“Doing research in JMC means taking a fresh and creative look at media that people usually take for granted (movies, news, TV) and connecting the dots in ways people haven’t before to expose new and useful information.”
-Marissa Jones, senior multimedia major
Within the JMC Department, students are prepared to write and research for different media. JMC classes focus on writing for a variety of platforms including news print, broadcast, blogs, and social media.
However, JMC students also have chances to be involved in academic research and writing. Electronic Media Principles focuses on showing students what academic research means in mass media. Students who take this course conduct a group research project and present their findings at at ACU’s Undergraduate Research Festival.
I took this class last semester and conducted a group research project regarding religious references in horror and action movies. Marissa Jones (pictured above) and her group researched news coverage of the Affordable Care Act. Electronic Media Principles allows students to glimpse the possibilities of academic research relevant to journalism and mass communication.
Research opportunities expand through summer internship
This past year I was selected to participate in a summer research internship through the McNair Scholars Program. I stayed in Abilene for 10 weeks this summer with students from different majors. Each scholar worked on a unique project while being mentored by a faculty member.
Dr. Jessica Smith was my mentor throughout the research process. After what felt like the longest summer ever, I was able to turn in a twenty-page paper titled “Young adults’ use of texting shorthand on Facebook.” (Spoiler alert: young adults report not liking shorthand and not using it very often on Facebook.) I was able to present my research in October at a national McNair conference hosted by the University of New Mexico (pictured at right).
Both of these opportunities have increased my appreciation for academic and professional research in mass communication fields. Do you have any special research experiences? Comment below to share!