Senior communication students present for the last time as undergraduates

The Fall 2015 graduating class of communication majors is one step closer to their commencement ceremony. On Friday Dec 4, the seniors gave their presentations of their senior thesis papers at the Communication Colloquium.

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Hailey Lange and her mother pose for a photo with her award for top paper.

At the colloquium the seniors presented their research and results to their teachers, peers, parents and friends. After all the presentations, Dr. Claire Procopio announced the top paper from the class that was chosen by the faculty. This semester, the top paper recipient was Hailey Lange and her paper was titled Headline: “Thugs Terrorize Baltimore after Gray’s Death!”

Following the announcement of the top paper, each senior received a communication pin to wear at their graduation ceremony. The seniors were allowed to choose who would pin them and the “pinners” ranged from teachers to parents to fiancees.

The students spent the whole semester completing a thesis that researches some aspect of the communication field. Dr. Claire Procopio taught the senior thesis class this semester and helped the students step-by-step to complete their research.

The seniors are allowed to choose their topic and conduct the research by studying research that has been done in the past on the subject. They then choose a technique to complete their research in whatever way they see fit, including interviews, focus groups, content analysis and surveys. The seniors gather their results and make their conclusions from there. The paper usually ranges from 20-25 pages with a minimum of 20 sources. Once the papers are turned in, they are graded by three different people which may include teachers and/or graduate students.

For the colloquium, the students are expected to condense their research and results into a presentation that last no longer than ten minutes. To prepare for her presentation Nicole Faucheux, who is concentrating in electronic media said, “I made flash cards with my key points that I wanted to make sure I told the audience. Also, I practiced several times by running through my¬†PowerPoint.”

Richard Mills, who’s concentrating in electronic media said, “The hardest part of the colloquium was having to fit a 25 page research paper into a ten minute presentation. Also, finding the will power to finish strong knowing that we were so close to being finished.”

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Maya Holland presents her results portion of her research at the colloquium.

The seniors were divided into groups of four or five based off the topics of their papers and put into separate rooms. Each room had a moderator and respondent present for the presentations. The moderator kept track of time and scored the students on their presentations. The respondent waited until all the students finished presenting their papers and then made a series of comments and asked a few questions to each to give the seniors a chance to defend their papers.

After spending a semester together, the senior class was able to bond together and help each other through their research process. Bonnie Lavigne, who is concentrating in public relations and organizational communication said, “My favorite part was sitting with all of my peers before the opening ceremony and before the pinning ceremony. We all were cheering each other on and giving each other positive energy before our presentations started.”

The next step for these seniors is to walk across the stage at graduation on Dec 12 and receive their degree and head out into the real world to share their knowledge and talents they gained from Southeastern.

Check out Dr. Procopio announcing the top paper award.

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