May 25, 2019  

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Communication Studies Graduate Student Earns Competitive National Scholarship

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Nazanin Bani Amerian

Nazanin Bani Amerian is steadfast in her belief that race, sex, nationality and age shouldn’t determine one’s goals.

Amerian, a communication studies doctoral student at The University of Southern Mississippi, is a 2018 Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) Foundation & Ford Motor Company Fund Emerging Voices Scholarship recipient. The AWM Foundation’s partnership with the Ford Motor Company Fund supports scholarships for two female students based on essays written on a suggested topic. Winning applicants receive a scholarship of $2,000 and an opportunity to write four blog posts for AWM.

A native of Tehran, Iran, Amerian holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and engineering from Isfahan University of Technology, and a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida.

“Earning this scholarship is an important start for my academia path,” Amerian said. “It has been a long journey for me as a woman and a journalist from the Middle East to my Ph.D. program at USM.

“Having this achievement on my resume will always remind me of the exceptional opportunities, supportive faculty members, and extraordinary friends I have at USM.”

For the scholarship’s required essay, Amerian wrote about the work of CNN international correspondent Christiane Amanpour.

“When I was 13 she (Amanpour) interviewed the president of Iran, challenging one of the most powerful men in a male dominated country,” Amerian said. “That interview taught me that I can be powerful, independent and successful, even if I am in a part of the world where people in power do not want me to be.’

Amerian’s primary research includes risk and crisis communication, and intercultural communication. She presented a co-authored article, “Case Study: EU Refugee Crisis through the Lens of Conflict Communication” at the Southern States Communication Association Convention in April.

Amerian cited Communication Studies faculty members Dr. Steven Venette and Dr. Wendy Atkins-Sayre for their support of her pursuit of the scholarship.

“We are so proud of Nazanin and this national recognition of her accomplishments. It's an important acknowledgement that the research she's undertaking for her doctorate has a clear connection to the practice of mediated communication,” said Dr. Atkins-Sayre. “We look forward to seeing where she goes with her research over the next few years.”

For information about the Communication Studies program at Southern Miss, visit