This story was written by Sarah Freeman and was originally posted to Grady.uga.edu on August 13, 2019. 

While many Grady College students were enjoying summer internships or travel, others were continuing the work they do throughout the school year—researching communications topics that often contribute to dissertation proposals.

Sixteen doctoral students were awarded scholarships this summer to offset research expenses. The scholarships were awarded from the Paul C. and Margaret B. Broun Student Support Fund.

“The scholarship funds I received during my first year of the Ph.D. program at Grady College are significant in helping me achieve my research goals and aide me in finding my identity as a scholar,” Andrea Briscoe said.

The Broun Scholarship helped support Andrea Briscoe’s conference travels to Toronto, her first international trip. (Photo: courtesy of Andrea Briscoe.)

Briscoe, who is starting her second year as a graduate student, focused most of her research this summer on gender and visual media, a topic she presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference last week.

The funds offset the costs of travel to the conference in Toronto.

Briscoe continued: “While attending conferences are the expectation for graduate students, this conference meant more to me than a line on my CV. With help through funding of the graduate program along with this scholarship, I was able to share the work I had done on gender and reality television with a diverse group of people. I was able to sit in the same room with incredible scholars and creative thinkers and learn from them. But most importantly, I received numerous calls and texts from family where they shared how proud they were of me.”

Hyoyeun Jun, another doctoral student who was granted a scholarship from the Broun fund, also conducted research this summer that was presented at the AEJMC conference and will serve as a foundation for her dissertation.

Hyoyeun Jun with her project poster, “How US Health Organizations use Twitter to Address the Opioid Crisis.” She presented this research for the DMAC Lab. (Photo: courtesy of Hyoyeun Jun.)

Her research focuses on developing the most effective messages to overcome the stigma surrounding HPV and to increase behavioral intention by young adults to get vaccinated. She spent the summer gathering data on risk tolerance, or how individuals tolerate new health risks. The information will be used to determine what factors influence people not to behave in a certain way. Jun presented some of the qualitative research findings at AEJMC.

Jun, who is a native of South Korea and is studying here with a student visa, has specific requirements for work, including the fact that she cannot work outside of campus. Therefore, the funds from the scholarship are a vital form of support.

“With generous support from Grady scholarships, I could sustain myself better,” Jun said. “I could concentrate better on my research, not worrying about how I am going to pay my rent and get groceries. I am very thankful that Grady awarded me scholarships additional to my assistantship during the semester.”