UCSB's Department of Communication held a Grad Slam preparation event Friday, February 27, in the SSMS building. Associate Dean Karen Myers introduced the program, sharing updates for this year's Grad Slam competition.
New developments for Grad Slam 2015 include a People's Choice Award as well as bigger cash prizes. Second- and third-place winners will each receive $2,500 and the Grand Prize winner will earn an impressive $5,000.
Myers also explained that although the Grad Slam was founded at UCSB, the entire UC system now participates. Winners of UCSB's event will go on to a UC-wide competition with potential judges including Governor Jerry Brown, UC President Janet Napolitano, and entertainment celebrities. The UC-wide event will include additional cash prizes for winners.
The Communication Department presenters were judged on clarity, organization, delivery, visuals, appropriateness, intellectual signifiance, and engagement. The event had a lively vibe, with much laughter and applause for each presentation. Research topics presented including the specific adaptations needed for effective Internet communication, political communication networks, and linguistic stereotypes in television.
All presenters were introduced by Communication Professor Robin Nabi, who organized the event. Some of the presenters and their topic titles were:
Aubrie Adams: "Adaptation in T3xt Communication"
Samantha Coveleski: "Get well soon! ... Or not: Reconfiguring fundamental notions of social support in chronic pain"
Abel Gustafson: "Predicting Election Outcomes Using Wikipedia"
Richard Huskey: "Persuasion neuroscience: How understanding the brain can help us improve persuasive messages"
Becky Robinson: "Motivated Offense: Group membership and the desire for status"
Benjamin King Smith: "Cross-Cutting Concerns: The Varying Effects of Partisan Cues in the Context of Social Networks"
Sign up to participate in UCSB's 2015 Grad Slam here!