By Joanna Thornburg

This semester I had the opportunity to complete an independent study in Communication with Dr. Sarah Kornfield. Over the course of 16 weeks I accomplished several things and learned a lot. 

For starters, I conducted research and wrote entries on “Punk Feminism and the Riot Grrrls,” the “Guerilla Girls” and their activism, and the many different forms of “Body Positivity.” These three entries will be published by Bloomsbury Press in Dr. Kornfield’s forthcoming book, Feminism and Feminist Movements in America: An Encyclopedia of Ideals and Activism.

To develop these entries, I conducted extensive research on my own before meeting with Dr. Kornfield to outline each entry. I then learned the professional and scholarly practice of drafting, revising, and editing my writing with editorial feedback. At the end of the semester I had three completed entries that will be published under my name in the coming years. 

Ms. Joanna Thornburg and Dr. Srah Kornfield at the Central States Communication Association

Additionally, during this independent study I built on the research that Professor Kornfield and I had done the previous summer. Focusing on the agony shot in popular television, we presented our findings during a panel at the Central States Communication Association’s (CSCA) annual conference, which was hosted locally at Grand Rapids in April this year. While there I attended several presentations, including one about the TV show Love is Blind and another about how to integrate games in classroom learning.   

I also assisted Dr. Kornfield in some of her current projects, specifically finding and fixing endnote citations! Through this experience, I learned Chicago citations in-an-out as well as developing an understanding of the publishing process. 

Overall, I’m very grateful for this experience and all of the things that I was able to learn and accomplish.

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