ESC Theses

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    How to judge a book by its cover
    (Wichita State University, 2022-07) Nulik, Kristina; Parcell, Lisa
    Book covers publicize and sell books by portraying meaning to society. Designers know that cover image(s), color, title and author, typeface, or a combination of these components grabs the readers’ attention to further investigate a book, but it is not known how these elements work together. This study seeks to determine what the eye is drawn to in the initial sighting of book covers, the importance placed on the design of a cover as a whole, and to find out how readers make a choice based on visuals. Specifically, how consumers choose books based on the cover.
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    Representation matters: Colorism in American film: A Kent test analysis of “black” movies during the 1990-2000 and 2010-2020 decades
    (Wichita State University, 2022-05) Jones, Anika; Parcell, Lisa
    Research has found that colorism is as impactful as racism in the black community. It has also found that colorism is a important factor in the self-esteem of developing African American girls. Colorism disproportionality effects darker skin African American women and causes society to see them in a negative light. The aim of this study was to examine American film through the lens of colorism. Using the Kent test, created by Clarkisha Kent, this study looked at several films popular among the black community between the decades of the 1990s and the 2010s. This study evaluated each films’ contribution to colorism in American film by examining how darker skin female characters are portrayed compared to their lighter skin counterpart in the same film. This study found that in the past 30 years, the problem with colorism in film has improved. When creating films, it is important to remember that how marginalized groups are portrayed reflect how society will perceive them. Including African American women in the decision making when it comes to how they are portrayed in film lead to successful positive images of darker skin African American women.
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    Communication apprehension and mindfulness: Can a negative correlation help us improve?
    (Wichita State University, 2021-05) Willett, Brandy; Parcell, Lisa
    Communication skills are considered vital in the modern workplace, and in fact impact numerous aspects of a person’s life. In order to prepare students, many colleges and universities require an introductory-level communication or public speaking class. Unfortunately for a significant portion of these students, their communication apprehension level, the fear and avoidance of real or perceived communication interactions, is already so high that they have difficulty benefiting from these courses. This study explores the idea that adding basic level mindfulness skills and techniques to introductory-level communication courses may help students cope with their apprehension and as a result be more successful at developing communication skills. Mindfulness techniques and skills have been found to benefit college students in other areas where they face anxiety. This study looks for a link between a student’s level of communication apprehension and their mindful mindset. This was done by administering the Personal Report of Communication Apprehension – (PRCA-24) and the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale- Revised (CAMS-R) to undergraduate students taking an introductory-level communication course. The results of the CAMS-R were then be compared with students overall PRCA-24 score, which determines the students’ level of communication apprehension, and a subscale which looks only at public speaking anxiety. The findings were mixed. There was no significant correlation found between public speaking anxiety and the CAMS-R scores, while there was a moderate but positive correlation between the students’ mindful mindset and their level of communication apprehension. This positive correlation is not what previous anxiety research would predict, suggesting that these results either may be a result of survey error or that communication apprehension is perhaps a unique form of anxiety that warrants further study.
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    Clash of civilization’s
    (Wichita State University, 2021-05) Wyche, Chaz J.; Parcell, Lisa
    This study explores the dynamic nature of Black life as it is lived in social death. Dwelling specifically on the (im)possibility of progress and reform for black people via the Breathe Act proposed by the Black Lives Matter movement. The Breathe Act is evaluated using a discourse analysis centered around Afropessimism. Afro-pessimist theory curated by Frank B. Wilderson, identifies the Black body as a socially dead slave, under the constant siege of gratuitous violence. This thesis ultimately serves to intervene in the communication centered around police reform to suggest that the Breathe Act is designed to sustained Black Death by extension of civil society.
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