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Monday, October 7, 2013

Salatino Wins Outstanding Poster Award at OCA

Megan Salatino and Dr. Avtgis
Congratulations to Megan Salatino for winning the Outstanding Undergraduate Poster award at the recent Ohio Communication Association's annual conference. Megan, a sophomore majoring in public relations, presented the first phase of her research: "Applying Expectancy Violation Theory in Skin Cancer Diagnosis".

"I chose to do this project after my mom was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year, and she explained to me that her doctor violated her expectation in a negative way.  Because of this, I wanted to explore and determine violations that occur between a provider and patient when relaying a basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or malignant melanoma diagnosis to a patient," said Megan.

In taking on this research, Megan hopes to help physicians and patients become more mindful in interpreting non-verbal behavior when delivering a disease diagnosis.

"Patients may become psychologically aroused if their expectations are violated," states Megan.

In the next phase of her research, Megan will be collecting data on how patients perceived their diagnosis and whether or not their expectations were violated.

Megan would like to coach healthcare providers in using verbal and non-verbal delivery techniques so the provider is more aware of his or her behavior when delivering a specific type of diagnosis, as well as adjust to any perceived violations from the patient.

Megan presented her research at the 77th annual Ohio Communication Association Conference, held at Marietta College, on October 4 and 5. During the poster session, judges reviewed the posters in a variety of areas including construction of the poster, presentation skills, and the research presented. The award was presented during the conference's business meeting on Saturday afternoon.

"When I heard Megan's name announced it made me so proud as she is really growing into a budding young scholar. The fact that she is only in her sophomore year makes the honor that much more incredible.  I can't wait to see the quality of research she will put forth in the next two years," says Dr. Theodore Avtgis, Megan's faculty advisor.

"Over the past two years the Department of Communication Studies student research productivity has been incredible.  Through the faculty's commitment to building a "culture of scholarship" we have seen great success from our students in terms of conference papers, poster presentations, book chapters, and peer-reviewed articles. In fact, this is the second year in a row that an AU student has won the top undergraduate poster award. It is clear that both the students are fully reflecting the department motto of 'Leave No Doubt'," said Avtgis.