Analysis of African-American identity on Facebook earns top prize

Media and Communication PhD candidate Angela M. Cirucci earned the Top Paper Award March 22 at SMC’s annual Graduate Student Research Forum.

Her paper, “Facebook’s Many Faces: An Investigation in how Students Negotiate Their Online Identities,” examines how students at a historically black college combat or avoid racial stereotypes in their social media presence. She said studying students at an institution with mostly African-American students revealed an interesting dynamic between their online and real life identities.

“Offline, the students are allowed to explore their identities as just students, instead of black students. Yet, upon entering the Facebook world, they are once again reminded that they are the minority,” Cirucci says.

The Second Place Paper award went to “Language Revitalization through Schools: Human Agency” by PhD candidate Elizaveta Provorova.

There was a three-way tie for the Third Place Paper award:

  • “When a Veil is Just a Veil: The Interaction of Humanizing Visual Frames, Empathy, and Prosocial Behavior” by PhD candidate Jennifer Midberry
  • “Legos™ on Steroids: An Exploratory Analysis of Constructivist Learning” by PhD candidate Maria Cipollone
  • “Governmentality and Documentary Film: Tehran Has No More Pomegranates,” by PhD candidate Persheng Sadegh-Vaziri