Hello. I am a recent graduate of West Virginia University (WVU). I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a minor in Business Administration. I am attending graduate school in the fall of 2011 at the University of Kentucky. There, I will continue in Communication Studies with a focus on instructional communication (communication between instructors and students) and health communication.
I intend to earn my Ph.D. and become a professor of Communication Studies. I enjoy learning about new research findings in areas that are interesting to me, especially instructional communication. I am most interested in researching the impact that new media and technologies have in classroom communication and how they affect students' learning and their motives to communicate with their instructors. I am also interested in improving the communication between healthcare providers and patients.
In preparation for my academic goals, I maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.85, with a 4.00 across all of my Communication Studies classes. I proactively sought out an independent study to experience first-hand the research process under the direction of Dr. Scott Myers of WVU. Our study focused on students' motivations to communicate with their instructors outside the classroom. Since then, I became part of a research team on a second study under the guidance of Dr. Keith Weber, also of WVU. This study focused on how partners with different love styles communicate with each other. Our results were presented at the Eastern Communication Association conference in Baltimore, MD in April of 2010.
To help prepare me for some of the duties of teaching, I accepted a position as an undergraduate teaching assistant for an introductory research methods class. In this position, I proctored four exams, graded over 304 weekly quizzes, and helped grade over 152 exams.
Socially, I have been active in WVU's chapter of Lambda Pi Eta. After joining in January of 2010, I participated in numerous volunteer activities on campus and around Morgantown. Because of my active participation, I was elected to the position of secretary for the 2010-2011 academic year. In this position, I continued to volunteer on campus and around town. I also recorded the minutes for each meeting and was on the planning committee for the first Communication Studies Day at WVU. This event focused on recruiting freshmen and other students who were undecided on a major into the program. We presented information regarding career opportunities and graduate school to students, as well as had guest speakers and faculty members present to answer questions about the program and degree/career possibilities.
I excel and enjoy working in either an independent environment or as part of a team. I am able to work autonomously without needing a crutch to lean on, but I also realize when I need help and can seek assistance from an appropriate source. Time management has always been a strength of mine, which I will carry on to my graduate studies. Having these abilities will be crucial to my success as a graduate student and in my future career as a professor.
I can also offer different perspectives to other students and faculty members. I have experience living in two very different parts of the United States, and can provide different views from each of my experiences. Growing up in Iowa, I learned the value of hard work and earning an education. I have never taken these principles for granted. I will complete any task in front of me to the fullest of my ability. I realize that even the smallest tasks have their place in life, especially in the research process, which requires great attention to detail and a keen eye for errors.
I attended WVU because I had a strong desire to get away from home and see a new part of the country. While there, I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the East coast, and even from other parts of the country and the world. Meeting all of these people allowed me to have a better understanding of many values and lifestyles, which differed from those I grew up with. The people I have come to know have opened my eyes to new perspectives, and have helped me to understand differing views on a myriad of subjects. My experience there has undoubtedly been the most enjoyable four years of my life.
By attending the University of Kentucky, I will have the opportunity to obtain an excellent education and perform research while enriching the university and my classmates with my knowledge, enthusiasm, work ethic, and experience. Engaging in undergraduate research has led me to my current and future career goals. Through graduate coursework, research, and activities, I will be prepared to become a successful researcher and professor.