then compose and distribute their texts to work within and against that circulation. Furthermore, my research reveals that professional writers should integrate strategies into a protracted campaign that engages publics and their circulation constraints and possibilities.

Committee:

Michele Simmons, Dr (Committee Co-Chair); Jason Palmeri, Dr (Committee Co-Chair); Tim Lockridge, Dr (Committee Member); James Porter, Dr (Committee Member); Glenn Platt, Dr (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Composition; Gender; Mass Communications; Public Policy; Rhetoric; Technical Communication; Web Studies

Keywords:

professional writing; non-profits; circulation; public advocacy; public rhetoric; digital rhetoric; writing strategies; public spheres; Cincinnati; data visualization; public reports; technical writing; content writing; community engagement; public policy

Walsh, KellyCOMMUNICATION CONSULTANTS AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PRACTICES: AN INTERNSHIP WITH ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT, INC.
Master of Technical and Scientific Communication, Miami University, 2014, English
Through examining my role and experiences as an intern at Environmental Quality Management, Inc., an environmental consulting company in Cincinnati, Ohio, I begin to explore themes of audience and power. My first three chapters provide an overview of the company, descriptions of the clients I worked for and their projects I worked on, and detailed information about two major projects that I took the lead on. These chapters offer a frame of reference for the final chapter that looks at how communication consultants fit into public participation practices for environmental projects. I then propose a communication model that shows how communication consultants can leverage the public's role to play a more integral part when participating in decision-making processes for environmental projects.

Committee:

Michele Simmons (Advisor)

Subjects:

Communication; Environmental Studies; Technical Communication

Keywords:

public participation, environmental decision-making, communication consultants, audience

Kurlinkus, William CNostalgia and New Media: Designing Difference into Rhetoric, Composition, and Technology
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2014, English
In this project I construct a democratic model of new media composing education and production that uses nostalgia (a community, tradition, and emotion-focused lens) to uncover design lessons within a diverse set of techno-composing milieus: the hipster craft movement, the new capitalist workplace, debates in the field of composition studies, and several client-designer interactions. In doing so, I argue that because communities value diverse technological pasts, so, too, do they inevitably imagine diverse ideal futures. Sadly, citizens and students who value technological futures beyond efficient high-tech profusion are historically labeled technophobic and/or illiterate. Through such a dismissal, scholars of technology--from ER doctors to new media composition instructors--miss out on a wide array of design assets and possible futures that could make the world a better place. To counter this anemic thinking, I develop a cross-cultural rhetoric of technology, which uses nostalgia to identify, mediate, and design from techno-logical "contact zones" (see Pratt; Pfaffenberger; Selfe and Selfe; Canagarajah), spaces where different communities with different understandings, values, goals, and literacies surrounding writing technologies interact and clash in systems of uneven power. In doing so, I call for the expansion of definitions of technological literacy in new media composition; I argue for teaching composing students to mediate technological conflicts; and I illustrate how composers can learn from the contextualized memories of their audiences in order to create more inclusive, creative, and profitable texts.

Committee:

Cynthia Selfe (Advisor); H. Lewis Ulman (Committee Member); Beverly Moss (Committee Member); Nancy Johnson (Committee Member); Susan Delagrange (Committee Member)

Subjects:

American Studies; Communication; Composition; Design; Education; Education Philosophy; Literacy; Philosophy; Rhetoric; Technical Communication; Technology

Keywords:

nostalgia; new media; rhetoric; composition; literacy; technology; design; wicked design; new media composition; multimodality; multimodal composing; multiliteracy; philosophy of technology; technology; democratic design; metis

Robisch, Katherine A.Search Engine Optimization: A New Literacy Practice
Master of Arts (M.A.), University of Dayton, 2013, English
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the technical practice of modifying a website to receive higher rankings on search engines such as Google. Computer programmers carefully place keywords within content of frequently updated websites such as blogs, social networks' discussion boards, and company profile sites so the site will appear at a higher ranking on search engines and capture potential consumers' attention. Search engines frequently change the algorithms that scan websites and display them on search results listings, meaning the writers and computer programmers who focus on this optimization must constantly adjust their tactics for new rhetorical situations. This technical writing focuses not only on content and keyword count but essentially the goal of constantly drawing attention to the information they produce and exchange. Following this conception of literacy, Search Engine Optimization writing as a literacy practice includes technical programming skills to create web content. This content is intended to reach a human audience but is mediated by the technical knowledge of search engine algorithms. New literacy practices describe not only new technical genres but reflect that the process of creating such genres and the social motives for creation are non-traditional or new. SEO writing involves new technical writing skills and styles of writing, as well as a new purpose, not just selling products or achieving recognition, but gaining the attention of search engines that often control web users access to information. Exploring the literacy practice of such writing will demonstrate how technical and professional communicators have adapted to new genres and rhetorical situations in a digital landscape.

Committee:

Patrick Thomas, Ph.D. (Advisor); Margaret Strain, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Xiaoli Li, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Composition; Language; Language Arts; Literacy; Multimedia Communications; Rhetoric; Technical Communication; Technology; Web Studies

Keywords:

SEO; new literacies; literacy practice; technical writing; digital literacies; search engine optimization

La Follette, TaviaSites of Passage: Art as Action in Egypt and the US-- Creating an Autoethnography Through Performance Writing, Revolution, and Social Practice
Ph.D., Antioch University, 2013, Leadership and Change
As a performance artist and arts activist I present my research project to the audience in performative writing, a postmodern research style that advocates the integration of the artist/researcher identity. In the summer of 2010, I left for Egypt to teach a performance and installation art workshop at Artist Residency Egypt, the first step of the Firefly Tunnels Project, a virtual and tangible exchange between artists in the United States and Egypt. This venture began with the awareness that the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was approaching. What I could not have foreseen were the other world events that would have a direct impact on the project: Arab Spring and the Egyptian revolution, the Occupy Wall Street Movement in the United States, the execution of Osama Bin Laden, and presidential elections in both the United States and Egypt. Sites of Passage, the final exhibition, ran from September 9, 2011-February 14, 2012 (extended) at the Mattress Factory Museum, one of the only installation art museums of its kind. The exhibit included site-specific works, curatorial tours, discussion panels, workshops, community outreach, and a performance series. I curated all of the artists into the three workshops held in Egypt and the United States, which were compulsory to the exchange process. This document is a performance ethnography that includes an auto-ethnography providing thick description of the experiences and events of this bicultural journey. There are eight videos in mv4 format, plus images to help give dimension to the work. Theoretical dispositions will also be performed throughout the document. The electronic version of this Dissertation is at OhioLink ETD Center, www.ohiolink.edu/etd.

Committee:

Carolyn Kenny, PhD (Committee Chair); Lynne Conner, PhD (Committee Member); Annie E. Booysen, DBL (Committee Member); Celeste Snober, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Aesthetics; Communication; Cultural Anthropology; Design; Ecology; Education Philosophy; Educational Theory; Epistemology; Experiments; Fine Arts; International Relations; Language; Linguistics; Metaphysics; Middle Eastern Studies; Multicultural Education; Multimedia Communications; Museums; Peace Studies; Pedagogy; Performing Arts; Spirituality; Teaching; Technical Communication; Theater; Theater Studies

Keywords:

Egypt; Revolution; Occupy Movement; Auto-ethnography; Installation Art; Performance Art; Site Specific; Theatre; Theatre Studies; Social Practice; Social Justice; Performance Writing; Art Exchange; Arab Spring; 911; virtual; website; digital; mother

Barnes Evans, KatieBeyond the Screen: Embedded Interfaces as Retail Wayfinding Tools
MFA, Kent State University, 2017, College of Communication and Information / School of Visual Communication Design
This paper aims to widen the discourse on experience as an economic entity, which exists within retail settings that are deliberately designed and carefully controlled by service providers to elicit desired consumer behaviors. This body of research aims to underscore the importance of in-store wayfinding within the specific context of grocery shopping in large supermarkets by investigating the current state of affairs in the art of consumer experience design and the differentiation of consumer experience through wayfinding in retail spaces. To design retail experiences, we must first understand the elements that comprise and produce them; however, the subject of experience is complex and extensive. In an effort to expand the discussion surrounding the careful creation of consumer experiences, this paper aims to deconstruct the underlying components that contribute to our formation of experiences; examine the ways in which retail experiences are differentiated through wayfinding; and assess the overall effect of wayfinding on consumers’ perception of grocery shopping experiences, as well as their subsequent choices and behaviors. Technology has become a ubiquitous presence in the space we occupy and pervasive force throughout our lives. We exist as part of a complex global society in which we are dynamically interconnected in a continuous exchange of information and experience. This paper suggests ways in which cutting edge and emerging technologies can be embedded into the underlying physical structure of retail environments—effectively infusing the store environment with highly targeted, personalized and anticipatory communication, with specific regard to the improvement of wayfinding in large grocery retail stores. Additionally, this paper aims to advance the discussion surrounding the use of emerging technologies not only as tools in the production of final artifacts destined three-dimensional environments; but also, as moldable media that can reorient our way of thinking and improve problem solving within existing modes of interaction, communication, cognition and representation. The potential of computing has not yet been fully realized and may always exist as an evolving entity within our lives. Despite its ambiguity and uncertainty, our current technological landscape demonstrates great potential in the generation of new conceptual and practical approaches, theory and methodologies, which transcend the current understanding and purpose of computing and foster the development of intuitive, relevant experiences in interacting with digital media.

Committee:

Jessica Barness, M.F.A. (Advisor); Ken Visocky O'Grady, M.F.A. (Committee Member); David Robins, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Behavioral Sciences; Communication; Computer Engineering; Computer Science; Design; Information Science; Psychology; Technical Communication

Keywords:

Retail; grocery; superstore; shopping; Consumer Experience; Experiential Graphic Design; wayfinding; ubiquitous computing; embedded interface; distributed cognition; Human-Computer Interaction; Virtual Reality; Virtual Environment; prototyping

Sledzik, Christopher SteelePR and Online Branding Corporate Perceptions in a Digital Space: Branding Goodyear Engineered Products in the Automotive Aftermarket Online
MA, Kent State University, 2012, College of Communication and Information / School of Journalism and Mass Communication
This thesis paper investigates how the main principles of online public relations are applied to create a brand for organizations in the digital world. Research of scholarly journals, acclaimed texts and recent articles discusses how public relations and information architecture theories and strategies have been applied to the World Wide Web to shape perceptions of key stakeholders. Based on the research findings, a content analysis was conducted reviewing brand web pages and social media activity to produce recommendations for a current business case.

Committee:

Bob Batchelor, PhD (Committee Co-Chair); Michele Ewing, MA (Committee Co-Chair); Stefanie Moore, MA (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Marketing; Mass Communications; Technical Communication; Web Studies

Keywords:

online branding; public relations; PR; social media; SM; Internet; web sites; information architecture; world wide web; web design; homepage

Viers, Jill Diane P.Working Toward Stability in the Unstable World of IT Consulting
Master of Technical and Scientific Communication, Miami University, 2012, English
In this four-chapter report, I describe the technical writing internship I completed with a consulting company to fulfill educational requirements for a Master of Technical and Scientific Communication degree from the Miami University of Ohio. In chapter 1, I discuss the company culture of my employer, a global IT consulting firm, along with the initial project I was hired to complete. In chapter 2, I provide an overview of my internship, including the project requirements and project approach. In chapter 3, I provide a detailed discussion of the Storage Area Network (SAN) documentation project and the onboarding process documentation project. In chapter 4, I describe the project management approach I adapted to manage the scope of my projects and deliver materials that met each client’s standards for quality. I also describe how my internship experience enabled me to develop a rewarding career as a technical communicator in consulting.

Committee:

Katherine Durack (Committee Chair); Jean Lutz (Committee Member); James Coyle (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Information Technology; Instructional Design; Technical Communication

Keywords:

IT consulting; temporary staffing model; technical communication; onboarding; contract

McKinney, Elizabeth GRhetorical Technical Communication: Exploring the Gaps, Connections, and New Boundaries Between the Fields Through an Analysis of Instruction Manuals
Master of Arts (M.A.), University of Findlay, 2016, Rhetoric and Writing
This thesis researches the lack of collaboration between rhetoricians and technical communicators. The aims of the study were to 1) identify areas in which collaboration could be strengthened and 2) present a means to use these areas to improve technical communication documents. The researcher designed an instruction manual evaluation rubric which incorporated theories and principles from rhetoric, technical communication, humanism, and audience theory. In a qualitative study, six instruction manuals were evaluated using this rubric. The results of the study revealed audience analysis is the most lacking category in the manuals. Technical communicators must increase their study of audience and use rhetorical principles to engage the reader and write more effective instruction manuals.

Committee:

Elkie Burnside, Dr. (Advisor); Ron Tulley, Dr. (Committee Member); S. Chris Ward, Dr. (Committee Member); Christine Tulley, Dr. (Advisor)

Subjects:

Communication; Rhetoric; Technical Communication; Vocational Education

Keywords:

technical communication; rhetoric; instruction manuals; audience theory; writing

O'Mera, Megan ColleenImplementing Successful Intranets: The Case Study of a Virtual MNC Team
Master of Arts (M.A.), University of Dayton, 2015, Communication
By the nature of their geographic dispersion, multinational corporations (MNCs) and the teams that comprise them must rely on virtual communication to some extent. The present study extends knowledge on virtual MNC teams, specifically in the areas of building collective organizational identities, enactment of locally motivated strategies, media channel preferences, and optimizing Intranets to their full potential. It analyzes the case of a geographically dispersed, functionally diverse, and culturally diverse virtual team that is part of a multinational corporation headquartered in the United States. Through content analysis of preliminary and follow-up survey data, this study contributes findings with practical implications for managers, website designers, internal marketers and consultants whose work relates to virtual MNC teams.

Committee:

Teresa Thompson, PhD (Advisor); Jeffrey Griffin, PhD (Committee Member); Anna Langhorne, PhD, JD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Cultural Resources Management; Information Technology; Organizational Behavior; Technical Communication; Web Studies

Keywords:

Multinational corporations; globalization; organizational communication; information and communication technologies; virtual teams

Rosselot-Merritt, Jeremy W.Technical Communication as a Rhetorical Enterprise: A Technical Writing Internship at E-Technologies Group
Master of Technical and Scientific Communication, Miami University, 2011, English

In this report, I discuss a technical writing internship I completed at E-Technologies Group, an engineering firm in West Chester, Ohio, as well as the collaborative and rhetorical implications of my work during the internship.

The report consists of four chapters. In Chapter 1, I describe the organization where the internship took place. In Chapter 2, I discuss several examples of the work that I performed during the internship. In Chapter 3, I focus on a specific long-term project on which I worked: the Quality Management System (QMS). In Chapter 4, I discuss ways in which practicing and future technical communicators can enhance their effectiveness in the field of technical writing and also how technical communicators might consider their roles contextually in the workplace. Using the QMS as an example, and citing existing research, I argue that technical writing is not only an instructive or expository activity, but also a rhetorical one. I also discuss the need for technical communicators to extend beyond their "traditional" roles in the workplace and the importance of collaborating with multiple stakeholders, including other technical writers, in projects like the QMS. Finally, I discuss the importance of advocating for the value of technical communication by those who work in the field.

Committee:

Jason Palmeri, PhD (Committee Chair); Jean Lutz, PhD (Committee Member); Judith Weiner, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Composition; Engineering; Rhetoric; Technical Communication

Keywords:

technical writing; technical communication; collaboration; advocacy; engineering; rhetoric; persuasion; quality; quality management; QMS

Suryanarayan, RenukaU.S. Elite Newspapers' Pre- and Post-tsunami Coverage, 2003-2006: A Case Study of Sri Lanka
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Ohio University, 2008, Mass Communication (Communication)

This study's focus, the tragic December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami, took more than 31,000 lives in Sri Lanka alone. All 543 stories about the island nation in 3 elite and influential U.S. newspapers, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Christian Science Monitor, were analyzed 18 months before and 18 months after the tsunami (excluding the tsunami itself) by comparing Keesing's Record of World Events (the "menu") to covered events (the "diet").

Results showed that 43% of pre and 76% of post-tsunami Keesing's events were covered. Military/defense was the number 1 topic both pre and post-tsunami. After grouping 4 topics into a violence dimension, the researcher found a four-fold increase in the violence coverage post-tsunami, due to a sharp increase in actual violence.

Research questions addressed 3 levels of the Shoemaker and Reese Hierarchy of Influences model. Regarding Level 2 (news routines), results indicated a spike in coverage on the anniversary of the tsunami, December 26, 2005. Regarding Level 3 (the organization), the study examined organizational differences, Level 3 of the Shoemaker and Reese Hierarchy of Influences model. Each news organization's coverage of Sri Lanka was found to be unique, reflecting different newsroom policies and different economic realities.

In addition to many more newsworthy events being covered post-tsunami, the significant post-tsunami increase in discretionary coverage, feature stories, editorials, and local news, likewise shows a heightened attention to Sri Lanka. Finally, the study found that U.S. elite newspapers had more prominent (e.g., page 1) coverage of Sri Lanka post-tsunami than pre -tsunami. In other words, the tragedy seems to have pushed Sri Lanka onto the media agenda. Thus this study posits the addition of a new element, a (cataclysmic) event itself, to Level 4 (extra-media influences) of the Shoemaker and Reese model.

Committee:

Anne M. Cooper (Committee Chair); Hong Cheng (Committee Member); Drew McDaniel (Committee Member); Patricia Weitsman (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Journalism; Mass Media

Keywords:

Tsunami; natural disaster; Extra-media influence; Sri Lanka; organizational influence; Hierarchy of influences; News routines

Wheeler, Dora K.A Technical Writing Internship in Instructional Design at Accenture Learning
Master of Technical and Scientific Communication, Miami University, 2010, English
From March 23, 2009 to July 3, 2009, I completed a technical writing internship in instructional design at Accenture Learning’s Chicago Content Development Center. This report describes my internship experience in four chapters. In Chapter 1: Introduction to Accenture Learning, I provide background information on Accenture Learning and explain my roles and responsibilities during the internship period. Chapter 2: Internship Overview describes my main internship projects, including the purpose, audience, deliverables, key tasks, and outcomes. In Chapter 3: Developing the Chart of Accounts eBriefing Course, I describe the complete process I followed to develop a web-based training course. In Chapter 4: Reflections on Instructional Design and Technical Communication, I introduce Robert Gagné’s Nine Events of Instruction and explain how I applied this theory to my internship projects. Finally, I reflect on the technical communication guidelines that prepared me for a career in training development.

Committee:

Jean Lutz (Advisor); Janel Bloch (Committee Member); Glenn Platt (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Instructional Design; Technical Communication

Keywords:

technical writing; technical and scientific communication; instructional design; training development

Cagley, Laura MarieReport on a MTSC Internship at a Medical Device Company
Master of Technical and Scientific Communication, Miami University, 2009, English
This four-chapter report describes the work I completed as a technical writer intern at a medical device company during the spring of 2007. It provides an overview of the company organization; an overview of my role and the projects I worked on at the company; a detailed description of an instruction manual I created for a contracted on-site replacement and diagnostic service for a medical testing system as my major writing project; and an analysis of the internship experience that compares the expectations I had from my classroom training in technical communication and the reality of the job functions of a technical writer at a medical device company.

Committee:

Katherine Durack, PhD (Committee Chair); Jean Lutz, PhD (Committee Member); Ronald Fetzer, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication

Keywords:

MTSC; internship report; project management; technical communication; career progression

Cooper, Kathryn ENarratives and the Environment: The Influence of Values and Message Format on Risk Perceptions
Master of Arts, The Ohio State University, 2013, Communication
This study examined how media formats and individual differences interacted to influence risk perceptions about environmental issues. In 3 (news, documentary, fictional entertainment) X 2 (hydraulic fracturing, genetically modified organisms) mixed between-and-within subject experiment, participants (N=133) completed a pretest survey, viewed a video, and completed a posttest survey. Results indicate that the impacts of transportation, identification, and ideology on risk perceptions are mediated by affect. Documentary films were the most effective condition, regardless of ideology.

Committee:

Erik Nisbet (Advisor); Emily Moyer-Gusé (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication

Keywords:

science communication; environmental communication; narrative; entertainment-education; belief gap; hydraulic fracturing; genetically modified organisms; documentary

Spicer, Jeffrey A.The Changing Face of the Western: An Analysis of Hollywood Western Films from Director John Ford and Others During the Years 1939 to 1964
Master of Applied Communication Theory and Methodology, Cleveland State University, 2012, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
This content analysis uses the entire selection of John Ford’s Westerns from 1939 to 1964, as well as top Westerns by other directors over the course of the same years in order to see more universal trends in the Western genre that are not unique only to John Ford. Items involving character portrayals and plot themes are used to ascertain how the films changed during those years. The psychological dimensions of the characters are also important, and it was speculated that a gradual change would take place in the types of character traits that were exhibited in the films. The findings revealed that the psychological portrayals moved in cycles, with traits reappearing over and over again during the years analyzed. It was found that John Ford Westerns portray more diverse ethnic groups overall, while portraying violence as generally less heroic than it is in non-Ford Westerns. It was further found that Westerns in general showed violence toward Native Americans as less heroic as the years passed, and violence toward Caucasians was shown as more heroic.

Committee:

Kimberly Neuendorf, PhD (Committee Chair); Paul Skalski, PhD (Committee Member); Evan Lieberman, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication

Keywords:

Western film genre; Content analysis

Meinke, Ashley ErinKent State University at Stark's First Student Film Festival: Organizing a Campus/Community Event
BA, Kent State University, 2012, College of Communication and Information / School of Communication Studies
The aim of organizing Kent State University at Stark's First Student Film Festival was to create an educational and community-based event that supports student creativity, all while utilizing/honing the various communication skills I have acquired through my degree in Applied Communication. These skills include event planning, advertising, networking, visual design, public speaking, and other similar skills. The thesis captures the journey of organizing and executing the film festival, from start to finish, through a detailed journal, reflection paper and other related documents. It also displays the various materials--such as posters and event photos--that were created to promote the festival. Finally, the project features the two short films I wrote, directed, filmed, acted in, edited and premiered in the festival. These films are in addition to the student films that were submitted by Kent State students. In sum, the thesis serves as a record and representation of the various steps that are needed to organize a campus/community event.

Committee:

Leslie Heaphy, Dr. (Advisor); Erin Hollenbaugh (Committee Member); Matthew Pallotta (Committee Member); Sara Newman (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Cinematography; Communication; Design; Film Studies; Mass Communications

Keywords:

Kent State University at Stark's First Student Film Festival; Ashley Meinke; Event Planning; Communication; Kent Stark Film Festival; Student Films; Advertising; Design; Event; Film; Executive Director Ashley Meinke

Sibal, Kenneth M.The Organizational Life of the College Football Player: An Exploration of Injury, Football Culture, and Organizational Dialectics
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Ohio University, 2011, Communication Studies (Communication)

This dissertation attempts to better understand the lives of college football players. The project begins with the assumption that the ways individuals talk about their experiences have a significant impact on others. An organizational framework is used to appreciate the central importance of communication in coordinating organizational relationships and developing impressions.

College football players were gathered from three separate institutions representing different competitive levels of college football. Through interviews, participants were invited to provide stories that reflected their understandings of what it means to play college football. Because the intent of this study was to better understand issues related to the culture of playing football, common themes were derived from those interviews in an attempt to answer four separate research questions. Not surprisingly, athletes commonly discussed the role of injury during college football as injury is a common experience across competitive football teams.

The results of this study are interrelated. First, I discuss how metaphors are used to illustrate the lives of college football players and how these reflect one’s relationship to the team. The metaphors of football as a job and football as a family were shared among participants. Second, by exploring the expectations of what it means to be an athlete, I was able to discuss the importance of gaining trust among teammates and how trust in others can be lost if one does not conform to proper scripts of interaction. These results support the notion of the “generalized other” discussed in the third portion of this study. The stories concerning college football players’ experiences with being injured revealed a dialectical tension between the individual and generalized other. When injured, the athlete experiences a dialectical tension between participation and exclusion and is called upon to manage this tension between himself and the rest of the team.

This study supports how one’s experience in sport is socially constructed through communication with others. Issues of masculinity, group influence, and the role of the athlete are discussed. Furthermore, limitations to this study and directions for future research are also presented.

Committee:

Claudia Hale, PhD (Committee Chair); Roger Aden, PhD (Committee Member); Lynn Harter, PhD (Committee Member); Andrew Kreutzer, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication

Keywords:

sports; dialectical tensions; injury; storytelling; athletes; football players; generalized other; orgnaizatinal dialectics

O'Neill, K. KathleenCommunication Channels Utilized by Emirati Females to Enact Leadership
Ph.D., Antioch University, 2011, Leadership and Change
The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify the communication channels six Emirati females concurrently employed in organizations in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in which they had supervisory responsibilities; formal, legitimate authority; and positional leadership roles recalled using with their direct reports to enact leadership. In particular, the study attempted to ascertain the reasons for the selection of communication channels when engaged in downward communication with organizational subordinates. Data were collected via three interviews with each participant over a four week period. Interviews were conducted both face-to-face and via telephone. Data were analyzed via thematic content analysis to identify themes, patterns, and/or trends in communication channels selected and the reasons for selection of these channels when engaged in downward communication with direct reports. Findings indicated the participants’ preferred channel of communication when engaged in downward communication with their direct reports was face-to-face. Frequently face-to-face communication was reinforced via written follow-up. Encoding negative messages via written channels was found to be vigorously avoided except in the most extreme cases. Cultural factors were indicated to be influential in the participants‘ selection of communication channel. The findings of this study have workplace preparation and training applications for private sector organizations, government, and state-owned enterprises in Abu Dhabi—in particular, those organizations in which expatriates have supervisory responsibilities; formal, legitimate authority; and positional leadership responsibilities in relation to Emirati direct reports. The electronic version of this dissertation is at OhioLink ETD Center, www.ohiolink.edu.etd.

Committee:

Elizabeth Holloway, PhD (Committee Chair); Philomena Essed, PhD (Committee Member); Ingrid Piller, PhD (Committee Member); Mark Neal, PhD (Other)

Subjects:

Communication; Management

Keywords:

Qualitative; Managers; Leaders; Females; Women; United Arab Emirates; Abu Dhabi; Workplace; Leadership; Management Communication; Organizational Behavior; Khaleeji Leadership

Cooley, Diana M.Inner Voice of Women's Self-Leadership
Ph.D., Antioch University, 2008, Leadership and Change
My research explores an aspect of leadership that is personal, which is the inner voice of self-leadership. The inner voice affects all aspects of leadership. The inner voice is highly personal in that one’s private thoughts are unique. The inner voice can increase one’s self-awareness and influence one to move forward and change or to pull one back to stand still. My thesis is that we can more fully understand how women leaders lead themselves and subsequently lead in society if we advance our understanding of their stories and experiences regarding the inner voice. This research improves our understanding of women’s experiences listening to their inner voices and how this listening allows them to become leaders of themselves and move beyond challenges in order to transform their lives and potentially the lives of those around them. For the purpose of this dissertation, I define the inner voice as an awareness of self that comes from the interaction with, and internalization of, the influences of others and the environment. The inner voice is a complex phenomenon that involves one’s internal thought processes that ultimately influence how one sees the world, acts and reacts to events and circumstances outside of the self. My study is composed of five narratives. My participants range in age from 54 to 65 years of age. They are women who were influenced by their mothers, significant others and specific events that created challenges, tested their character and required them to listen to their inner voices in order make tough choices about the direction of their lives and subsequent leadership initiatives. Their stories, along with my autoethnography, provide a portal to understand the importance of the inner voice and its association to self-leadership. The interpretive essay in Chapter 6 takes into consideration my thesis in light of themes which emerged from the literature, the results of my interviews with participants and my autoethnography. This study fills an important gap in the leadership literature. Because current literature focuses primarily on the characteristics and traits of a leader, it does not address the importance of leading the self and how self-leadership is affected by the inner voice. The stories of the participants bring attention to the voices of women, how they lead themselves, and how their self-leadership influences others through the decisions and actions they take. This electronic version of this dissertation is at OhioLink ETD Center, www.ohiolink.edu/etd.

Committee:

Carolyn Kenny, PhD (Committee Chair); Laurien Alexandre, PhD (Committee Member); Philomena Essed, PhD (Committee Member); Pamela Hays, PhD (Other)

Subjects:

Communication; Psychology; Womens Studies

Keywords:

inner voice; self leadership; women; midlife; autoethnography; story telling; intrapersonal communication; narratives; leadership

Mills, Hailey L.Avatar Creation: The Social Construction of "Beauty" in Second Life
Master of Arts, University of Akron, 2012, Communication
Rooted in the Theory of Social Construction of Reality and informed by media and gender portrayal and virtual communities research, this study examines how beauty is socially constructed in Second Life. Specifically, a content analysis of 360 still images of female avatars was conducted to understand how people construct beauty in a virtual community. Findings suggest that people chose gender stereotypical images even when they have the free choice to create any avatar they desire. Trendy and sex kitten/sensual beauty types were the most-portrayed beauty types. Almost all the female avatars had a perfect body size. And more than 80% of the avatars coded in this study had light skin. In addition, this study found a significant difference in beauty type among avatars with different amounts of body coverage and a significant difference in beauty type among different types of products. However, no significant difference was found in beauty type between avatars with different skin color nor was there a significant difference in beauty type among avatars with different body sizes. Overall, this study provides valuable insights in understanding how beauty is socially constructed in the virtual world and advances the theory of social construction of reality in today’s dynamic environment.

Committee:

Tang Tang, Dr. (Advisor); Kathleen Clark, Dr. (Committee Member); Yang Lin, Dr. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Gender; Gender Studies; Mass Communications; Mass Media; Womens Studies

Keywords:

Theory of Social Construction of Reality; media and gender portrayal; Second Life; virtual worlds; female beauty

Spoerndle, Regenia E.Critical Pedagogy in Action: A Case Study of Our Lady of the Elms
Master of Arts, University of Akron, 2012, Communication
This case study of Our Lady of the Elms School in Akron, OH, examines the dialogic teaching practices of eight exemplar teachers representing instruction for students in grades Pre-K-12. Framed in Critical Pedagogy theory, four themes emerged related to the dialogic teaching practices used by the teachers. These themes included (1) building relationships within the classroom, (2) behavioral training for critical listening and critical thought, (3) Socratic questioning and student reflection, and (4) teacher awareness and sensitivity to the learning environment. Research included examination of the challenges faced by the teachers while engaging in dialogic instructional practices. Challenges emerged as three themes and included (1) resistant and overly enthusiastic students, (2) physical exhaustion and time constraints, and (3) a lack of support from the broader community for dialogic education. This study was designed to provide commentary and inspiration to parents, students, education and political leaders engaged in the great conversation of American educational reform.

Committee:

Kathleen Clark, Dr. (Advisor); Patricia Hill, Dr. (Committee Member); Yang Lin, Dr. (Committee Member); Mary Triece, Dr. (Advisor)

Subjects:

Communication; Early Childhood Education; Education; Educational Evaluation; Educational Theory; Gender; Higher Education; Language; Middle School Education; Preschool Education; Rhetoric; Secondary Education; Teaching

Keywords:

Critical Pedagogy; Communication; Education; Dialogic Teaching; Educational Reform

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