Communication Studies Junior Emily Bernstein Won McCall Award for Best Undergraduate Research Paper

One of Dr. Aubrie Adams's students, Emily Bernstein, a junior COMS major, presented her research on “The Effect of Filler Words on Professional Credibility and Communication Competence” at the 43rd Annual Social Science Student Symposium (S4) held last week in Long Beach.  Emily won the McCall Award for Best Undergraduate Paper, which includes a $500 stipend.   The symposium represents a CSU-wide research competition for students organized by the Social Science Research and Instructional Center.  Approximately 60 students presented and only three papers received awards (best undergraduate paper, best graduate paper, and best use of quantitative data in a paper).

Emily’s study represents a group project developed last quarter in Dr. Adams's Research Methods class in collaboration with COMS students, Lea Gikas and Zac Sutcliffe.  Together, Emily, Lea, and Zac performed an experiment to test the influence that filler words have on perceptions of a speaker’s credibility and competence in an interview context.  Their results showed that filler words negatively affected perceived professional credibility and communication competence.  Congratulations to this team of students, and to Dr. Adams who advised them, for successfully sharing their research with the wider academic community! 

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