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Edelman CCCA Update
December 8, 2021
Welcome! This is the Edelman CCCA Update, our College's newsletter that highlights faculty, staff, student and alumni accomplishments, upcoming events and other important announcements.  This is our final edition for 2021, but we will return once classes are in session. Happy reading!
Student Congratulations

Barbara Godshalk (MA in Writing Arts) published an article, called "Why Do I Believe Him? Humor and Believability in David Rakoff's Fraud," in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies

Faculty and Staff Congratulations
  • Emily Baker (Art) took 17 students to WheatonArts, the renowned glassmaking complex in Milleville, NJ, for a unique studio experience where students combined 3D printing technology with traditional glassblowing (pictured above). Read more about it here. 
  • David Bianculli's (RTF) book on the Smothers Brothers was mentioned in Newsweek.
  • Keith Brand's (RTF) audio documentary on the AIDS activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya premiered on WPPM FM on World AIDS Day.  Additional broadcasts are scheduled on WXPN FM on 1/2 and 1/16. On December 5, Brand was the emcee for the Rowan Community Music School's fall concert.  As part of the program, he was the narrator for GPS, a piece adapted from the work of Mozart.
  • Miles Coleman (Communication Studies) and Brandon Simon (Student, Communication Studies) presented their research project at the 2021 National Communication Association Conference in Seattle, WA. The project is a collaboration with fellow Rowan scholars, Dr. Charles Schutte (Faculty, Environmental Science) and Matthew Pierce (Student, Environmental Science), which explores the use of computationally generated soundscapes for environmental advocacy.​ Coleman also published “Leveraging the rhetorical energies of machines: COVID-19, misinformation, and persuasive labor” in Human-Machine Communication.  
  • Joy Cypher (Communication Studies) and Miles Coleman (Communication Studies) published, with fellow faculty from across the Rowan campus, “Lessons from the pandemic: Engaging wicked problems with transdisciplinary deliberation” in the Journal of Communication Pedagogy.  
  • Heather Lanier (Writing Arts) published a genre-bending creative piece in the form of a fictional reality show script. Entitled "Marriage Hunters: An UnReality Essay," the piece interrogates the limits of the nuclear family and the elusive notion of balance. It appears in Miracle Monocle, the literary journal from the University of Louisville. Lanier's essay, "Out There I Have to Smile," was also named one of Longreads ten most-read essays of 2021. 
  • Lisa Samalonis (Journalism) received the 2021 Gold Award from the Parenting Media Association Design and Editorial Awards Program for her personal essay, “Savoring Summer’s Simple Pleasures” in the June 2021 issue of MetroKids.
Announcements
This year’s Edelman CCCA Holiday Party will be held on Thursday, December 9 from 4-7 pm at Bonesaw Brewing on route 322 near campus. Directions can be found here.

When you arrive, see Gina or Janeen for your free drink tickets.

 As always, your families are welcome, too. Food will be provided, but no outside beverages can be brought in. If you’re not a beer drinker, they also have hard seltzers, cold brew coffee, soda and bottled water.
First Ric Edelman CCCA Fall Research Showcase: A Success!
Thank you to everyone who either presented or attended in support. We were thrilled to see so many excellent examples of scholarship and innovation from our students and faculty. We hope to continue this event as a way to spotlight the contribution of thought-provoking research and creative projects from non-S.T.E.M. fields that support a greater understanding of our world. Check out some pictures below! 
DEI Spotlight

Join the Rowan community for the 36th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast & Day of Service on January 17th, 2022! Proceeds from the scholarship breakfast support the William H. Myers Scholarship awards, which provide scholarships of $1,000 each to high achieving freshmen with financial need. Our keynote speaker this year will be MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross, and Philadelphia’s ABC News anchor Rick Williams will serve as Master of Ceremonies.
 
For more information, to register, or to learn more about service opportunities, click here

By the spring of 2021, a comprehensive Restorative Practices program will begin to address violations of Title VI, Discrimination, Harassment and Bias, when appropriate. We are seeking students to volunteer to be trained as peer facilitators. Please contact Monise Princilus at princilus@rowan.edu to get involved.

Research Spotlight

Dr. Angela Cirucci (Communication Studies)
Zoom Affordances and Identity: A Rowan Case Study

In the pandemic-induced move to virtual learning environments (VLEs), I noticed that, while professors and students alike were trained in how to use the technical tools, little thought was given to the ways in which digital affordances had an impact on students' identities. Indeed, how to engage students online became a popular topic of study. Largely left out, however, are the ways in which the VLEs themselves have implications for student identity maintenance and, consequently, learning quality. All digital spaces are human-made, and thus include "baked-in" prejudices that privilege some identifications while pushing others to the background.

This case study of Rowan University undergraduates pairs a walkthrough analysis of a popular VLE—Zoom—with responses (n=250) to an open-ended survey to investigate how VLE affordances impact student identifications and, subsequently, quality of learning. Overall, Rowan students found Zoom to be more user-friendly because it is designed to look like popular social media apps, yet they were not comfortable being visible. Many students were concerned about their classmates and professors seeing their physical backgrounds, particularly those who reported having family incomes below $50,000. Subsequently, they rarely turned on their cameras. BIPOC who identify as women feared being judged based on their physical appearance and chose to rarely turn on their cameras.

As one of the first studies to explore VLE affordances and their impact on identities, findings suggest that already marginalized groups feel the pains that came with the shift to online learning more acutely. Because digital spaces are performative, as well as subjective reflections, it is important to understand how the design choices, tools, and functionalities have implications for identities. I recommend that professors and universities provide training for identity personalization and to find ways to invite students to participate that do not include mandatory cameras.

* The current project is under review for Eastern Communication Association conference.

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