Communication and Media Studies
The Communication and Media Studies faculty recognize Kayla, also a student in the Honors Program, as not only a committed student in terms of individual learning but also a great communicator and collaborator. Kayla combines seriousness of purpose and levity in a way that is rare. She provides a welcome warmth to any classroom she's in, and her written work is conducted with the highest level of rigor. What is particularly impressive about Kayla's work is that, however strong her work might already be, she improves with each revision. Never satisfied with "good enough," she incorporates feedback in inventive ways and chases down analytical possibilities with focus. Kayla is completing a senior research project into online Black counter publics, analyzing social media posts surrounding the live‐action remake of "The Little Mermaid." Her analysis of Black Twitter and "clap back" discourse online rethinks the role of humor as a form of resistance that counters racism online and facilitates group identity formation. More widely, her analysis expands rhetorical theories of ideology to look at the ways that discussions of race are organized around conflicting assumptions of shared values. As a Communication and Media Studies major, she was an intern for the Volusia County Public Defender’s oﬃce, developing strategies and materials for recruitment. Kayla has demonstrated commitment to Communication and Media Studies and its role in the world and we look forward to her future successes in whatever she pursues.