Students Showcase Undergraduate Research at Virtual Mid-SURE Symposium

Students in MSU's College of Communication Arts and Sciences forged ahead with their studies during a pandemic summer, to present undergraduate research at the 10th annual Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Experiences (Mid-SURE) in early August.

To protect the community from the novel coronavirus, the symposium was held virtually for the first time. Undergraduate research papers were presented online from Aug. 4 to Aug. 10, 2020. The annual showcase brought together undergraduate students from diverse academic disciplines to share their research and creative activities with the university community.

More than 250 undergraduate students from 30 different institutions participated in Mid-SURE 2020, including many students from ComArtSci. The students were mentored by faculty, staff, graduate students, and government or industry researchers.

In its 10th year, the 1st virtual Mid-SURE symposium at MSU drew upon internet resources to provide a forum for undergraduates in the region to share their research and creative activities with the university community and beyond.

The research projects, some of which are interdisciplinary, that involved work from students or faculty at ComArtSci included:

  • "The Documented," a multimedia project that documents the stories of MSU students who are new U.S. citizens who deal with the undocumented status of family or international students who face persistent uncertainty that they will not be allowed to enter the country because of new travel bans, by Ben Goldman; Mentored by Geraldine Zeldes
  • "Kin-dread," exploring a game about empathy, family, and taking a look at what people can be beneath the surface, by Himashi Hewagama, Rachel Allen and Jason Wu; Mentored by Geraldine Zeldes
  • "'Helpful but Not Bothered': The Effects of Giving Out a Fake Email Address", by Abrielle Mason; Mentored by Emilee Rader
  • "Exploring Story-Based Training to Reduce Phishing Susceptibility," by Faye Kollig; Mentored by Rick Wash
  • "Qualitative and Quantitative Methodology in Crisis Communication," by Chloe Peter; Mentored by Manuel Chavez
  • "How Electronic Toys Impact the Quality of Parent Language Input Provided to Young Children with Autism," by Kaylee Commet, Kaitlin Gaynor, and Libby Fernau; Mentored by Mackenzie Sturman and Courtney Venker
  • "Motivations to Using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok: Predicting Future Use Intentions and Problematic Use," by Anvita Suneja and Anish Nimmagadda;  Mentored by Saleem Alhabash
  • "Creative Media Helping Families," by Dylan Kissel; Mentored by Amol Pavangadkar
  • "Self-Reported Voice Use in Student Singers: Does the Method of Reporting Matter?" By Grace Kuza, Alyssa Fritz; Mentored by Jeffrey Searl
  • "The Impact of Head and Neck Cancer Treatment on Communication," by Stacey Partain and Kate Shabet; Mentored by Jeffrey Searl
  • "Positive and Negative Face Threat/Support Regarding Interpersonal Romantic Relationships and Fitness," by Johnny McGraw; Mentored by Elizabeth Dorrance Hall

The research abstracts have been posted online so they may be shared with the broader community. To learn more about the undergraduate research, visit:

By Melissa Priebe

Explore Research at ComArtSci