Prince Frederick Campus Hosted Professional Conference for Communicators
College of Southern Maryland (CSM) students and professors presented their work to communication professionals and educators from throughout the state when CSM hosted the 33rd Annual Maryland Communication Association (MCA) Conference: “Communication in the Digital Age” on Oct. 14 at the Prince Frederick Campus.
CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy offered opening remarks at the conference, noting the critical part that communication plays in today’s culture. Referring to the large amount of information that is available and through so many media, Murphy said it is essential to understand communication issues.
Two of CSM’s communication (COM) adjunct faculty, Nikki Phillips and Chelsea Mays, presented at the conference. Professor Olaniyi Areke led a breakout session on students’ real-world digital media projects. In addition, students from a COM 1250 class (Introduction to Interpersonal Communication), a COM 1450 (Groups, Teams, and Leadership) class and a COM 2950 (Issues in Contemporary Communication) class worked on research projects since the beginning of the semester and presented their findings at the conference in two separate panels and a student poster presentation.
One of those students, Jasmine Harry, 20, of Waldorf, said that she found it encouraging to have the opportunity to meet with others in the communication professions and share her work. “It was cool to see people there who had the same passion as me and love for communication issues,” Harry said. “They are doing what I want to do.”
Harry and others were on-hand to answer questions about a research project connected to a survey of CSM college students and how the students use social media. The portion of the project on which Harry’s group worked, “Social Media: A Threat to Safety,” indicated that while most college students surveyed were aware of the safety guards available to them on social media, few use them.
Student Arie Moore was answering questions about his group’s findings related to news. Moore’s group found that most students surveyed did not consider news shared on social media accurate; nevertheless, social media was the students’ primary source of news. Other research presented by CSM students included social media’s effect on romantic relationships and image management. CSM students also presented digital media projects.
“This was truly an amazing opportunity for undergraduate students to present at a professional conference,” said CSM Professor Denise Gilmer-Knudson who serves as MCA’s first vice president. “As first vice president of MCA, this was CSM’s year to host the annual conference, but I had lots of help from our communication faculty and the college in planning and organizing the event.
“I think the big takeaway from the conference is that digital communication is truly changing how we interact,” Gilmer-Knudson said. “There are certainly opportunities for increased interaction, more access to information, and social and political engagement, but we must explore and analyze the inherent limitations and even dangers.”
The conference attracted attendees from colleges and universities including Bowie State University, Howard University, Montgomery College, Stevenson University, Maryland University of Integrative Health, Prince George’s Community College, Community College of Baltimore County and CSM.
For information on studying communication, arts and humanities at CSM, visit www.csmd.edu/programs-courses/credit/academic-divisions/cah/.