Gabriele Cafone, a student in the Master of Arts in Strategic Communication program, will represent the College of Communication and the Arts and its Center for Graduate Studies by presenting a scholarly poster presentation at the DC Health Communication Conference in Fairfax, VA from April 27-29.
Cafone's research "Communication Accommodation in Maternity Care: A Qualitative Analysis on how Patient-Provider Communication Affects Labor and Delivery Decisions," analyzes patient-provider communication, specifically how providers affect women's decisions about medical interventions during labor and childbirth. This topic interested Cafone after a conversation with a colleague in the University's College of Nursing about maternity care. Knowing this subject will be the focus of her ongoing thesis research, she turned to two of her communication professors, Dr. Danielle Catona and Dr. Renee Robinson, for direction on how to carry out her research.
"Before taking the Communication Research course taught by Dr. Robinson, I did not know that research in this field was prominent nor was I familiar with the process of developing and submitting research to an academic conference. I learned so much in one semester, and I felt prepared to complete the rest of my research," notes Cafone.
After successfully developing a research proposal, Dr. Catona, an Assistant Professor of Communication, with extensive research background in health communication, took on the role as Cafone's thesis adviser. Despite the challenges associated with developing academic research papers, Cafone felt supported and empowered by the program's faculty and recently submitted it for consideration at the upcoming conference.
Cafone adds, "Dr. Catona and Dr. Robinson have made this past year one of my proudest. As teachers and mentors, they have gone above and beyond to answer any questions." Cafone plans to attend the upcoming conference to gain further insight into the academic communication community. As part of Cafone's poster presentation, she is looking forward to learning from and networking with other communication scholars.
Prior to pursuing her M.A. degree in Strategic Communication, Cafone earned a B.S. in Health and Exercise Science from The College of New Jersey. Through the program's coursework, faculty mentoring, and support from the University community, she is finishing the program feeling well-rounded. Cafone notes that Dr. Robinson and Dr. Catona have suggested different career paths she can choose within the communication field that incorporate both of her degrees.
For more information about the programs offered by the College of Communication and the Arts' Center for Graduate Studies, please contact Dr. Ryan Hudes.