Recent Submissions

  • Creating safety policy and procedures in an active shooter event

    Nash, Mechelle L.; Taylor, Karen; DeCaro, Peter; Hum, Richard; Heckman, Daniel (2020-12)
    School and workplace active shootings are on the rise and seem to be the norm today and there is not a working policy in place to train for an active shooter event in our organization, Golden Valley Electric Association. The purpose of this project was to develop a workable policy and procedure for the employees and to enhance the safety culture within our organization. To achieve this goal, a training presentation was created using the ALICE Training Institute’s protocol to train the workforce. The ALICE acronym stands for A=Alert, L=Lockdown, I=Inform, C=Counter, E=Evacuate. Over the course of research for this project, research indicated that a crisis management plan (CMP) and crisis management team (CMT) would be a better option for training the organization, not policies and procedures. A sample crisis management plan and outline for the crisis management team were created. The crisis management team would deal with the policies and procedures and ensure the success of training the workforce and enhancing the safety culture of the organization. The recommendations are for the organization to select the CMT, review the CMP created, and implement and maintain the plan. Following and implementing these recommendations into practice would ensure the workforce was trained and would strengthen the safety culture of the organization.
  • 'I am the last frontier': idealized Alaskan themes through media and their influence on culture, tourism, and policy

    Lawhorne, Rebecca; Hum, Rich; O’Donoghue, Brian; McDermott, Tori (2020-05)
    A large body of literature suggests that in media history there exists prominent narrative themes about the State of Alaska. These themes affect both resident and visitor perceptions and judgements about what life is and should be in Alaska and subsequently, create values that ultimately influence how the state operates. The evolution of these themes are understood in a modern capacity in the Alaska reality television phenomenon of the early 2000’s. This study concludes that the effect of these forms of media may create conflict and ultimately, may not work in the state’s best interests. The researcher believes that the state has new tools to use in its image management. She recommends that new forms of media be cultivated Alaskan residents, tourism industry leaders and special interest groups as a means of alleviating the misrepresentations, expanding communication representation and developing positive visitor experiences for younger visitors who utilize new forms of media. Communication Theory, interviews and content analysis are used to present a study on Alaskan culture, its presence in media and the influence mass media has on this unique environment.
  • Engineering communicators: agenda setting impacts on perceptions of communication for engineering students

    Heaney, Lindsey; Taylor, Karen; Hum, Richard; Trochim, Erin (2020-05)
    What is effective communication? Within the job industry, communication is a sought after and valued skill when it comes to hiring employees. The engineering field is no different with communication skills being an important component of the discipline through project management and working with others from a variety of backgrounds. However, there is a gap between what the engineering profession is expecting and what is being produced from college institute engineering programs regarding communication skills. To better understand this phenomenon, message constructs regarding communication in course materials and perceptions from engineering students were examined through anonymous surveys and curriculum analysis. Through the lens of agenda-setting theory, clear themes between course materials and the surveys center around emphasis on the end result and the use of god-terms when referring to communication. Furthermore, communication by example with faculty and staff play a key role in the way students perceive and understand communication’s role within the profession.
  • The relationship between the achievement motive and downward communicative adaptability

    Weaver, David E.; Sager, Kevin L.; Dexter, Charlie; Mason, Charles (2019-05)
    In this paper, a model was created linking the Achievement Motive to Downward Communicative Adaptability. As theorized in the model, there is a significant positive relationship between the Achievement Motive and Downward Communicative Adaptability. Participants who supervise or manage others completed an in-person paper and pencil survey. The collected data were entered into an SPSS data file, and a simple correlational analysis was run. A significant positive correlation was found between the Achievement Motive and Downward Communicative Adaptability.
  • Outdoor education and feminism: a review of the outdoor adventures program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks

    Bessent, Danielle; Taylor, Karen M.; May, Amy; Oldmixon, Mark T. (2019-05)
    This report is an organizational review of the Outdoor Adventures (OA) Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). I will be reviewing the communication strategies within the program as well as the risk mitigation and socialization process of the organization. The goal of this document is to provide a theoretical background to justify decision making and communication practices within the organization based on a feminist critical perspective. This document provides recommendations based upon improving communication dynamics that play a role in the gender disparity as well as the processes through which staff of the organization are socialized. This document provides a brief history of the OA program at UAF and a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis to give perspective on the current state of the program. Next this project contains an overview of the gender disparity in the outdoor field, ways in which risk management is viewed and implemented, and the socialization processes of staff members within the program. Methods used to review the organization included document review, direct observation, and autoethnographic practices. The results of this project include documents to aid in socialization and risk management processes and further explores recommendations to mitigate the gender gap, update risk management practices, and train staff.
  • Search for identity in post-war Lebanon: Arab vs Phoenician

    Ghalioum, Ibrahim A.; Taylor, Karen M.; Hum, Rich; DeCaro, Peter (2019-05)
    This study uses textual analysis and network mapping in order to understand the rhetoric surrounding Phoenicianism in modern day Lebanon, using 1,336 data points from a political discussion forum. The ability of rhetoric grounded in science to persuade others of genetically essentialist views is examined, as well as the ability of social constructionism to naturally resist such rhetoric. We identify common themes found in our data set, the use of science based ethos in Phoenicianist rhetoric, and the growth (or lack thereof) of the Phoenicianist network in order to answer this question. Our research indicates that science based rhetoric and science based proofs do not lead to the growth of a network through the persuasion of others. This also presents us with some interesting opportunities for future research, such as the reasons why Phoenicianism failed to create long lasting identity change in Lebanon. A study on the various environmental factors that resulted in this instance of failed rhetoric could shine a light on the importance of demographics when it comes to successfully creating social movements.
  • Tanana Valley State Fair crisis public relations plan project

    Hoogestraat, Ron (2018)
    This project proposal outlines the necessity and importance of emergency public relations during a crisis situation for the Tanana Valley State Fair. It articulates what an organization can expect when it is not prepared to address communications during a crisis situation. This project proposal is a recommendation for management of the Tanana Valley State Fair for an effective Public Relations Crisis Communication Plan, as well as a personnel training program to address the current lack of a formal plan. The project also presents a literature review on the issue of crisis public relations and its application to the Tanana Valley State Fair. In addition, it describes the methodology employed in the development of the Public Relations Crisis Communication Plan. The training progam and its supporting materials for the training sessions, along with a media relations plan, have been developed based on the research discovered in public relations crisis communication. The construction of the training program is born by studies on prepatory data and its effects on human preformance during stressful situations. As a result of this research, the proposed project on a Public Relations Crisis Communication Plan and training program have been developed for the Tanana Valley State Fair.
  • Exploring supportive and defensive communication behavior and psychological safety between supervisors and their subordinates

    Strehl, Mary E.; Sager, Kevin L.; DeCaro, Peter A.; Jarrett, Brian (2015-05)
    This project explores the relationship between supportive and defensive communication behavior and psychological safety in the organizational setting. A paper and pencil survey measuring team psychological safety and supportive and defensive communication behaviors was administered to participants in the northwestern region of the United States. Supervisor use of supportive communication behavior was hypothesized to be positively correlated with employee psychological safety. Support was found for the hypothesis. This research sought to expand the scope of our understanding of psychological safety in an organizational setting while highlighting the benefits of using supportive communication behavior.
  • The state of climate change in AK: agency and networking of the governmental kind

    O'Neall, Mindy L.; DeCaro, Peter; Taylor, Karen; Hirsch, Alex; Dodge, Kathryn (2017)
    Alaska coastal villages are faced with relocating their communities' due to erosion, flooding, permafrost thaw and other slow-moving natural hazards that risk their safety. State and federal efforts to relocate, specifically, indigenous communities are thwarted by insufficient policy and restrictive agency missions, and coordination of actors, authority, responsibility, accountability, access and funding is lacking between levels of government, further complicating action. Networks are created to view mission statements from tribal, state, and federal agencies, nonprofits and private industry were coded to analyze coordination between key actors involved in climate governance and planned relocation. State and federal climate and disaster response policies are reviewed to identify areas to strengthen climate governance that is inclusive of indigenous communities' rights, culture, traditions and livelihoods.
  • Science for Alaska: place for curious learners

    Campbell, Diana L.; Taylor, Karen; Bhatt, Uma; Richey, Jean (2017-08)
    For over 25 years, Alaskans have been attending Science for Alaska Lecture Series, held during the coldest part of an Alaskan winter. The hour-long evening lectures would see from around 100 to almost 300 people attend each event. The scientific literature is quiet in regard to audience preferences in regard to the recieving end of science communication. This qualitative study looked at the audience of a science lecture series: who are they, why do they come and what do they do with the information. In nine taped audio interviews, the research participants described themselves as smart, curious lifelong learners who felt a sense of place to the Arctic for its practical and esoteric values. Attending the events constructed their social identity that they felt important to share with children. The findings suggest that addressing the audience's sense of place and mirroring their view as smart, curious people would be an effective avenue to communicate science.