The University of Oregon (UO) School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) had 10 seniors present their thesis work at the UO Undergraduate Symposium on May 14, 2015. This was the first time SOJC students participated in this event.

The 2015 Undergraduate Symposium Faculty Review Committee accepted 129 proposals representing 46 majors and seven colleges. Presenters – individuals and in teams – shared their ideas, discoveries, research, and artistic expressions with the campus and local community through 64 poster exhibits, 56 oral presentations, and nine creative work installations and performances. New categories for service learning and international research were also spotlighted this year.

undergraduate symposium

photo from UO Libraries

Senior, public relations major Kelly Rodgers, presented her thesis “Mapping the trends: Assessing paid and organic search behavior,” which looks at Google SEOs—a topic she explored during her fall internship at Google.

“I was eager to expand on the knowledge I gained from my internship at Google,” explained Rodgers. “As an intern, I worked directly with advertisers who use Google AdWords to advertise their businesses or products. During my time there, I realized that many people didn’t understand how it all worked. Through my research, I hope to shed some light on the overall search process, as well as explore unchartered territory—looking at Google Map results and the effect they may or may not have on searches.”

Rodgers will be r to Google post-graduation to work with advertisers using Google AdWords and hopes to continue her research.

Taking a more historical approach, senior, journalism major Sophia June explored history’s misconceptions about who is widely considered the first celebrity, in her abstract titled “Gender politics in the formation of the Star System: Garrick and Farinelli.”  In her research she addresses why castrato opera singer, Fainelli, who performed 200 years before English actor David Garrick, is not regarded as the “first celebrity” because castrati singers were seen as a feminized males.

“I’m grateful the symposium exists because it allowed me to develop a topic I’m interested in even more than I would in class,” says June. “I didn’t expect my theater class to be so applicable to my other interests, and I enjoyed exploring the connections between theater, journalism and gender issues.”

Complete list of SOJC symposium participants:

Siem Reap Province of Cambodia
Hannah Miller, Journalism

undergraduate symposium

photo from UO Libraries

Why Cordova? Exploring the Connection between Science, Policy, and People
Mio Merrill and Taylor Richmond, Journalism

The Salmon Connection: Alaska and Oregon
Madison Kirby and Melanie Burke, Journalism

Gender Politics in the Formation of the Star System: Farinelli and Garrick
Sophia June, Journalism

Consumer Behavior of Generation Y in Performing Arts
Taylor Jones, Public Relations

We’re Not Just a Team; We’re Also a Community: UO Poetry Slam Team
Hannah Golden, Journalism and Spanish

Television Viewing, Lifestyle, and Cardiovascular Healthy among the Yakut (Sakha) of Northeastern Siberia
Tyler Barrett, Anthropology/Media Studies

Story by Jessica Glackin ’15