April 21, 2019  

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Southern Miss Student Selected to Attend National Communication Association’s Doctoral Honors Seminar

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Victoria Brown

University of Southern Mississippi graduate student Victoria L Brown was recently selected as one of 30 students to participate in the National Communication Association’s (NCA) Doctoral Honors Seminar in Bowling Green, Ohio. She will be the first Southern Miss student to attend this particular program.

A fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Communication Studies, Brown is one of 10 students specializing in rhetoric chosen to participate in the honors seminar, slated for July 27-30 at Bowling Green State University. Participants are selected from a national pool of some of the finest doctoral students across the United States. 

“I am very proud of myself, and I know that the department is really excited to have a student to be selected for such a prestigious conference,” said Brown. “It is a huge stamp of approval by my discipline to be accepted into this.”

The NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar is an annual conference that brings together promising doctoral students and distinguished faculty members from across the discipline and around the nation to discuss current topics in communication. Approximately 30 doctoral students are chosen to participate based on submitted papers and recommendations from their advisors.

Endorsed by her dissertation advisor Dr. Wendy Atkins-Sayre, department chair and professor of communication studies, Brown was encouraged to apply for the conference due to her extensive knowledge and strong background in rhetorical studies.

“I have worked with Tori in various capacities over the last three years, and she has been a very involved graduate student from the beginning of her career here at Southern Miss,” said Atkins-Sayre. “Always intellectually curious, Tori is likely to be a vital part of the conversation, regardless of the topic.”

Brown comes to Southern Miss from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where she received her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and her master’s degree in communication. While pursuing her doctoral degree, Brown has served as a graduate tutor for the Speaking Center, co-authored research with University faculty and has participated in other competitively selected professional conferences such as the Teaching Institute for Graduate Teaching Assistants in Communication at the University of Maine and the Rhetoric Society of America’s Summer Institute at Indiana University Bloomington.

To be considered for the NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar, Brown had to submit a chapter from her dissertation, which looks at how for-profit organizations use images from developing nations in the Global South to encourage consumerism in the Global North.

“There were a lot of drafts behind this paper, and I am excited that it has been so well-received by those reading it. The prospect of having this paper in shape to submit for publication at a journal is exciting,” she said.

Although Brown said she’s still in disbelief that she will be attending the conference, she looks forward to networking with other rhetoric scholars and getting their feedback on her dissertation. For her, the focus is on writing and getting the paper where it is ready for publication in an academic journal, which will help her be more competitive in the job market.

According to Atkins-Sayre, the NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar brings together some of the best doctoral students in the communication studies discipline and gives participants the opportunity to interact with some of the finest faculty members from various institutions.

“The Doctoral Honors Seminar pushes students to go beyond their own comfortable environment and to make a larger argument for why their research is important to the discipline,” said Atkins-Sayre. “Tori’s selection shows that our graduate students can be counted among some of the top in our discipline. We are thrilled to see the Southern Miss name among the top programs in the U.S.”

To learn more about the Department of Communication Studies at Southern Miss, visit www.usm.edu/communication-studies.