Eastern Connecticut State University communication students Kacey Rainone '14 of Stratford and Jordan Sakal '14 of East Hartford joined more than 4,000 other undergraduate scholars from across the country on April 3-5 for the 2014 National Conference on Undergraduate Research held at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. The three-day event included student presentations from anthropology to zoology and everything in between, as well as career and graduate school workshops and networking events.
Rainone's paper, "Slut: The Deconstruction and Recoding of a Defamatory Term," explored the ways in which offensive labeling influences social interaction. Her rhetorical analysis included the history of the term as well as an examination of several contemporary controversies. "It was incredible to meet people from all over the country and to learn new things across the disciplines. I feel like this was the chance of a lifetime," said Rainone.
Sakal's paper, "The Effect of Social Media on Political Awareness," analyzed the role of mass media and digital media in the construction of citizens' political viewpoints. He commented, "The NCUR experience has provided me with insights into many fields, allowed me to interact with fellow researchers and expanded my horizons."
Terri Toles-Patkin, professor of communication, accompanied the students to the conference, with Eastern's Office of Undergraduate Research providing financial support.