Cleaveland '13 receives award for paper presented at Madrush Conference

Communication studies major Wil Cleaveland '13 was recently recognized with an award for his paper analyzing TV news coverage of third party candidates. Cleaveland's paper received the third place Best Paper Award at the Madrush Undergraduate Research Conference at JMU this spring. Cleaveland found that several interviews and articles from national media sources portrayed Gary Johnson, a third-party presidential candidate in 2012, as a "spoiler" or a waste of a vote. Cleaveland wrote the paper for Dr. Debra Melican's Comm 354 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism course. He made a presentation about the paper at the conference, titled "Hegemony and Representation of Third-Party Candidates in Television News Coverage of the 2012 Presidential Election." Cleaveland said his presentation was followed by a "discussion which resulted in good feedback from the audience members as well as other presenters."

Cleaveland joined another Roanoke communications student, Colin Dwyer '13, in a presentation on a joint paper written for Melican's Research Methods course. Melican encouraged both students to submit their papers to the conference. Nikkia Young '13, a sociology and music major, also presented a paper there based on an independent study project she did with Dr. Shannon Anderson from the Sociology department.

Posted May 9, 2013