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Mass Communications Majors to Present at 2018  Florida Undergraduate Research Conference


The Florida Undergraduate Research Conference (FURC) is an annual event open to all undergraduate researchers in the state of Florida to present their research in a poster forum. The 2018 FURC Conference will be held on the Melbourne, Florida campus of Eastern Florida State College February 23-24, 2018. 

This year, five mass communications majors from the Dr. LaDoris McClaney School of Performing Arts and Communication submitted proposals to the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference and all five were accepted.

Working under the direction of  Salvador Victor, assistantant professor, mass communications  and William Berry, professor, communications, the following students will present their scholarship alongside their peers from institutions throughout the state:

Gino Cyrus -“Public Relations and the Color Line: Discovering the Forgotten Names and Faces in the Profession”      

Brooke Dann - “Focus on My Brains, Not My Booty: Perceptions and Experiences of Women Building Careers in Media” 

Mariyah Espinoza - “Not Your Grandma’s Newspaper: An Investigation about College Students News Sources and Sites” 

Augustinas Navickas - “Advertisers Are Talking, But Are They Listening? Reaching Millennials In A Cluttered Market Place”

Erick White - “Sex, Drugs, Violence, and Athletes Who 'Cried for Help': Four Case Studies in Reputation Restoration"

“In our classrooms, in our writing labs, and in our radio and television studios we underscore the intersection of theory and practice. The stories that our mass communications students cover and report often are considered to be the first draft of history,” said Elsie Wanjohi, chair, professor, mass communications. “That’s why it is essential that we not only nurture their interest in exploring and discovering all sides of an issue or question, but also in challenging their long held assumptions. This reinforces our university’s goal of preparing students to be well-informed so that they can help find solutions to societal problems at home and beyond. We emphasize to our students that they must become knowledge workers so that they can produce media content that interprets and explains the bigger social narrative.”

While some B-CU students from the STEM areas have presented in the past, this will be the first year that mass communications majors have been accepted for this statewide competitive opportunity.  

“An important component of the mass communications degree experience is the opportunity to pursue a capstone research project.  We encourage our students to present their work at conferences and to publish their work wherever they can, including online. Students research a wide range of topics, including recent reports about ‘fake news’ and how mass media cover issues of gender discrimination and sexual assault in the workplace and on college campuses,” Dr. Wanjohi said.

Each year the conference is hosted at a different university in the state on the last weekend in February. In addition to research presentations, there are also exhibitors from graduate programs and other opportunities targeted for students involved in undergraduate research.

Office of Communications

Ursula James
Assistant Director of Communications
PH: 386-481-2975
FX: Fax

About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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