SMC’s undergrads showcase research and creative work at annual symposium

An panel of SMC students is led by Associate Professor Scott Gratson.
An panel of SMC students is led by Associate Professor Scott Gratson. (photo by Sofiya Ballin)

By Sofiya Ballin
SMC Communications

More than a dozen School of Media and Communication students representing all five majors showcased their creative and research projects at the 21st annual Temple Undergraduate Research Forum-Creative Works Symposium (TURF-CreWS) April 10 in the Howard Gittis Student Center.

“The function of undergraduate research is so students can pick up the gauntlet from their professors and pass it on,” said Associate Professor Scott Gratson, SMC director of undergraduate studies.

As part of the daylong event, he moderated an all-SMC panel entitled “Gender, Identity, Sexuality, and the Body Politic: (Re) Navigating a Communicative Sense of Self.”

“Anyone who does something great is uncomfortable,” said senior media studies and production major Levi Schenk, who discussed his documentary, Be Who You Are, which highlights individuals and their pursuit of self-discovery and success.

Jaclyn Isett, a senior strategic communication major, discussed her work on a certain four-letter word that she argues can leave a woman infuriated, resilient or both. Journalism senior Victoria Marchiony presented Individualism in the Hipster Generation: Reconciling Group Membership in Industrial and Self Constructed Identities of Generation Y, which discusses cultural appropriation. Julie Seidman and Tamas Mizsei, both communication studies majors, partnered up to present their project The Russian Orthodox Church: Dissidence, State-Controlled Sexuality, and Resurgent Nationalism in Post-Soviet Russia.

Each presenter has a mentor who has helped them develop and craft their projects.

“I hope that they keep a creative and comprehensive research culture among our undergraduates and they continue to associate with their mentors beyond graduation,” Gratson said. “Even after we are only dust and the Earth is nothing more than cockroaches, our ideas will still be a part of our collective culture.”