April 6, 2010
WOOSTER, Ohio - College of Wooster seniors Kaitlyn Evans and Fengzhi Chen have been selected to present their research at upcoming professional conferences. Evans, a communication sciences and disorders major from Middletown, Rhode Island, will address "Speech Language Pathologists' and Audiologists' Role in a Medical Mystery: Their Knowledge, Awareness, and Attitudes towards Clients with Pediatric HIV/AIDS" at the Central States Communication Association
Meeting in Cincinnati on April 17. Chen, a communication studies major from Shenzhen, China, will discuss "Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese Audiences' Perceptions of Entertainment-Oriented Television News Programs" at the 8th Biennial Conference of the Pacific Asian Communication Association at Shenzhen University in July.
Evans, whose project was advised by Michelle Johnson, associate professor of communication at Wooster, looked at the impact of HIV/AIDS on the speech and language development of infected children. Her study surveyed speech-language pathologists and audiologists to determine how much they know about the effect that HIV/AIDS has on speech and language development. The surveys also sought to examine participants' attitudes toward clients who are HIV positive.
"I was surprised and honored to be given the opportunity to present my Junior Independent Study project at the Communications Honors Research Conference," said Evans. "I'm very excited to share my work and to see what other undergraduates have accomplished."
Chen, whose research was also guided by Johnson, examined and compared audiences' perceptions and responses to entertainment-oriented news programs in China and Taiwan. Because of the interesting historical, political, and cultural development between the two countries, many differences and similarities are reflected in audiences' responses to media.
"I was very happy and proud that my study was accepted by this conference, especially because it will be held in my hometown," said Chen, who received a Copeland Fund Grant to conduct survey
research in Taiwan and Beijing last winter. "When I imagine that I can present my Senior Independent Study in my home city, I feel very honored. Not only will I share what I have done, but I will also spread the good name of The College of Wooster."
Johnson said it was "an absolute joy" to work with both students. "I learned a great deal about pediatric HIV from Kaitlyn, and media in the People's Republic of China and Taiwan from Fengzhi," said Johnson. "You just never know what you are going to be exposed to through Independent Study. In the end, each student wrote a very interesting I.S. that should be well received at the respective conferences. I am proud of both of them."
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