COMM undergrad awarded by Florida Communication Association

IMG_8462Shauna Gillooly, a second-year sophomore at Florida State University, was given the Best Undergraduate Paper award at the 84th Annual Convention of the Florida Communication Association in Orlando on October 16-18. Shauna’s paper, ‘A Media Framing Analysis: The Coverage of Rape in Indian and Western News Sources’  examines the framing techniques news sources used in representing India’s “rape epidemic” after the widely publicized New Delhi gang-rape case of December 2012.

Shauna came to Florida State with an arsenal of AP credits, starting her “freshman” year as a sophomore. Double majoring in International Affairs and Spanish with a minor in Communication, she is also involved with the Center for Global Engagement. This past summer, Shauna worked as a peer mentor for international students with the Center for Global Engagement.

Her research interests center around Human Security & International Policy, though she doesn’t want to limit herself to just that. Her research on India’s media coverage is a perfect marriage of her interests. “I originally began the project as a result of being in the UROP program,” shared Gillooly. UROP is the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, an initiative of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement. Since its inception in 2012, UROP offers a rare opportunity for first and second-year students to partner with faculty as research assistants. Shauna participated in UROP her first year at Florida State, but her research didn’t end with the year-long program. “As the year progressed, Dr. McDowell encouraged me to write a paper about it,” said Gillooly. “With his assistance and guidance, I was able to do that!”

“Ms. Gillooly tackled a very important and difficult topic for her research,” said her faculty advisor, Stephen McDowell, John H. Phipps Professor of Communication and Associate Dean in the College of Communication and Information.  “She showed creativity and tenacity in working through the research design, collection of stories, and analysis of these news items, and in producing a very high quality paper.”  Gillooly also presented her work in a poster session at the McNair Scholars conference at Florida International University earlier this month.

This Spring, Shauna is planning to take the GRE, with hopes of joining a program in international public policy or peace & conflict resolution studies. If Shauna’s research success is an indicator of things to come, her future is very bright.