CSUSB Undergrad Student Receives Top Paper Award at WSCA Convention



By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley) – Cal State San Bernardino undergraduate student Joshua Adamson earned a top paper award at the Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference category at the 13th annual Western States Communication Association convention in San Diego.

Adamson, a third-year communications major with an emphasis on media studies, presented his solo-authored paper “Twitter Privacy: Determinants of Sharing Behavior on Twitter,” earning a silver award at the convention Feb. 27.

“To be honored with a top paper award at the USRC is one of the greatest achievements of my entire life,” said the Murrieta resident. “Learning that my paper had been chosen for presentation of my research was already an incredibly important accomplishment for me.”

“Doing my research and assembling my paper was one of the most challenging – yet fulfilling – things that I have ever actually done,” said Adamson. “I went into the conference not knowing that the paper would receive such a significant prize, so this award vindicates more than half a year’s worth of work that I’ve done.”

According to Mihaela Popescu, CSUSB professor of communication and one of Adamson’s mentors, the WSCA convention is one of the few professional conferences that encourage and showcase undergraduate work through the one-day USRC event as part of the WSCA’s annual convention, adding that a paper’s acceptance for presentation at USRC is quite competitive. Eligibility requires undergraduate students to submit their work in the form of a 25-page paper for blind review by top scholars from universities on the West Coast.

“Presenting a paper at this conference is an extraordinary opportunity for undergraduate students to network with established scholars and receive feedback,” said Popescu. “Receiving an award recognizes not only the quality of the student’s paper, but implicitly the quality of the program that produces such students.”

In the summer of 2015, Adamson collaborated with Popescu under a grant from the CSUSB Office of Student Research to collect data on privacy literacy from a sample of 520 California residents.

In fall 2015, he developed his paper on Twitter privacy under the mentorship of Brian Heisterkamp, CSUSB communication professor of research methodologies, who assisted with editing the literature review, and with Popescu for the analysis portion in an independent study class.

“I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to my advisor on the research, Dr. Mihaela Popescu, whose strong belief in my abilities as both a writer and a growing academic in my own right, helped propel my success,” said Adamson. “This award would simply not have happened without her dedicated support of my project.”

“I also owe much gratitude to Dr. Brian Heisterkamp, who offered invaluable suggestions to me as I formulated my paper’s hypotheses and its literature review,” Adamson added. “Finally, the entire CSUSB Office of Student Research deserves a debt of gratitude as well, given that the foundation of my USRC paper was laid during the work that I performed in summer 2015 as part of OSR’s Summer Research Program.”

Adamson is also a co-author on a forthcoming paper on the development and validation of a privacy literacy scale (Popescu, Baruh & Adamson) that will be submitted for presentation at the National Communication Association convention in Philadelphia this fall. In addition, the paper will also be submitted to a top journal in communication studies for possible publication.

Set in the foothills of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains, CSUSB is a preeminent center of intellectual and cultural activity in inland Southern California. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, CSUSB serves more than 20,000 students each year and graduates about 4,000 students annually.

For a digital photo of Joshua Adamson, or for more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.

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