Tuesday, May 9, 2017

URSP Student Lottye Lockhart Researches How Student Feel About "Timely Warning" Emails

I never expected to study what I study right now. The idea for my project first came about while I was sitting in my dorm, procrastinating on thinking about what research I wanted to do for my Communication 490 class by reading the school newspaper.

On the inside of the first page, there is always the crime log. As I looked through the crimes that had happened in the first week, a sexual assault case caught my eye. I remembered, vividly, seeing the email in my email inbox: “Timely Warning”. Those two words, over the past four years had always made me uneasy, and hesitant to open and read the body of the email.

And then I began to wonder if other students felt the way I did about Timely Warning emails. I could have asked my friends, but I spoke to my professor, Chris Clarke about using my thoughts as a research question, and he encouraged me to stay in that vein of thought, and make my question more specific.

During the time I was narrowing my research question and working on a literature review, I also interned at the White House, responding on behalf of President Obama to any and all mail related to health. This work, along with my research, has helped me realize that even small steps, like a response to a letter, can go a long way in bettering the community I am part of. Although I do not think I will go into politics, this work has made me more aware of the ability to use Public Relations for good, and for a cause that I truly care about.

I plan on continuing this work throughout this semester- researching more to build on my literature review, letting students at George Mason know about the results once I have them, and hopefully working to improve one aspect of the community at George Mason.