Grant allows Comm Studies student to attend national conference

A Communication Studies senior was able to attend the National Association of Media Literacy Education conference, thanks to a $750 seed grant awarded by Program Director Scott Gratson.

Darragh Dandurand Friedman traveled to Torrance, Calif., in July to learn more about media literacy, which she describes as a “blend of sociology, psychology and media effects theory, which serves to comment on how changing media changes us.”

She says the experience of being around like-minded scholars and educators was exhilarating and she has gained renewed energy in the pursuit of her studies. Friedman attended sessions that delved into discussions on culture, intergenerational communication and copyright law and was able to speak with some of the field’s top scholars, including the president of the National Association of Media Literacy Education, Sherri Hope Culver, director of Temple’s Center for Media and Information Literacy and professor of media studies and production.

Friedman says the conference was “a chance to speak a niche language of focused study to others that understood what I said. Knowing that there are researchers and activists in the world that share my sentiments and ideologies, my excitement and my chosen study, is refreshing and enthralling to me.”

Gratson says conferences can be particularly impactful on undergraduate scholars.

“Conferences are symposia of differing thoughts, ideas, contentions and world views. Allowing our undergraduates a chance to become involved in these events does more than expose them to an out-of-classroom learning opportunity, as important as that is. It cements and substantiates their interest and presence in the field,” he says.