November 30, 2023

Summer Enrichment Program Serves High-Schoolers a Slice of College Life

Students turned an unusual array of objects – a puffy pink pony, a giant nose, one wooden hoop – into charcoal sketches at the University of Mary Washington earlier this week. “Awesome stuff, guys,” Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing Ashe Laughlin said of the rising 10th- through 12th-graders’ still-life creations. “Really terrific!” More than […]

Johnson-Young Presents on Birth Trauma Communication

Assistant Professor of Communication Elizabeth Johnson-Young

Associate Professor of Communication Elizabeth Johnson-Young

Associate Professor of Communication Elizabeth Johnson-Young presented her paper, “Birth, Trauma, and Communicating Maternal Health” at the annual conference of the Eastern Communication Association in Baltimore, Maryland. The paper was presented during a panel hosted by the Health Communication division focused on maternal and reproductive health. The paper focused on birth choices, experiences, and perceptions of traumatic or challenging birth experiences. Maternal and postpartum health is a topic of importance in the United States, given increasing maternal mortality rates (MacDorman, Declercg, Cabral, & Morton, 2016), recognition of factors involved in postpartum depression and anxiety, and increasing rates of inductions and cesarean births (c-sections) despite the risks that come with them (Betran et al., 2018; Sandall et al., 2018). Birth trauma and psychological responses to birth trauma most often refer to situations in which the mother’s or child’s life is put at risk (i.e. NIH, 2013); however, a simple search on social and popular media reveals a host of other experiences women may have that they define as traumatic, the consequences of which can impact their mental health, who they trust when it comes to their maternal healthcare, and future decisions regarding birth. The project addressed the research question: What communication choices and strategies do women use after a negative birth experience? Using in-depth, semi-structured interviews of women who personally define their birth experience as difficult or traumatic, the paper discussed the potential consequences of listening, language, and support.

 

Assistant Professor of Communication Adria Goldman, and Professor of Communication and Communication and Digital Studies Department Chair Anand Rao also presented at the conference on March 30, 2023. Their panel, Collaborative Team-Based and Experiential Learning as a Path to Student Innovation in Communication, which included Johnson-Young, explored examples and lessons from team-based collaborative learning experiences from multiple institutions. During the interactive discussion, panel members brought expertise from their classrooms and roles in their school that demonstrated purposeful collaborative learning. In each of the cases, a focus on student engagement with one another and the outside community was key, as students learned to situate themselves as communication scholars and practitioners. UMW presenters shared examples and ideas from Visual Rhetoric, Senior Seminar in Digital Rhetoric, and Small Group Communication. Panel members from other institutes presented projects from courses such as Public Relations and Game Design.

 

UMW Summer Camp Gives High School Students a Glimpse of College Life

Holding tight to a video camera aimed at his face, high school junior Simon Young became a blur of motion earlier this month, whirling on a whimsical stool in the University of Mary Washington’s Hurley Convergence Center. The experience and its result – a panoramic portrayal of Simon’s dizzying ride on the curious chair – […]

Communication Faculty Present Research on the CW’s ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ at National Conference

NCA 2020 Presentation Panel

Adria Goldman, Emily Crosby, and Elizabeth Johnson-Young presented a panel at the National Communication Association’s virtual conference. The paper session, “You Can’t Call Them Crazy”: Framing and Considerations of Gender, Sexuality, and Mental Health in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” shared the panelists’ research from a variety of lenses and methodologies regarding the messaging and impact of the CW musical-comedy television series that ran from 2015-2019. 

Johnson-Young’s presentation, “The Situation is a Lot More Nuanced Than That:” A Qualitative Analysis of Women’s Mental Health in the Humor and Music of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” investigated the ways in which the show’s music and humor, particularly feminist humor, was used throughout the series to communicate and challenge traditional media messaging of mental health and gender biases in health. Goldman’s presentation, The Awkward Revolution: A Framing Analysis of Awkwardness, Humor, and Sexuality in Rachel Bloom’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” explored how humor and music were used as rhetorical devices to present new representations of women’s sexuality, while also challenging existing, problematic narratives. Crosby’s presentation, “Type A Ambition”: Postfeminist Tropes in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” explored the postfeminist themes in contemporary media that often unfavorably frame ambitious women as personally unfulfilled and unlikable. Deeper rhetorical analysis reveals that the series pushes back against postfeminist tropes, providing a more nuanced depiction of complicated characters who subvert postfeminist pitfalls that oversimplify “having it all.”

Center for Teaching Announcement

A message from the Provost.

To all faculty and staff:

As we end the academic year and head into summer activity, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the significant work of the Center for Teaching and announce some changes. As you are aware, the Center for Teaching (along with Digital Learning Support) played a critical role in supporting our efforts to transition to remote instruction this past spring. The Center for Teaching is now fully engaged in summer faculty development and preparations for fall.

It is important to recognize that the foundation for this effort owes much to the leadership of Dr. Caitie Finlayson who served on special assignment as the Faculty Program Director during the past two years. Caitie’s task was to work with faculty to plan and develop a Center for Teaching responsive to the needs and interests of our diverse faculty. Thanks to her efforts, the Center has a clear direction, offers a variety of programs and resources, and works collaboratively with other areas to provide faculty development and support.

As part of this effort, Caitie also led the national search for a full-time administrator for the Center, which brought us one of our own: Dr. Victoria Russell. I am pleased to share that Victoria will now continue on in an expanded role as the Director of the Teaching Center.

This summer, Caitie has elected to conclude her special assignment having successfully completed the task of designing and launching the Center for Teaching. I know you join me in thanking Caitie for her outstanding service and leadership to the University over the past two years, and in welcoming Victoria to her additional responsibilities.

We are also pleased to announce that Dr. Elizabeth Johnson-Young has accepted a position as a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Teaching. Elizabeth will be joining our current Faculty Fellow, Dr. Melissa Wells, in providing teaching support through consultations and program initiatives. Elizabeth brings experience in digital and online practices, as well as an interdisciplinary understanding of effective teaching, that will strengthen the Center’s continued growth and collaboration with our Digital Learning Support colleagues.

 

Nina Mikhalevsky
Provost

Free UMW Course Turns COVID-19 Inside Out

Communications Professor and Chair Anand Rao, who is facilitating the eight-week “COVID-19 in Context” series with Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger, taught Monday’s course on how messaging about the pandemic impacts policies, along with Assistant Communications Professor Elizabeth Johnson-Young.

Communications Professor and Chair Anand Rao, who is facilitating the eight-week “COVID-19 in Context” series with Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger, taught Monday’s course on how messaging about the pandemic impacts policies, along with Assistant Communications Professor Elizabeth Johnson-Young.

Political leaders and health experts who communicate the impact of COVID-19 to the public are just like anyone else. Some hit the mark. Some don’t. Understandable terms, relatable ideas and the confident presentation of useful information are key to delivering a successful message, said UMW Professor of Communication Anand Rao.

And competent public discourse during pandemic-scale events, he said, can mean the difference between life and death.

The lesson, delivered Monday, was part of UMW’s COVID-19 in Context, a series of biweekly lectures that turn the virus holding the world captive inside out, examining everything from its economic impact to its influence on art. Created for current and incoming students who can receive academic credit, and offered for free to all, it’s quickly become UMW’s largest course ever. More than 1,900 registered participants are in 39 states, plus Washington, D.C., and countries across the globe, including Canada, England, France, Switzerland, Japan and Ghana.

“We have been floored by the response,” said Rao, who presented Monday’s course – “Communicating COVID-19: How We Talk About a Pandemic Changes What We Do” – with assistant professor Elizabeth Johnson-Young live via Zoom.

Nearly 40 faculty members from across the university – from fine arts and humanities to the sciences and social sciences – joined forces, along with guest speakers, agreeing to share their expertise on all facets of the pandemic. Beginning last week with a biological exploration of the virus and a look at how it affects public policy, 16 hourlong sessions take place on Mondays and Wednesdays through July 22. Read more.

Coronavirus Course Boasts Largest Enrollment In UMW History (Patch.com)

Free UMW Course Turns COVID-19 Inside Out

Political leaders and health experts who communicate the impact of COVID-19 to the public are just like anyone else. Some hit the mark. Some don’t. Understandable terms, relatable ideas and the confident presentation of useful information are key to delivering a successful message, said UMW Professor of Communication Anand Rao. And competent public discourse during […]

Johnson-Young Publishes Manuscript on Firearms Safety

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Johnson-Young

Elizabeth Johnson-Young, Assistant Professor of Communication, recently had her co-authored manuscript “Understanding Pediatric Residents’ Communication Decisions Regarding Anticipatory Guidance About Firearms” published in Journal of Health Communication. It is now available on their website and will appear in the next print version. The study was co-authored with emergency pediatricians and investigates decisions of pediatricians to counsel on firearm safety during well-child visits, as recommended by organizations, such as the AAP. Using concepts from the Theory of Planned Behavior and the Health Belief Model, ordinary least squares regression testing and a path analysis demonstrated the impact of several variables on the prioritization of firearm counseling, including pediatrician sex, perceptions of parental viewpoints on, self-efficacy, perceptions of training, and comfort discussing firearms. Future plans include further study, as well as training material for residential programs. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10810730.2020.1745961.

Johnson-Young Publishes Paper on Firearm Safety Counseling Practices of Pediatricians

Elizabeth Johnson-Young, Assistant Professor of Communication

Elizabeth Johnson-Young, Assistant Professor of Communication

Elizabeth Johnson-Young, Assistant Professor of Communication, recently published a paper now available in the peer-reviewed journal Children. This project was completed in conjunction with research colleagues in emergency pediatrics from University of Maryland, Kaiser Permanente, and The Herman and Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai, and is part of a larger set of data and projects. The current publication is the first among a few upcoming publications from the project and presents data and conclusions regarding pediatric medical residents’ attitudes towards anticipatory guidance counseling about firearms and firearm safety. Survey items asked residents about their knowledge of current gun safety campaigns, as well as their own gun safety counseling practices. Overall conclusions are that residents support the idea of counseling patients on firearm safety as part of their anticipatory guidance practices, but seem to recognize that the subject of firearms can be problematic. Educational programs and resources are needed to support pediatricians in this type of counseling. This paper is now available in open access form at the following link: https://www.mdpi.com/2227-9067/6/11/122/htm