Hello! My name is Lindsey Chan and I am a junior double majoring in Strategic & Corporate Communication and Business Administration. Over the Fall Semester, I had the opportunity to work directly with Dr. Ball in the School of Communication through a Student-Faculty Research/Creative Activity. Through this research experience, I was able to consequently work with a few PhD candidates on their research projects and apply much of what I had learned from the previous semester where I was enrolled in Message Design (SCC 200) and  Intro to Research Methods (COM 295). I had a strong desire to apply my knowledge to research projects in these classes which made me eager to get started on some real-life research!

CanvaAI – Tool Used to Generate Research Images

Towards the beginning of my undergraduate research journey, I assisted with the creation of a project focused around the effects of sponsored versus unsponsored social media messages on sleep health intentions. I was introduced to a PhD candidate who spearheaded this project and I met with my research team each week to discuss findings from academic articles relating to our topic, brainstorm various experimental stimuli to explore, and create the basis for this project that would eventually assume the form of a focus group. I also collaborated with another undergraduate researcher to form the premise of the narrative versus non-narrative social media captions that encompass all of the experimental stimuli my team identified. Going into the Spring semester, I have continued to work on this research project and utilized different forms of artificial intelligence to help my research team generate content that could be used to present social media messages and images for experimentation and campaign names.

Coding Data Results

Along with this, I assisted in another project with a PhD candidate who was actively working on their dissertation. This separate research venture observed and examined the strategic messaging techniques displayed within effective and ineffective missing persons messages across the country. I was recruited to work on this research project towards the latter end of its execution which, in turn, allowed me to practice multitasking skills and flexibility. The nature of the project consisted of research coding which was a long process of labeling and categorizing qualitative data in order to reveal and analyze different themes and relationships between certain variables. In order to effectively code the missing persons messages that were presented to me, I completed a few rounds of coder training and assisted in the improvement of the code book that was created to achieve intercoder reliability.

Through these experiences, I have learned so much about the application of course concepts to real-life research projects and truly credit my success as an undergraduate researcher to the SoC courses and Professors that have taught me along the way. Not only have I been allowed to work with some amazing and brilliant people, but I have also gained an abundance of research and communication experience that I am so grateful for. These projects enabled me to take course concepts from Message Design and Research Methods to a whole new level and I have felt a sense of responsibility and accomplishment that has been so valuable to my development at Chapman. Dr. Ball and the PhD candidates that I worked with this past year have made this experience irreplaceable with their welcoming nature, ability to help me grow, and willingness to teach alongside everything else. This rewarding experience is one that I will never forget.