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Judy Sims - communication journalism

           FACULTY/STUDENT COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH

An Examination of Culture Shock Experiences and Difficulties in Cultural Adapation: Rich Description from Sojourners, Immigrants, and Long-Term Refugees (2010-2011). This research project involved UW-Eau Claire undergraduate student and Blugold Scholar, Chelsea Jacobson. Culture shock has been defined as a feeling of disorientation or discomfort due to the lack of familiar cues in one's environment (Martin and Nakayama, 2010). The purpose of this research study was to examine and understand the culture shock experiences and struggles of cultural adapation encountered by migrants (soujourners, immigrants, and long-term refugees) who attempted to adjust to U.S. American culture. Such knowledge can heighten the cultural intelligence of migrants, as well as members of the host culture, resulting in the increased effectiveness of intercultural interactions. Survey methodology was used to gather self-report data through interviews with 20 participatnts from 16 cultures. The sample - non-random, convenience, and purposive - included: (1) international students and scholars studying at the UW-Eau Claire from Austria, Bolivia, China, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Moldova, Nepal, South Korea, Spain, Tunisia, and Ukraine, and (2) community members that emigrated from other cultures (Kenya, Iran, Laos, and Portugal). The results revealed 11 different categories of culture shock experiencess, which appear to have been influenced and stimulated by, for example, direct challenges to the participants' learned cultural values, etiquette, verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors. The results revealed a variety of culture shock experiences in rich description. This research was accepted for presentation at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research at Ithaca College in New York on March 2011. UW-Eau Claire News Release. The study also was presented at UW-Eau Claire Student Research Day, May 2011.

Culture Talk: The Influence of Culture on Communication (2008-2009). This faculty/student collaborative research project involved undergraduate students Joseph Tierney, Nessa Severson, Anne Moser, and Pierce Koch. Students were paid through grants from the UW-System Institute on Race and Ethnicity and the UW-Eau Claire Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.  This project, which explores how culture influences communication, entailed both a research study and the production of 20 radio episodes of  "Culture Talk," which were broadcast on WUEC 89.7FM. The purpose of "Culture Talk" is to encourage understanding of how culture affects the messages one delivers as well as how one communicates. The radio episodes feature interviews with 24 participants (16 women and eight men), including:(1) international students and scholars studying at a UW-Eau Claire from Austria, Bolivia, China, Ethiopia, Germany, Kuwait, Malaysia, Moldova, Nepal, South Korea, Spain, Tunisia, and Ukraine, (2) community members who emigrated from other cultures (Kenya, Iran, Laos and Portugal) and (3) American Indians (Anishinaabe/Ojibwe and Lakota Rosebud Sioux). A semi-structured interview schedule was used to gather data. Interviewees were asked a series of open and closed-ended questions that explored areas including: identity, verbal communication, nonverbal communication, values, and culture shock. This research was accepted for presentation at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in La Crosse on April 16, 2009. “Culture Talk” was awarded Second Place in the Public Affairs/Talk Show (Radio) category of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Student Awards for Excellence competition (March 2009). Our research poster was presented at the UW-Eau Claire Student Research Day, April 27-29, 2009. The "Culture Talk" poster/presentation was honored with the First Place Award in the Behavioral & Social Sciences (Category I) at  UW-Eau Claire's Student Research Day. And, in March 2010, "Culture Talk" was awarded First Place in the Public Affairs/Talk Show (Radio) category of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Student Awards for Excellence competition; the award-winning episode featured Dr. Kaying Xiong-Vue and Ms. Sophia Vuelo, Esq. (Hmong-American).

A survey of U.S. pre-departure cross-cultural training programs for Germany (2001-2002). This faculty/student research project involved undergraduate student, Jessica Holm. The research was accepted for presentation at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). Ms. Holm presented the research for the NCUR at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on April 25,  2002. Ms. Holm also prepared a poster for UW-Eau Claire Research Day.   

A content analysis of local television news:  Coverage of controversial issues and diverse populations in Eau Claire, Wisconsin (1999). Dr. Joseph Giordano and I supervised this research project, which was funded by an $18000 Faculty/Student Research Collaboration Grant from the UWEC Office of University Research.The project involved undergraduate student collaborators Elizabeth Kuntz, Lori Kurtzman and Jessica Meier. The students presented their research poster at the UW-Eau Claire Student Research Day, April 17-18, 2000, as well as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Missoula, Montana (April 27-29, 2000). The research also  resulted in a conference paper that was awarded Second Place by the News Division of the Broadcast Education Association (see Honors) and a publication (see Sims and Giordano, 2001).

Student Researchers Liz Kuntz, Lori Kurtzman, and Jessica Meier
Left to Right: J. Meier, L. Kurtzman, and E. Kuntz

Children and violence on television (1995).  Dr. Joseph Giordano and I supervised this faculty/student research project, which involved undergraduate students Amanda Barnes, Jane Hughes and Eric Neudecker.  The students presented their research poster at the UWEC Student Research Day, May 1-2, 1995.

Student Researchers Barnes, Hughes, and Neudecker
Left to Right: A. Barnes, E. Neudecker, and J. Hughes

WUEC 89.7 FM research:  A telephone survey of Eau Claire community members and UWEC Students (1994). This faculty/student research project involved undergraduate students, Andrea Hansen, Rene Mehlberg, Mike Noer and Tina Paschen.  The students presented their research poster at the UW-Eau Claire Student Research Day, May 4-5, 1994. 

Newspaper coverage of the 1992 presidential campaign: A content analysis of character/competence/image issues versus platform/political issues (1993). Dr. Joseph Giordano and I supervised this faculty/student research project, which involved undergraduate students Jessica Berchild, Kelly Bloom, Paula Gugisberg and David Kohut. The students presented their research poster at the UW-Eau Claire Student Research Day on April 28, 1993; their poster was awarded Second Place! 

Left to Right (back row): Jessica Berchild, Kelly Bloom, Paula Gugisberg, and David Kohut;
(front row): Dr. Judy Sims and Dr. Joseph Giordano. 



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Updated: August 2011