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College of Information and Communications


Student wins top honor at Graduate Student Day

Posted April 12, 2016


Jo-Yun "Queenie" Li took top honors at USC's 2016 Graduate Student Day for her oral research presentation “When Colleges Fail Us All: Campus Sexual Assault: Formative Survey Research on College Student Perceptions, Attribution of Responsibility, and Preventive Behaviors."

Li, a doctoral student in the school of Journalism and Mass Communications, won the Sunrise Oral Research Presentation Competition in Room 315 of the Russell House. As a result, she was awarded a copy of On the Horseshoe: A Guide to the Historic Campus of the University of South Carolina by Elizabeth Cassidy West and Katharine Thompson Allen, which was provided by USC Press. She also tied for first place in the Overall Oral Research Presentation Competition and will be awarded a plaque by The Graduate School.

Li's study surveyed American students across the country to examine their perceptions regarding sexual assault incidents on their campuses, as well as which entities they perceive as most responsible for causing the problem and also for creating solutions: individuals, universities, campus organizations such as fraternities and sports teams, or society as a whole.  

Li's findings indicate that students believe that campus sexual assault is still a serious issue in U.S. schools, and that schools are responsible for the incidents. Respondents called on schools to stop the myth of victim blaming and provide appropriate solutions and policies to reduce the rate of campus sexual assault. In addition, students indicated they would be more likely to adopt preventive and helping behaviors if they believe that campus sexual assault is not an individual level problem but an overall institutional or societal problem.

Graduate Student Day, an annual celebration, competition, and award ceremony, is the University of South Carolina’s most comprehensive showcase of graduate scholarly and creative work. Sponsored by The Graduate School and held each spring, the event provides students an opportunity to present their work to the university and the larger community. 

To participate in Graduate Student Day, students must submit abstracts for approval and acceptance.  In addition to Li, the College of Information and Communications was represented at the event by the following students:

Liya Deng

Deng presented her research in the Poster Research Presentations category. She explored how the museum experience influences learning and behavior of children with developmental disabilities. Deng determined that the educational, cultural, and social experience which special needs children get in the museum positively influences their learning and social behaviors, which has significant implications for their success in the regular classroom and improving their overall well-being and the quality of life. She argues that her research is important for raising awareness of the educational needs of children with special needs and making cultural institutions more inclusive and welcoming for learners of all abilities. From China, Deng recently successfully defended her dissertation in the School of Library and Information Science. 

Khadija Ejaz

Ejaz is a doctoral candidate in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. She is a citizen of India who grew up in the Sultanate of Oman in the Middle East. Her research involved an exploratory pilot study that looked at how Muslim women use and perceive Facebook. The study was based on the understanding that certain Islamic principles conflicted with the idea of social networking. Ejaz wanted to see if that understanding was valid and how Muslim women negotiated it. Her data provided insight into the structure of society from the Muslim women's point of view. It also revealed that Facebook provided different functions at different points within that society. It also echoed findings from similar research on other religious groups (such as Jewish women).

Leslie Koller

A master's student in the School of Library and Information Science, Koller's research asks the question "Does the implementation of improved signs and maps positively affect patrons' abilities to better locate materials in a small public library?" She believes that by improving directional signs and adding maps within the library, users will be able to find materials without having to ask for help and without feeling lost within the space. Her findings show that, within the George H. Seago, Jr. Library branch of the Dorchester County Library, approximately 14.2% of patrons asked directional questions on four recorded days in February. At the end of this month, the number of directional questions will again be recorded and compared to the percentage in February. If her hypotheses are correct, the percentage of patrons asking directional questions should be measurably less than the 14.2%.

Yuan Li

Li competed in the Poster Research Presentation with her project "Validating an information search task difficulty reason scheme." She was unable to present her research in person, as she was presenting at the Public Library Association on a scholarship from Lin Ko. Li is a doctoral candidate in the School of Library and Information Science.

Jeffery Ranta

Ranta presented his research which was an effort to identify differences in strategic communications from public relations, advertising and integrated communications.  The goal was to investigate best teaching practices among undergraduate curricula in terms of applied communications, specialty communications and communication skills and traits. His research identified a pedagogy of variables that should be included in the teaching of strategic communications and identified communications disciplines where best practices can be found when seeking to develop curricula. Ranta recently defended his dissertation and is currently an instructor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Mark Tatge

Tatge presented in the three-minute dissertation oral presentation category. His  research studies how customer reviews impact Amazon purchasing decisions. His designed experiment created different variations of reviews for a single product. He found a positive correlation between favorable product reviews and the purchase of the product. Tatge is the Baldwin Fellow  and a doctoral candidate in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Jane Weatherred

Weatherred, a doctoral candidate in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, conducted a longitudinal content analysis from 2002-2012 of the framing of child sexual abuse news stories appearing in national print and television news sources. She found that news coverage of child sexual abuse has shifted over the past decade from attributing the responsibility for child sexual abuse as an individual-level problem with individual-level solutions to a societal-level problem with institutional culpability.  Nevertheless, individual-level solutions continue to be framed as the best possible solution.