ASU students shine at undergraduate research conference

Hugh Downs School student received a top paper award

Three ASU students enrolled in communication classes at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication — Molly Bishop, Nicole Hinshaw and Mayra Vasquez-Chavez — had research papers accepted at the Western States Communication Association's (WSCA) 17th Annual Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference in Denver. 

Bishop and Hinshaw are communication majors, and Vasquez-Chavez is an English major.

In addition, Bishop was one of four undergraduates at the conference to win a top paper award.  A senior at Barrett, The Honors College, Bishop is currently working with Hugh Downs School Principal Lecturer Jennifer Linde on her thesis creative project at The Empty Space

The undergraduate conference is an opportunity for undergraduate scholars and researchers to showcase their scholarly and creative work and to receive feedback from experienced scholars in the field.

Undergraduate students benefit from participating in the research conference by crafting and sharing a professional presentation, meeting other undergraduate scholars in the field, and learning about graduate studies in communication. 

The full WSCA convention ran Feb. 22–24, 2020, and the undergraduate conference took place on Feb. 21.

The ASU students wrote the papers as part of classwork in the Hugh Downs School and were encouraged to submit them to WSCA for consideration by their instructors.  The Hugh Downs School gave the three students travel grants to attend the conference.  

The ASU students and papers that were recognized by WSCA are:

  • Molly Bishop, “Crazy/Smart: An Artist Statement detailing Performance Choices against Abelist Ideology in Higher Education.”
  • Nicole Hinshaw, “Memorializing a Maverick: A Rhetorical Analysis of Senator John McCain’s Farewell Letter.”
  • Mayra Vasquez-Chavez, “Protest Rock Music During Vietnam and Post-9/11 Era.”

 “We are so pleased to have this group of outstanding students associated with the Hugh Downs School chosen for this honor,” said Linda Lederman, director and professor of the school. “This was a wonderful opportunity for them to learn about academic conferences and to prepare them for graduate school and other future endeavors."

Pictured L-R: Nicole Hinshaw; Mayra Vasquez-Chavez; Belle Edson, Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Hugh Downs School and Molly Bishop.