The University of Alabama

UA Sports Communication Symposium Set for Feb. 28

Dr. Susan Rankin

Dr. Susan Rankin

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Alabama Program in Sports Communication’s second annual symposium will be Feb. 28 at The University of Alabama.

Dr. Susan Rankin, a research associate and associate professor of education at Pennsylvania State University, will provide the keynote, titled “Out of the Shadows: Experiences of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) Student-Athletes.”

“Her research specialty, LGBTQ issues, coincides so closely with the Michael Sam announcement in the past few weeks,” said Dr. Lance Kinney, symposium organizer and UA associate professor of advertising and public relations, referencing the National Football League prospect who recently publicly revealed he is gay. “Her research specialty has been the climate for LGBTQ athletes on campus and how they can be successful academically and athletically.

“While she may not address issues related to him specifically, research she has been doing will show us what he’s been dealing with the past few years, what it’s like to be a closeted LGBTQ athlete. It’s sort of telling that he didn’t, at least publicly, make an announcement until his collegiate days were completed. Those are the types of issues she might be able to offer some insight about.”

Other highlights of the one-day symposium include a session on Olympics-related research at 9 a.m. and a working-lunch panel at noon titled “Sports Across the Curriculum,” featuring professors from UA, Stillman College and the University of Florida.

The conference will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Gorgas Library 205. The full schedule is listed below.

8:45 a.m.: Welcome/Opening Remarks

Dr. Andrew Billings, UA professor and Ronald Reagan Endowed Chair of Broadcasting; director, Alabama Program in Sports Communication

9 – 9:55 a.m.: Olympics Research Issues

“ “Look at Caster Now’: The Olympic Body in Resistance to Hegemonic Norms,” 
William Butler, UA doctoral student in communication

“Reactions to the ‘Russian Kiss’ and Other Alleged Sports Activism and Risks of ‘Pinkwashing,’ ”
 Dr. Meredith Bagley, UA assistant professor of communication studies

“Summarizing Sochi: Gendered Clock-Time Results of NBC’s Winter Olympic Broadcasts,” Dr. Andrew Billings, UA professor of telecommunication and film

“An Examination of Tweets from the Star Players: Does Gender Play a Role in Relationship-Building Strategies Used by Athletes on Twitter,”
 Dr. Brandi Watkins, visiting assistant professor of advertising and public relations, Dr. Regina Lewis, UA associate professor of advertising and public relations, Tatum Roessler, UA undergraduate student

10 – 10:55 a.m.: Sports and New Technologies

“Lessons Learned From Sports Blogging: A Southeastern Conference Study,”Kelly Ward, undergraduate student, Dr. George Daniels, assistant dean for administration, UA College of Communication and Information Sciences

“Sports Journalists’s Tweets,”
 Dr. Chris Roberts, UA associate professor of journalism, Dr. Betsy Emmons, UA alumna

“Pinterest and the Female Sports Fan: Gaining a Foothold in the Male- Dominated Sports World,”
 Lindsey Conlin, doctoral student in communication, Dylan McClemore, doctoral student in communication, Richard Rush,
 UA doctoral student in communication

“Were Commercials Aired During the Sochi Winter Olympics Broadcasts Matched to Competitors’s Gender?,”
 James Bates, master’s student in advertising and public relations, Morgan Paulson, master’s student in advertising and public relations, University of Alabama

Morning Break

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Freestyle

“The Financial Implications of the SEC Network,” Kevin Hull, doctoral student, University of Florida

“’They Think It’s All Dover’”: Popular Newspaper Narratives and Images about the English Football Team and (re)Presentations of National Identity During Euro 2012,” Dr. John Vincent, UA professor of kinesiology; John Harris, Caledonian University

“The Wonder Years: Youth Sport Fandom and Fantasy Sports Participation,” Dr. Brody J. Ruihley, University of Cincinnati; Dr. Andrew Billings, Coral Marshall, UA doctoral student in communication

“Waiting on Goodell: Discourse of Authority, Authenticity and Power in Professional Sport,” 
Coral Marshall, Dr. Meredith Bagley, University of Alabama

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. Working Lunch Panel: Sports Across the Curriculum

A panel of instructors will share their strategies and tactics for working sports topics into assignments across a variety of disciplines. This session will be informal, interactive and peer-to-peer. Participants can share syllabi, assignments, course evaluations, grading tactics, student outcomes, etc. Panelists can accept questions and comments from Symposium participants.

Panelists:
 Dr. Kenon Brown, UA assistant professor of advertising and public relations; Dr. Meredith Bagley, UA; Dr. George Daniels, UA; Kevin Hull, University of Florida;
 Dr. Steven MacCall, UA associate professor, School of Library and Information Studies; Dr. Donald Staffo, professor emeritus, Stillman College;
 and other participants to be determined.

1:15 – 2 p.m.: UA Students Let it RIP: Research-in-Progress

“A Framing Analysis of NFL Concussions,” Jordan Doyle, master’s student in advertising and public relations, Kayla Posey, master’s student in advertising and public relations, University of Alabama

“Corporate Social Responsibility Activities Observed on NFL Team Websites,” Ashton Morrow, UA master’s student in advertising and public relations

“Social Identity Theory and Cross-Race Endorsement of Non-Profit Medical Groups,” Ariel Fink, master’s student in advertising and public relations, Jenna Skinta, master’s student in advertising and public relations, University of Alabama

“Product Placements Observed During NFL Post-Season Game Broadcasts,” Andrea Patten, master’s student in advertising and public relations, James Shetler, master’s student in advertising and public relations, University of Alabama

“Sports Announcers as Bias Cues: Hostile Media Perception and the Voices of the SEC,” Dylan McClemore, University of Alabama

2 – 3:15 p.m.: Keynote Session

Dr. Susan Rankin, 
research associate and associate professor of education, 
College Student Affairs Program, The Pennsylvania State University, presents “Out of the Shadows: Experiences of LGBTQ Student-Athletes.”
 College campuses have significantly improved for queer-spectrum and trans-spectrum students, yet LGBTQ athletes are often absent from the literature. This presentation will review results of the NCAA-sponsored study of the experiences of self-identified LGBTQ student-athletes, including how the campus climate influences the academic and athletic success of these athletes. Policies and resources serving the needs of LGBTQ student athletes will be offered.

Closing Remarks: Dr. Lance Kinney, UA associate professor of advertising and public relations

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.