MU Communication Department Hosts Prestigious Doctoral Honors Seminar
Thirty-four doctoral candidates from 21 universities are presenting their research projects to their peers and faculty mentors during the National Communication Association’s 2015 Doctoral Honors Seminar, being held for the first time at the University of Missouri. The students were selected for the seminar based on papers they submitted. The theme of this year’s seminar is Solving Social Problems Through Communications Research.
Lissa Behm-Morawitz, an associate professor in the MU Department of Communication, is one of the faculty leaders chosen to guide the students in exploring ways their research can promote interdisciplinary connections, reach a wider public audience, and serve the public welfare.
“A lot of our research looks at different social concerns, so that concern might be advertising and obesity in children,” Behm-Morawitz says. “Providing empirical evidence of the relationship between exposure to advertising and obesity on child demographics is just one example of a prevalent or relevant social problem in the U.S.”
The National Communication Association held its first doctoral honors seminar at Michigan State University in 1970, and Behm-Morawitz says it’s an honor for the University of Missouri to have been selected to host this year’s seminar. She says being able to draw top faculty and up-and-coming researchers to campus exposes the participants to what MU has to offer.
“I have heard from students who have participated in the past that this was the turning point of their doctoral career—that this was the moment where they felt, ‘Wow, I am on a really interesting path here,’” Behm-Morawitz says. “It’s an opportunity for these younger scholars to interact on a one-on-one and small group basis with full and associate professors in their fields.”
The MU Department of Communication is celebrating its 75th year on campus this year.