Honors Thesis

Computer-Mediated Channels and Young-Adult Romantic Relationships

Now, more than ever, relationships are experiencing constant connections online. The way modern technological forms of communication, or computer-mediated communication (CMC), affect romantic relationships is explored through the analysis of survey responses from undergraduate college students in dyadic, heterosexual romantic relationships. Closely examining previous scholarship, the gap in the literature becomes clear. Although scholarship has focused on relationships on Facebook and the appearance of maintenance and jealousy (Dainton and Stokes, 2015), cell phone usage, romantic relationships channels and intimacy (Borae and Peña, 2010; Morey et al. 2013), and the way in which social media can make romantic relationships vulnerable (Abbasi, 2018), the current investigation augments existing research by connecting different forms of CMC to several variables that constitute perceived relational satisfaction within romantic relationships. CMCs and Romantic Relationships


NMS Senior Capstone

On average, there are over half a million children in the United States foster care system. Often, these children feel abused or neglected, and society views them as broken. The foster care system as a whole tends to have a bad reputation. However, using the power of an interactive documentary, I  tell the story of a house that built many. The story I am telling is through some of the 89 children who entered this house.  To some, they were born into this house, and to some this house represented only a stop on their journey through life, and to others, the house became their home when they were adopted. There were sad endings, and there were happy ones, too. Children of all abilities entered this house, every child was given a chance. Some presented more of a challenge than others, but they always had the opportunity to have a home and a family. Their lives were built by this house in rural Ohio. This family may not have had much, but they always had a home. Regardless of their background, these children were taken in and cared for by a loving woman and her kind husband.

Senior Seminar Paper on Social Media Addiction

In my senior year at Alma College, I took a two-part series of courses to fulfill my New Media Studies major requirement. The second half, the Senior Studio, was extremely project-based. However, the Senior Seminar course was paper and theory-focused. I wanted this paper to be the greatest culmination of my undergraduate studies. To choose a topic, I revisited some common themes in the literature. One such theme was the use of the term “addiction” to describe the way people use social media. I considered writing my paper on why society and scholars are choosing to label the usage in this way, but I ultimately chose to break this argument down. From an annotated bibliography to a literature review, I skillfully crafted an argument against the use of the term “addiction.” I started by breaking apart the very term by its Latin roots and multiple definitions, including scholarly and lay sources. Based on a foundation of scholars’ arguments examining why people use social media and rely on it so heavily, I hoped to better understand why people see it as an addiction. To conclude my argument, I suggested calling it what it is, we use social media to satisfy our human, social needs. I believe this paper is one of my best works that showcases my ability to think critically and deconstruct an argument. I also believe this piece represents my technical communication and writing skills.

Gender in Film Analysis

In the Winter Semester of 2019, I took a Gender and Communication class that greatly influenced my perspective on the world. The class introduced me to issues of communication that people face daily in terms of gender and sexuality. All of my assignments for this class required critical thinking, but my Gender in Film Analysis was particularly challenging as it was a culmination of both of my undergraduate majors, New Media Studies and Communication, in terms of the analysis of films and the application of communication theories. The Gender in Film Analysis required the watching of two films, ​Kissing Jessica Stein​ and Hedwig and the Angry Inch​, and an in-depth analysis of the communication styles and patterns of the characters. Even more important to my studies of communication, it required me to apply several theories such as biological, psychodynamic, queer, and cognitive development. This paper demonstrated my ability to think critically and apply important communication theories to different media. This paper also represents my ability to synthesize and compare two texts and their theory applications.