COMM scholars present research at the Southern States Communication Association Annual Convention

Three Florida State University (FSU) School of Communication students and one faculty member presented papers at the 84th Annual Convention of the Southern States Communication Association (SSCA), held April 3-6, 2014, in New Orleans.

Dr. Sandra Halvorson, a Communication faculty member at FSU’s Panama City campus, presented “Who Would Have Thought that People Want to Watch the Antics of a Loving, Functional Family?: Gender Themes in Duck Dynasty.”  Her paper was part of a panel titled “Reality TV: Grappling With Gender Issues.”

Erin Looney, a doctoral student from Pensacola, presented three papers.  “ ‘Ph*$* the Phillies!’: The Role of Profanity in CORFing” was part of a panel titled “And Now For Something Completely F#@$&*!@ Different: Profanity and Context.”

Her second paper, “ ‘Eat a Salad and Take a Walk’: Chris Christie and the Role of Obesity Discourse in a Presidential Race,” was included in a panel titled “ ‘Yo’ Mama’s So Fat … But She Sure is Happy, Healthy, and Successful’: Using Popular Culture as a Site for Reconstructing the Acceptable Discrimination Against Obesity.”  Dr. Jeanette Castillo, formerly an FSU Communication faculty member and now at Ball State University, was her faculty advisor for the paper.

Looney’s third paper, “I Just Want to Put Tim Lincecum in a Dress and Take Him to Prom”: The Role of Humor in San Francisco Giants Fan Interpellation,” was a collaboration with her sister, Melissa Looney of Full Sail University, and was part of a panel titled “Humor, Identity, Recruitment and Twitter: Exploring Sport Fandom and Emotion.”  Dr. Neil Jumonville of FSU’s History Department was faculty advisor.

Audrey Post, a doctoral candidate from Tallahassee, presented “Ann Romney, Hilary Rosen, and the Continuing ‘War on Women’ in American Politics.”  Her paper was one of three selected for the panel titled “A Sampling of Outstanding Scholarship: Top Student Papers in the Gender Studies Division.”  Dr. Castillo was faculty advisor on Post’s paper, as well.

In addition, Post served as chair for the panel on popular culture and acceptable discrimination against obesity mentioned above.

Undergraduate student Stephanie Smalling, a senior from Palm Harbor majoring in Media/Communication Studies, participated in SSCA’s Theodore Clevenger Undergraduate Honors Conference.  Her paper, “The Emergence and Conflict of Cyber Libel,” was one of six accepted for the panel titled “Artistic Expression: Creating, Transmitting, and Sustaining Cultural Norms and Expectations.”  Dr. Stephen McDowell was her faculty advisor on the paper.

Dr. Theodore “Ted” Clevenger, the scholar and educator for whom the Undergraduate Honors Conference is named, earned his doctorate at FSU in 1958 and returned 10 years later as chairman of the Department of Speech.  Under his direction, the department grew into the College of Communication and he became its first dean in 1976.  He is credited with coining the term “stage fright” in a 1958 article in the Quarterly Journal of Speech.  For more on Dr. Clevenger and his many contributions to the university, the community and the field of communication, see his biography on the School of Communication website at:

Stephanie Smalling with a Certificate of Merit.
Stephanie Smalling with a Certificate of Merit.
Stephanie Smalling and her mother, Theresa Smalling.
Stephanie Smalling and her mother, Theresa Smalling.