M.A. Capstone Projects | Communication Studies

M.A. Capstone Projects

Master of Arts students in Communication Studies conclude the program with a capstone, or independent research project, that reflects their individual interests and areas of expertise.


  • Cory Bussiere – “One, Two, Three, Four: An Autoethnography of Family/Relational Dialectics and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder”
  • Megan Butler – “Giving Back: How One Church Uses Helping Values as Sources of Organizational Identification”
  • Bruce Case – “Donald Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Mythopoesis as Rhetorical Strategy”
  • Margaret Evans – “ ‘The Calm in the Storm’: Navigating Communication Paradoxes with Female First Responders”
  • Amber Holland – “ ‘It isn’t just people with power over us who can make us feel vulnerable;’ A Phenomenological Analysis of Contrapower Sexual Harassment in the Academy”
  • Vincent Johnson – “Black Twitter vs. ‘Don Don’: A Descriptive Cultural Study of Vernacular Discourse”
  • Tony Kemerly  – “The Odds Were Never in Their Favor: Katniss Everdeen and the Woman-in-Sport”
  • Cara Nance – “A Feminist Rhetorical Analysis of Wonder Woman: Iconic Female Strength in Film Character”
  • Devon Paul – “Mental Illness and Higher Education: An Autoethnographic Exploration of Anxiety”
  • Hampton Perry – “Keeping Classes Positive: Examining Positive Communication Use with Generation Z Students”
  • Shannon Taylor – “Narrating a Homecoming: Unlearning Performing Good White Girl to Become the Indigenous Woman”
  • Brooke Williams – “Finding the ‘Why?’: Motivational Interviewing as a Strategy for Improving Health Communication”


  • CJ Brewer  – “The Empowerment of Song and Solidarity:  Agency and Facework in a Gay Men’s Choir”
  • Chris Jordan – “From Start to Finnish:  Humor as Cultural Adaptation to Finnish Culture”
  • Alex Patti – “Secondary-level Basic Communication Course Curriculum for North Carolina Public Schools: Basic Course Advocacy, Curriculum Design, and Proposal”
  • Beatrice Roderick – “(Re)Experiencing Memory: A Layered Autoethnography”


  • Genevieve Barnes – “Interpreting African American Social Identity: An Analysis of North Carolina Rosenwald Schools Alumni Communicative Experience”
  • Annalisa Donahey – “The Discursive Power of Food: A Grounded Practical Analysis to Reconstruct the Local Food System through Individual and Organizational Involvement”
  • Nancy Maingi – “Reimagining democratic possibilities in culturally diverse workplaces: Fostering democratic communication practice”
  • Kelly M. O’Donnell – “Legitimization of Online Misogyny in the Manosphere”
  • Maria Perrot – “In Between the Gray Areas (While Dressed in Black) An Autoethnographic Study of an American Sign Language Interpreter
  • Frances Rodenbough – “Waiting for “Superman” vs. American Teacher: An Ideographic Analysis
  • Vincent Russell – “Speaking for Change: Social Justice Cents-ibility in Greensboro Participatory Budgeting
  • Taylor Williams  – “Imagining An Ethical Communication Culture Among Individuals with Nontraditional Ability”


  • Stephanie Walton – “Social Movement Performance and The University of Missouri: Moving Traditional Social Movement Performance to Social Media”
  • Christina Blankenship – “The Wizardry of Oz: Deconstructing the TV doctor”


  • Linda Jaber – “The Social Media Protest Against ‘Alice in Arabia’ Through the Lens of Postcolonial Feminism”
  • Nic Sprinkle –  “How Attitudes, Knowledge, and Relationships Impact Communication in Hearing Doctor-Deaf Consumer Interactions”
  • Elizabeth Dam-Regier –  “A Feminist Semiotic Analysis of Lena Dunham in Vogue and the Case for Visual Media Literacy Education”
  • Michael Edinger – “From Feminine Style to the Middle Wave: An Analysis of Establishment Gay Political Discourse”
  • Kristen Jennings – “Breaking Down Heisenberg: Reconstructing Myth Through Breaking Bad
  • Alie Buckley – “Diapers, Dinners, and Dates: Laughing Through the Chaos to Find Relational Balance”


  • April Wright – “A “Text”ual Analysis: A Critical Examination of Text Messaging as a Relational Maintenance Tool”
  • Jessi Eriksen – “The Pirate Bay: A Content Analysis of News Coverage”
  • Christie Maillet – “Genuine Love: Mary Lambert’s “She Keeps Me Warm” and the Acceptance of Lesbian Identity in Contemporary Music”
  • Cristal Campbell – “Food & Family: An Autoethnography”
  • Jessica Dunbar – “Negotiating the ‘Ideal’ Family Meal in Low-Income Families”
  • Sarah Hollingsworth – “Culture, Family, Community: An Investigation of Latino Student Support in Higher Education”


  • Mark Congdon, Jr.“What’s wrong with me?: An autoethnographic investigation of the co-cultural communicative practices of living with Tourette Syndrome during adolescence”.
  • Jacqueline Downing, “Finding her strength: A qualitative narrative analysis of strong families’ experiences with cancer”.
  • Tessa DuBois, “Running dialogue: The social and communicative experience of running together”
  • Crawford Miller, “Connecting social support and socialization through an ethnographic lens of a CrossFit community”.
  • Gabriel A. Cruz, “The Mexican in the media: How Mexican immigrants are portrayed in the news”.
  • Justin Dorazio, “Like the chatter of a beggar’s teeth: Performing rupture against the simulation of politics”.
  • JT Hosack, “Learning to riff: Communicative effects of military life on a dependent (Or how I learned to embrace the Ramblin’ Man)”.
  • Patrick Sawyer, “The synergy of self, voice, work, and the world”.


  • Barnes, B. “Deinstitutionalization: A rhetorical and political policy analysis concerning the treatment of the mentally ill via legislative, executive, and judicial acts.”
  • Davis, A. “Collaboration, competence, or conquering: A study of the definition of empowerment at a speaking center.”
  • Eberhardinger, M. “A semiotic analysis of iconicity in Japanese manner posters.”
  • Niles, B. “Male-male intimacy in close non-romantic friendships.”
  • Oldham, C. “Home is where The Voice is: Cultivating community through a street newspaper.”
  • Samsell, A. “Dog as metaphor: Passing Susie’s Law.”
  • Szabo, A. “What money can’t buy: Wealth creation through a love economy amongst the homeless.”
  • Walker, D. “Smart Girls: The effects of social support on female body image.”
  • Yarbray, K. “Intentionality and inclusion: A grounding for democracy.”


  • Bond, M. “ Sustainable conversation: The communication of nature through food.”
  • Ellis, E. “ A dilemma for African American women in broadcast journalism.”
  • Johnson, D. “We don’t hold the golden ticket”: Black male college students negotiating voice and silence at a predominantly white institution (PWI). ”
  • Murphy-Keith, R. “ Living Lolita: Embodying, embracing, and escaping a feminine archetype”
  • Nxumalo, Z. “ Tilling and talking: Community-based food programs as social support.”
  • Williams, C. “The fourth age: Experiences with Grandma.”
  • Williams, M. “ Celebrating lifelong friendship through the heart of dialogue.”


  • Avery, A. “The communicative challenges and likelihood of cross-race friendship between black and white.”
  • Baker, J. ” A structurational view of the patients advocate role in the health care system: filling the gap.”
  • Bledsoe, J. “Service learning is acting: An exploration into the stereotypes of the service learning student.”
  • Blizzard, S. “What it means to be a lesbian: Exploring multiple identities through articulation.”
  • Fielders, S. ” Discursive leadership in non-profit organizations .”
  • Fussell, R. “Dialectics and ethics in a small group friendship.”
  • Greene, S. “More of me than what you see: How communication functions within the experiences of graudate parents/students.”
  • Ladd, S. “Unlearning racism.”
  • Miller, A. “Disney and the new economy: the box office and beyond.”
  • Mackowski, L. “Nurturing leadership + engaging leadership + rewarding engagement + cohesive leadership = creating ethical leadership.”
  • Shaw, D. “And be a simple kind of man: A case study of white masculinity in the North Carolina piedmont.”