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MA Student Wins Top Graduate Paper


With 15 master's students and one recent undergraduate alumnus, MCC was well represented at this year's New York State Communications Association conference held on October 18-20. David Williams took home the top graduate paper for his piece "Spectacle, Simulation, and Deepfakes."

MCC students have long benefitted from the mentorship of Professor Deborah Borisoff and Adjunct Professor Sal Fallica, who work closely with the presenters beforehand. This year, Professor Fallica served as discussant for the student panel "The New Celebrity and the Celebrity of Fandom." All four panelists — Mercedes Gonazalez Bazan, Shelly Govila, Hina Wilkerson and Sulaiman Alfadhi — presented research conducted for Fallica's course Media Events and Spectacle.

Professor Borisoff has championed for students to gain experience presenting their research to the public. “In 2002, I worked with my former colleague, Professor Mitchell A. Leaska, to establish a scholarship fund to help support MA students presenting their papers at professional conferences," she explains. "Since that time, I have brought well over 100 MCC students to conferences — most particularly to the New York State Communication Association Conference — where papers on media, culture, communication, technology, etc. are welcome. Without exception, our MA students have done an exceptional job presenting their work, responding to audience questions, and have had the opportunity to network with faculty and students from other universities.”

MCC Student Panelists at NYSCA 2019


Bridging the Gap Across Culture, Race, and Sexual Identity: 
Interrogating Dating, Romance, Beauty, and Masculinity

  • Don't Swipe White: The Dating App Experiences of People of Color
    Mercedes Gonzales Bazan
  • Male Celebrity Endorsements in Cosmetic Advertising in China: Navigating Traditional and New Images of Masculinity
    Zixin Zhang
  • The Rise of the Hafu Model in Japanese Magazines and its Impact on Beauty Norms
    Alisa Yamasaki

Bridging the Gap Across Gender, Race, and Culture: 
(Dis)Connection in Mediated and Non-Mediated Identity

  • Unweaving Networks of Misgynoir: Cybertypes of Black Women across the ‘World White Web’
    Tracy Boachie
  • 'The Sacred Texts!' Identity and Masculinity in Fandom Culture
    Becca Wood
  • Tracing Social Change Through Rebooted Television
    Corinne Weinstein
  • The Muted Voice: Korean Females in the Television Industry
    Haeyeon Marie Kim

Bridging the Gender and Culture Gaps in Organizations: 
The Lenses of Work-Life Balance, Mentoring, and Conflict

  • Work-Life Balance: Women in the Video Game and Technology Industries
    Tiffany R. Rinehart
  • The Japanese Salaryman Versus the Overworked American: Commonalities and Differences in the Workplace
    Xiaoxuan Xu
  • Strategies for Managing Conflict in Multinational Organizations: A Case Study of an International School
    Yawen Lu

The New Celebrity and the Spectacle of Fandom
This panel will explore the relative influence of academic and fan perspectives in the current group of scholar-fans and the ethical dilemmas that sometimes emerge from this interplay of identities, discussing how the celebrity spectacle is but an illusion. Today we, the fans, are the new spectacle – social activists driving culture, and dragging celebrities alongside us.

  • Mercedes Gonzales Bazan
  • Sulaiman Alfadhli
  • Shelly Govila
  • Hina Wilkerson

Spectacle, Simulation, and Deepfakes

  • David Williams

How Political Satire and Celebrity Culture Helped Elect Donald Trump 
Among the things of life that unite people, one would think that clever comedy and beloved celebrities would do just that. But in the rapidly-changing American landscape, there is more to that story, especially how popular talk show hosts and politically-active celebrities helped polarize a public and directly affected American democracy. 

  • Jacob Steel