Media students present at 2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium

Undergraduate Research Symposium

Updated June 17, 2021:

Congratulations to all of our student presenters! Five received awards at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, including advertising students Kenna Hansen (Outstanding), Evan Hawkins (Outstanding), Miriam Sadkhin (Honorable Mention), and Grace Tessitore (Outstanding); and media and cinema studies student Kat Williams (Honorable Mention).

Students from across majors in the College of Media are participating in the 14th annual University of Illinois Undergraduate Research Symposium, held online April 25-May 1. 

"This year’s Undergraduate Research Week and Symposium is not only a celebration of undergraduate excellence and innovation in research at the University of Illinois, but an acknowledgment of the commitment of our campus community in its efforts to design and continue research opportunities for our undergraduates in ways virtual and otherwise," said Karen Rodriguez’G, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Below are the presentations featuring Media students and research mentors:


Mission Possible: Exploring the Experiences of First Generation College Students from an Urban Community Participating in a Student Support Scholarship Program on a Predominately White Campus

  • Trey Harris, Senior, Middle Grades Education, EDU
  • Jarissa Vega, Senior, Psychology, LAS
  • Jose Vital Perez, Senior, Advertising, COM
  • Kelin Mendoza, Senior, Community Health, AHS

(Research Mentor: Duwania Turner, Campus Center for Advising and Academic Services)

The Times They Are a-Changin’: Analysis of the demographics of Rolling Stone magazine covers through time

  • Miriam Sadkhin, Sophomore, Advertising, COM
  • Hanyu Zhao, Sophomore, Information Sciences, SIS

(Research Mentor: Michael Twidale, School of Information Sciences)

The Role of Transparency in Privacy Settings on User Brand Attitude

  • Annee Mattson, Sophomore, Advertising, COM

(Research Mentor: Crystal Chen, Department of Advertising; doctoral student, Institute of Communications Research)

The Study of Gen Z’s Interaction With Social Commerce Advertisements

  • Grace Tessitore, Junior, Advertising, COM
  • Kenna Hansen, Senior, Advertising, COM
  • Evan Hawkins, Senior, Advertising, COM

(Research Mentor: Michelle Nelson, Department of Advertising)


Covid-19 Infodemic

  • Hadley So, Freshman, Information Sciences, SIS
  • Claire OBrien, Junior, Journalism, COM

(Research Mentor: Ian Brooks, School of Information Sciences)

Is “NewsNation” Really as Neutral as it Advertises?

  • Jackson Janes, Sophomore, Journalism, COM
  • Josie Alameda, Sophomore, Journalism, COM

(Research Mentor: Mira Sotirovic, Department of Journalism)

Use of Facebook Groups in Illinois Local Politics

  • Claire O’Brien, Junior, Journalism, COM

(Research Mentor: Emily Van Duyn, Department of Communication)

The Impact of International Aid on the Development of African Nations

  • Bénédicte Yenyi Mulumba, Senior, Journalism, COM

(Research Mentor: Yujeong Yang, Department of Political Science)


2020 vs. The Writing Tutor: Online Learning, Collaboration, and the Writer’s Responsibility in the Relationship Between Writers and Writing Tutors

  • Kat Williams, Junior, Media and Cinema Studies, COM

(Research Mentor: Carolyn Wisniewski, Center for Writing Studies)

Ushering Movement Analysis Tech into a More Immersive Dimension: Virtual Reality

  • Robert Sieczkowski, Junior, Media and Cinema Studies, COM

(Research Mentor: Jenny Oyallon-Koloski, Department of Media & Cinema Studies)

Positions of Power and Gender Dynamics in Mexico’s Recogimientos de Mujeres

  • Jennifer Leon, Junior, Media and Cinema Studies, COM

(Research Mentor: Megan Gargiulo, Department of Spanish and Portuguese)

Investigating the Influence of Parenting Styles on Children’s Online Language Intensity in the Context of Celebrity Worship: Emotion Regulation as a Mediator

  • Sherry Zhang, Junior, Media and Cinema Studies, COM

(Research Mentor: Crystal Chen, Department of Advertising; doctoral student, Institute of Communications Research)


View the full program for the symposium.

Note: To watch sessions, an email is required. Learn more.