After earning her B.A. in Public Relations and Theatre from Carson-Newman University in 2015, Laura-Kate Gonyea Huse pursued a Master of Science in Media and Communication Studies at Florida State University. While studying in Tallahassee, she worked as a house manager and then a special events manager at Brevard Music Center. Huse still found the time to work as a graduate teaching assistant and research assistant. She is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Communication from FSU.
This past Fall, Huse submitted her research paper, “Am I Appalachian? Sensemaking of Appalachian Identity Through Personal, Cultural, and Media Interactions” to the National Communication Association (NCA).
Huse’s paper, which was co-authored by Assistant Professor Jessica Wendorf-Muhamad, was selected as a Top Student Paper Award from the Applied Communications Division at NCA. “I was born and raised in Tennessee, and I love the Appalachian region,” Huse shared. “Most of my work has been researching Appalachian social identify and health initiatives within the region. I feel honored to be able to share the experiences of this under-researched and marginalized population.”
Huse’s research explores two main objectives: to understand how social identity is influenced through various aspects of social interaction and to comprehend how Appalachians make sense of their own identity in order to achieve positive distinctiveness. The abstract to the research paper can be viewed here.