Student Symposium Accepting Applicants
Showcase Your Submissions

By Melissa Valentovic
Staff Writer

ESU’s annual Student Research and Creative Activity Symposium is now accepting entries from applicants.

The 2016 symposium will be held on Thursday, April 21 in the Hoeffner Science and Technology Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This year’s symposium ties into the theme of ESU’s One Book; One Campus, which carries the theme of race and racial identity.

Along with this theme, every year the symposium has a keynote speaker who comes from a different discipline.

This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Joshua Aronson, a psychology professor who earned his Ph.D. at Princeton University and was named one of the Most Influential Academics in Education by Education Weekly.

With 120 submissions last year, the symposium is comprised of various student presentations from students of every academic college such as poster presentations, live performance art, and oral presentations.

Being an applicant myself, I presented my poster that was based on a final case study I had written for Dr. Cem Zeytinoglu’s introduction to public relations class the previous semester.

In my case study I focused on Fckh8, the apparel company that was behind the viral videos that starred young girls dressed as princesses repeatedly swearing in the name of feminism.

What I focused on in my case study was how charities that the company had claimed to donate money to reacted to these videos, as well as backlash from the general public to this marketing strategy.

I decided to submit this paper to the symposium after being encouraged by Dr. Zeytinoglu. It was pretty ironic, because I had written it in a hotel room in Boston while helping my sister move out of Boston University.

I never thought it was worthy enough to present at a research conference, let alone have six-foot-tall poster dedicated to it.

So many people came up to me, intrigued by my poster, some because they knew exactly what videos they were about, (with the mixed reactions of “I love those videos!” or, “those videos are so annoying…), and some because they saw swear words all over it and were curious what it was about.

Just by explaining what the premise of these advertisements was, I got into a lengthy conversation with a professor about what feminism was, and if these videos actually portrayed that.

I never thought my Boston written paper could have transformed into such an interesting, visual piece of conversation, and I could not have been happier that I took the risk of applying for the symposium.

After the symposium, fellow communication studies major Bari Antell and I entered our projects into the 2015 Pennsylvania Communication Association’s annual conference, where we presented our posters to communication studies students and professors from numerous universities in Pennsylvania.

“Through participation in this symposium, students become active learners, develop intellectual curiosity and clarify career paths,” explained dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Peter Hawkes on ESU’s website. “These research projects enhance and deepen the undergraduate experience.”

The symposium is accepting entries until April 1, 2016. It is highly encouraged for any student to submit their research entries, regardless of their major.

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