Undergraduate SCOM Student Presents Research at International Conference

Written by Elizabeth Schutte

Alyssa Croft, an undergraduate student in the School of Communication, recently presented research that she has been undertaking with Dr. Patrick Merle, Associate Professor and School Director, and Dr. Nicole Lee, Associate Professor at Arizona State University, at the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC).

Croft said that, despite her initial nervousness about presenting her work at IPRRC, she found that the other conference attendees were welcoming and supportive of her as a young researcher. “I met many people from all over the world and enjoyed listening to the many impactful studies that attendees presented,” Croft added.

Additionally, Croft noted that, from the conference, she learned about the value of sharing findings between researchers and making connections within the industry. “Many of the studies I listened to offered information that could aid in my future work as I develop my project for the Honors in the Major program at FSU,” said Croft.

Croft, who is in her first year of the Public Relations program, was invited to work with Dr. Merle while taking his Communication Research Methods course in Fall 2023. Under Merle’s guidance, she is investigating how brands use misleading scientific claims to create greater “hype” for their products.

In her studies within the Honors in the Major program, the third-year student is continuing her research on misleading scientific claims. She recently received the IDEA Grant, a university-wide undergraduate research award, which will further support her research. At Merle’s encouragement, Croft will also enroll in the Bachelors/Master’s Pathway program and is excited to further her education at Florida State.