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Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society (WFI) to Recognize Inaugural Fellowship Award Winners

WFI to honor inaugural fellowship award winners April 13 at social justice film festival

Fellowship awards recognize cutting-edge work of communication scholars and professionals

VILLANOVA, PA. – Villanova University’s Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society (WFI), in partnership with the CMM Institute for Personal and Social Evolution and the Institute for Social Innovation at Fielding Graduate University, will host the inaugural presentation of the coalition’s annual CMM Fellow Awards at the opening of the Hearts and Minds Film Festival, being held at Villanova University April 13-14.

The awards recognize the exceptional work of communication scholars and professionals for their efforts in the field and contributions to the common good. The fellowship awards will be given out on April 13 at 7 p.m. in the Connelly Center Cinema prior to the start of the film festival’s feature presentation. The event is free and open to the public.

"We’re very excited to serve as the inaugural host for the fellow awards," WFI Director Bryan Crable said, adding, “This is a great illustration of our Institute’s mission, and what we hope to accomplish.

"These projects demonstrate the potential that communication has to create social change, and the fellows program itself is a great example of the creativity and possibility that collaboration can produce," Crable said.

This year’s five award recipients and their respective research are as follows:

  • Romi Goldsmith Boucher is a Fielding Graduate University (Santa, Barbara, Calif.) graduate student. Boucher’s project, “Collaboration: A Constitutive Accomplishment,” will explore how the phenomenon of creative collaboration can identify and maximize individual talent, boost productivity in the workplace, and create an effective response to the increasing challenges posed by our global society.
  • John Carr, a professor of geography at University of Mexico (Albuquerque, N.M.), will research “Opportunities and Obstacles to Transforming Planning Communication through the Creation of Digital Visualization Tools.” His research will focus on how to enhance and streamline public planning projects through the application of 3D planning tools and improved communication techniques.
  • Susan Jacobson is assistant professor of journalism at Temple University (Philadelphia, Pa.). Jacobson’s study, “Understanding How the American Political Drama Unfolds on the Social Web May Help Reconstruct our National Political Dialogue,” will investigate how the audience members of two major U.S. cable TV news organizations discuss sensitive political topics on Facebook to determine whether understanding these patterns of communication may help reconstruct more productive American political discourse.
  • Jeff Leinaweaver, a global sustainability consultant, will focus on “Games for Developing Evolved Communication Skills” through Gaialogue, a social ecology game that strives to further the conversation about how humans live in relationship to each other, the living world and the Earth.
  • Charles E. Morris III, associate professor of communication at Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) will explore the rhetoric and pedagogical uses of “queer history” and memory as anti-homophobic resources in the U.S. educational system through his research, “Archival Queers: Anti-Bullying and the Rhetorical Futures of GLBT Pasts.”

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.