CCI recognizes eight new Ph.D.s

Florida State University’s College of Communication & Information (CCI) would like to recognize the eight Ph.D. students who have successfully completed and defended their dissertations during the fall semester of 2013.

There are four graduating doctoral students from the School of Communication (COMM) — Dr. Ahmad Alkhalaf, Dr. Wanda Fenimore, Dr. Sophie Janicke and Dr. Jiyoun Kim.

“In the discipline of communication, a successfully defended dissertation must contain original and independent research that is of intellectual significance to the academic community and ideally to society as a whole,” Dr. Arthur Raney, the COMM Director of Doctoral Studies, said.  “As a faculty, we are thrilled that these four students have met and surpassed these high standards.”

The School of Communication & Disorders has two newly minted Drs. – Dr. Janine L.S. Bartley and Dr. Nicole J. Sparapani – while the School of Library & Information Studies (SLIS), Florida’s only iSchool, also has two — Dr. Debra Carruth and Dr. Amelia Gibson.

“The School of Library & Information Studies congratulates our newest Ph.D. graduates on their original contributions to research in our field and looks forward to their future successes as they continue to examine and support the critical relationships between people, information, and technology,” Dr. Melissa Gross, the SLIS Ph.D. program director, said.

Here is a full list of CCI’s graduating doctoral students and their research, including comments from their major professors:

School of Communication

Dr. Ahmad Alkhalaf
Dissertation Title: Exploring University Students’ Online Information Seeking About Prescription Medications
Major Professors: Dr. Mia Lustria and Dr. Stephen McDowell
Lustria’s comments: “A recent report by the American College Health Association (2012a) indicates that 14.3 percent of college and university students have used prescription medications for non-medical purposes within the last 12 months.  Dr. Alkhalaf’s dissertation provides new insights into prescription medication related information seeking with implications for the design of more effective interventions for preventing prescription drug abuse particularly among young adults.”

Dr. Wanda Fenimore
Dissertation Title: “How Hard I Have Maneuvered”: Elizabeth Waring, J. Waties Waring, and their Rhetorical Campaign to End Segregation
Major Professor: Dr. Davis Houck
Houck’s comments: “Fenimore’s research adds a new and unexpected piece to the historical and legal puzzle to one of the nation’s most important Supreme Court cases.  While Judge (J. Watie) Waring’s role in the initial litigation is well-known, his wife’s active involvement is not.  A formidable husband and wife team, Fenimore’s archival research reveals the extent to which the couple lobbied locally, regionally and nationally to get what would become the tectonic 1954 Brown decision into law.  A truly important piece of original scholarship that future scholars will appreciate–and use.”

Dr. Sophie Janicke
Dissertation Title: Moral Schemas in Crime Dramas: The Matter of Context for the Activation of an Antihero Schema and its Impact on Moral Judgment Making
Major Professor: Dr. Arthur Raney
Raney’s comments: “Many people have talked about how media might shape our morality, but few have investigated how our morality influences the way we interpret media narratives.  In her dissertation research, Sophie Janicke has done just that, in a sophisticated and socially important way.”

Dr. Jiyoun Kim
Dissertation Title: Sadness, Rumination, Reflection and Preference for Sad Dramas
Major Professor: Dr. Arthur Raney
Raney’s comments: “Our experiences suggest that when we are feeling sad, usually, we like to do something to make us happy.  So, why do sad people sometimes like to watch sad movies?  Jiyoun Kim’s dissertation research goes a long way in helping us better answer this question, illuminating the important though complex role of certain personality variables.”

School of Communication Science & Disorders

Dr. Janine L.S. Bartley
Major Professor:  Dr. Amy M. Wetherby
Dissertation Title:  Early Social Interaction Project for Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Effects on Parent Synchronous Language
Wetherby’s comments: “While at FSU Dr. Janine Bartley completed her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Communication Science and Disorders, acquiring clinical, research and leadership skills related to early detection and early intervention for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder and communication disorders.  Dr. Bartley’s dissertation grew out of her involvement with the Early Social Interaction Project and compared the use of synchronous language by parents of toddlers with autism in two different treatment conditions. Janine is an Assistant Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.”

Dr. Nicole J. Sparapani
Major Professor: Dr. Amy M. Wetherby
Dissertation Title: Instructor Language and Student Active Engagement in Elementary Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Wetherby’s comments: “After several years of clinical work in a preschool setting, Dr. Sparapani came into her doctoral studies with the clear intent to be involved in research on children with autism in the classroom setting.  Dr. Sparapani has played a critical role in the ongoing Classroom SCERTS Intervention Project; her dissertation focused on the relationship between teacher language and active engagement of students with autism in both general and special educational settings.”

School of Library & Information Studies

Dr. Debra Carruth
Major Professor: Don Latham
Dissertation Title: Gifted Youth and Their Hobbies: An Exploration of Information Behavior
Latham’s comments: “Debi’s dissertation research makes an important contribution to our knowledge of gifted tweens’ information behavior as they engage in hobbies.  This study has implications not only for LIS, but also for education as well.”

Dr. Amelia Gibson
Dissertation Title: The Influence of Place-based Communities on Information Behavior: A Comparative Grounded Theory Analysis
Major Professor: Michelle Kazmer
Kazmer’s comments: “Amelia Gibson’s dissertation on the influence of place-based communities on information behavior addresses interactions among community and social networks, place, policy and technology. Her research not only has practical implications for information access and equity but also makes novel methodological contributions with respect to the integration of information horizons mapping, interviewing, and demographic data.”