Albany State to host student research symposium

ALBANY, Ga. -- ASU senior Breanna Person of Decatur was curious about the images of African-American women portrayed on television. As a child growing up, she questioned the choices made by directors and producers.

"I asked myself, 'Why are there no African-American women on television who look like me?'" Person said.

Her interest led to a research project entitled "I'm Not Fat, I'm Thick: The Effects of Media on African American College Women."

Person will make an oral presentation about the methodology, sample and findings of the project at the 2012 Regional Undergraduate Research Symposium today in Albany State's ACAD Room 141 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"My research is about how African-American women do not accept the media images displayed on television," Person said. "Black women feel that models seen on television of 'gold diggers, video vixens and Jezebels' do not represent the positive African-American women that they are."

Person is among 21 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and non-STEM students from ASU and visiting institutions who'll make 10-minute oral presentations from 10 a.m. to noon. Students from Armstrong Atlantic State University, Bainbridge, Dalton State, Georgia Gwinnett and Spelman colleges as well as Tuskegee University and the University of West Georgia will describe their poster projects and answer questions from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

"This research can advance their careers as well as assist them with entrance into graduate school," said Vanessa McRae, assistant director of the ASU Center for Undergraduate Research and the event's organizer. "Last year, one of our students received a $35,000 fellowship based on her project."

Keynote speaker Roy Adams will open the proceedings. He is the deputy director of Strategic Scientific Planning and Program Coordination at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health. Wilson's international research focuses on surveying causes of low vision and blindness in populations from the Caribbean to West Africa.

The symposium is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided to all guests who pre-registered by Oct. 15.