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ASU students present papers at communication conference


ASU students Fargo Tbakhi, Jacob Valov, Jaime Faulkner and Kelly McKeever were recognized for their research and writing in communication studies at the Western States Communication Associations annual conference in Seattle.

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February 27, 2019

Four undergraduate students taking classes at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication — Jaime Faulkner, Kelly McKeever, Fargo Tbakhi and Jacob Valov — wrote research papers that were accepted to the Western States Communication Association's (WSCA) 16th annual Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference.

The full WSCA convention ran Feb. 23–25 in Seattle and the undergraduate conference took place on Feb. 22.

Second Vice-President of the WSCA and Associate Professor Justin P. Boren of Santa Clara University alerted Hugh Downs School Director and Professor Linda Lederman about the students' selection prior to the conference.   

In an email to Lederman, Boren wrote “on behalf of the Western States Communication Association, congratulations on fostering research and writing in communication studies. Please pass my congratulations on to your faculty.” He added that “acceptance to this conference was competitive and is a wonderful opportunity for our undergraduate students.”

Boren received his PhD in communication from the Hugh Downs School in 2010.

The students wrote the papers as part of classwork in the Hugh Downs School, and were encouraged to submit them to WSCA for consideration by their instructors.   

The Hugh Downs School students and papers that were recognized by WSCA are as follows:

  • Jaime Faulkner, "I Want to Break Free Nostalgia and The Omitted Legacy of Freddie Mercury."
  • Kelly McKeever, "Breakingly Bad: TV Anti-Heroes and Their Treatment of Women."
  • Fargo Tbakhi, "Torture Porn: Investigating Arab Identity through Staged Autoethnographic Performance."
  • Jacob Valov, "2meirl4meirl: Reddit as an Assemblage, Group Identification, & Wanting to Kill Yourself."

“We are so pleased to have this group of outstanding students associated with the Hugh Downs School chosen for this honor,” Lederman said.  “This was a wonderful opportunity for them to learn about academic conferences and to prepare them for graduate school and other future endeavors."

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