WT Communication Professors, Graduate Student to Present Research to Thousands

CANYON, Texas — Three West Texas A&M University communication faculty members and one graduate student will present their research at the National Communication Association’s 107th Annual Convention in Seattle, which typically draws 5,000 attendees.


Dr. Mary Liz Brooks, Dr. Nancy Garcia, Dr. Min Wha Han and graduate student Carmen Gabriel will present seven different pieces of research, including two top papers, at this annual convention, set for November 18 to 21.

Han, assistant professor of communication studies, will present three papers and participate in two panels at NCA.

Her solo-authored piece on “Reframing the Difference of Co-Ethnic Other in Japan: An Analysis of Representations and Identifications in a South Korean Documentary Film ‘Uri-Hakkyo’” will be presented during the Asian/Pacific American Communication Studies Division’s paper session. She and her co-author were selected for the Top Faculty Papers Session for the International and Intercultural Communication Division for their research on “Globalization from Above and Below: Rejecting Superficial Multiculturalism and Igniting Anti-Korean Sentiment in Japan.” And her co-authored work on “Postcolonial Ambivalences in Japan: Anti-Korean Sentiment and Korean Admiration in the Reception of the Japanese K-pop NiziU” will be presented in the Korean American Communication Association session.

“This year in particular, it feels special to have my work accepted for presentation because I represent WT as my institution,” Han said.

Han has been selected to serve as a panelist for the discussion “Toward Understanding the Meaning of Pausing as Transformation of Self: An Exploration of Rising Crisis Among Japanese Working Mothers,” and she will chair a panel called “Diaspora Within Homeland: Displacement, Mobility, and Diversity in Korea.”

“The topics of my research may sound far from Texas,” Han said. “But the focus of my work is actually on the connectivity communication can achieve by recognizing aspects of humanity we share as humans such as respect, equality, sound cultural identity and rights for students to learn without systemic discrimination.”

Brooks’ co-authored work “Navigating the New Normal: Teaching in the Time of Covid” has been named a top paper for NCA’s Undergraduate College and University Section.

She said they discovered interesting findings regarding students’ perceptions of online classes and preferences because of Covid-19.

Brooks and Garcia, both assistant professors of media communication, will present their collaborative work, “SPARK: Pounding the Pavement: A Media Sales Experiential Learning Project,” as part of the Experiential Learning in Communication session.

“From the ‘Pounding the Pavement’ paper, we learned the value of collaboration,” Brooks said. “WT has a wealth of resources and organizations that students can partner with, which often results in a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

Gabriel, a student from Statesville, N.C., who is working toward a master of arts in communication, will present her work on “The Grief Unseen.”

“I started this research to understand what I was experiencing when I lost my last sibling,” Gabriel said. “We were all girls, all born in April, with me being the youngest.”

This was her first conference submission, and she was surprised to have her paper selected.

“It means the world honestly,” Gabriel said. “I think everyone wants to feel validated about the quality of their work from time to time and know they’re putting what they’ve learned to use.”

WT faculty and student research efforts and presentations like these projects help achieve the goal of becoming a regional research university, as set out in the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.



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