Two Ph.D Students Selected for Honors Seminar

UW Department of Communication Ph.D. students Kristen Barta and Elizabeth Parks have been accepted into the 2016 National Communication Association (NCA) Doctoral Honors Seminar to be hosted July 21-24 by the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Barta and Parks are among 36 doctoral candidates from around the globe, and two of a dozen in social science, selected for the highly competitive program, now in its 36th year.

The annual NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar brings together promising doctoral students and exceptional faculty leaders in the field to discuss their research. Esteemed faculty include, but are not limited to, Norah Dunbar from UC Santa Barbara, Jody Koenig Kellas from Nebraska, and Craig Scott from Rutgers. Students are chosen to participate based on submitted papers and recommendations from their advisers.

BartaKristen Barta has developed a project that looks at how survivors of sexual assault turn to social media for both social support and the recovery process, considering what role talking about or putting a traumatic experience into words can play in that process. Speaking about the project, Barta said, “I began to think about what ‘social support’ means for survivors of sexual assault, what that looks like, where it happens, and how disclosure potentially relates to destigmatization, to cultural change, and ultimately, to more effective prevention. I think there’s something really powerful going on in these online spaces.” She is excited to work closely with the mentors and learn from their experiences, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with and support her peers at the seminar.

ParksElizabeth Parks grew up in a bicultural home where she learned how to navigate through the diverse cultures in her family. For Parks, effective communication has always been a pivotal part of her life, learning along the way that listening means far more than simply hearing. Parks said, “For me, I see listening as the first act of communication, not the second that responds to speech.” Parks will attend the NCA Seminar with research that compares the discourses of diverse communities around the ideals and ethics of listening. “I’m in the middle of writing a pretty heavy philosophical and theoretical part of my dissertation, and this seminar is coming at just the right time to give me the chance to get direct feedback from additional eyes on the way I’m shaping my multicultural dialogic listening ethic. I’m really honored to be a part of it. ”