Fairfield University
| October 2013 | Fairfield University News Channel

Communication MA's to Present at National Conference

This November, three graduate students from the M.A. in Communication program will travel to Washington D.C. to present research papers at the 2013 National Communication Association (NCA) annual conference.

This marks the third year in a row that graduate students from the Communication program had their submissions accepted into the NCA, which is the oldest scholarly speech association in the United States.

Dr. Michael Pagano, director of the M.A. in Communication, said, “The faculty in the Department of Communication are extremely proud of our graduate students and recognize their very impressive research, critical thinking, and writing in our courses.  It is however, even more gratifying when we see our national association further attest to our students’ accomplishments.”  

Angelas Rudas and Matthew Beasley will present “The effects of diversity demographics on inclusiveness in the workplace,” a project that they initially submitted for their research design and methodologies communication course, taught by Dr. Qin Zhang, associate professor of communication.

Their project explored diversity demographics, such as gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, and the impacts on feelings of inclusiveness in the workplace, specifically for professionals in the finance and marketing professions.

It will be the first time that Rudas and Beasley will present at a conference, and both look forward to sharing information on the important, but understudied topic. Rudas said, “Diversity is rapidly growing and increasingly prevalent within the U.S. workforce. However, minimal research has empirically investigated the specific attributes and practices for diversity and inclusion within organizations.”

Beasley said, “As a finance professional who has extensively studied and worked internationally, it is evident that our world has been impacted by globalization. Due to globalization, our workplace has become more diverse, therefore employee diversity and inclusion has become critical to productivity and ultimately doing business.”

Ryan Cassella will present, “Living in TV’s digital age: Is the television producer the new starving artist?” He revised a paper that he submitted to Dr. Michael Serazio’s “New Media Studies” class. Cassella said, “My presentation will discuss the current climate — and the future fate — of professionals working in television production. The digital era has brought some profound changes to the mass media industry and the individuals working within it are fully immersed in this ongoing revolution, whether they like it or not!”

Cassella, who has worked at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for six years, noted that he pursued the topic because he wanted to combine his research interests with his professional background. “I've always enjoyed school and was looking for the right opportunity to pursue a graduate degree,” he said.  My workplace was very supportive of my desire to go back to school and helped me make it a reality. My plans after I graduate are to continue working in the production field and, if possible, try my hand at being an educator in some kind of part-time capacity.”

Dr. Pagano said, ““It is wonderful to see the fruits of our students' hard work rewarded academically and scholarly, but also rewarded professionally as many of our students have earned promotions and new leadership roles based on their successful completion of our program.”

Last modified:  Tue, 01 Oct 2013 13:35:00 EDT

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