Schieffer College Celebrates Student Creativity and Research

A crowd of Schieffer College students, faculty, staff and festival guests visit on the first floor of Moudy South.

Schieffer College students, faculty, staff and festival guests visit on the first floor of Moudy South.


By Christina Ligi, News and Media Studies major, Class of 2019

Students in the Bob Schieffer College of Communication showcased their work at the Research and Creative Festival on April 12. This year’s updated approach accepted poster boards as the preferred format, allowing students to visually showcase their excellent projects and creative works completed within the past 18 months. The students engaged with others with similar interests and presented their research projects to faculty members and external visitors in the lobby of Moudy South.

This event included all majors within the Schieffer College at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Each department recognized a top undergraduate submission and top graduate submission. Festival judges selected the submission that best illustrated the festival’s theme of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Liv Shin, a sophomore and author of children’s books who recently switched her major from Early Childhood Development to Strategic Communication, was the winner of the top D.E.I. submission. She says the purpose of her books is to remove the negative stigma when one hears the word “disability.”

A Schieffer College student visits with a Communication Studies professor.

Liv Shin, a Schieffer College student, visits with Communication Studies Professor Paul King.

“I love this idea of being able to have a vision and promote it through visuals, graphics, whether it be social media, word of mouth. Being here at this festival, I think, has been such a cool opportunity to meet new people and get my book out there. I really want to be able to get my book out there to spread in terms of its message.”

The students presented their findings on a poster format or displayed them on video screens. Their visual presentation was accompanied by a short oral presentation when students engaged with the audience.

In total, there were 26 submissions, including individual works and team presentations.

Nick Noguez, a sophomore Communication Studies major, and Michael Gonzales, a senior Communication Studies major, were awarded the top communication studies undergraduate submission on their project, “Smoking Cessation Mobile Apps Content Analysis.” 

Noguez said, “I have been working on a research project over smoking cessation with Dr. Yang for the past nine months or so and it was my first chance to finally do research. At first, it was something I was very timid about doing, but I love doing it. I love broadening my horizons and just seeing people here kind of all doing the same thing.”

The Schieffer faculty members associated with the Research and Professional Development Committee planned, organized and executed this event. Along with the preparation and organization, these five faculty members served on the review board that evaluated and judged each of the students’ submissions.

Two students present their project to Communication Studies Professor Jackie Zhuang.

Students Alex Reyes and Dakota Vann present their project to Communication Studies Professor Jackie Zhuang.

The panel of judges led by Julie O’Neil, professor and associate dean for graduate studies and administration, included Qinghua Yang, assistant professor of communication studies, Kimberly Owczarski, associate professor of film, television and digital media, John Tisdale, associate professor of journalism and Sarah Angle, instructor of strategic communication and faculty advisor for ROXO.

Dr. O’Neil shared her excitement about the event’s turnout. “I was really proud of our students. Especially learning what students across the units find interest in and the range of talents and differing methodologies they used to conduct their research.”

Among Schieffer faculty and student presenters, a number of TCU employees from other areas, such as the TCU Magazine, University Advancement and Marketing & Communication, this showcase of student research projects.

Dean Bunton greeted attendees and graciously thanked them for supporting the student researchers. TCU’s new Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Dr. Teresa Dahlberg, was in attendance and visited with the students to learn more about their research. Dr. O’Neil encouraged outside visitors to attend these events because it is a  “great way for external departments to capture content and highlight the essence of the college’s events and key student research presentations.”

Dr. O’Neil emphasized the goal of this event going forward is to double the submissions next year.

Dean Bunton invited the seven winners to present their creative works to the Board of Visitors members during their campus visit on Friday, April 26, 2019.

A student presents her project to festival guests.

Student Sydney Pickral discusses her research with festival guests.

Top Communication Studies Undergraduate Submission
Nick Noguez & Michael Gonzalez: “Smoking Cessation Mobile Apps Content Analysis”

Top Film, Television and Digital Media Undergraduate Submission
Kaylee Hayes: “The Ladies Room”

Top Journalism Undergraduate Submission
Nick Stephens: “Life After Sports”

Top Strategic Communication Undergraduate Submission
Stanton Cross: “This is the Schnitz”

Top Communication Studies Graduate Submission
Colten Meisner: “Co-Constructing a Participatory Brand: The Affordances of Live Streaming for Social Media Entrepreneurship”

Top Strategic Communication Graduate Submission
Taylor Voges: “A Framing Analysis: The Social Media Content Review Issue”

Top Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Submission
Liv Shin: “Shindig Publishing LLC”