Communication Studies Major Natalia Román Awarded Women’s Center Scholarship

For Natalia Román, being awarded a Women’s Center Scholarship, is one of several honors earned as a student at Kent State University.

Román is a student in the School of Communication Studies and was one of three students university-wide presented a scholarship during the Women’s Center annual Mothers, Mentors and Muses reception held in March.

Fellow students in Communication Studies may well recognize Román as a Student Ambassador for the College of Communication and Information and president of SALSA (Spanish and Latino Student Association). She is a native of Bayamón, Puerto Rico.

Román was recently accepted as a McNair Scholar. The prestigious scholarship is offered through the U.S. Department of Education to prepare undergraduate students demonstrating strong academic potential for doctoral studies through their involvement in research and other scholarly activities.

Román started out as a major in political science and then switched to Communication Studies as a way to improve her proficiency in speaking and writing English, McKenzie Pittman, her instructor for COMM 15000 Introduction to Human Communication, was influential in Román’s decision to change majors.

“My first class in Communication Studies was 15K with McKenzie Pittman. Giving three presentations in her class was a great experience in helping me learn and grow as a student. The feedback and the time McKenzie took really helped me get into and enjoy public speaking,” Román said.

Román then went on to Criticism of Public Discourse with Dave Trebing, Ph.D. The work in his class prompted Trebing to encourage Román to be a student representative for the school at recruitment events for potential Kent State students. This includes making presentations to students interested in Communication Studies and their parents at campus visits.

“What really got my attention was Natalia’s first presentation she gave in my class. It was just jaw-dropping. Her presentation was as good as any graduate student teaching class. She asked questions and thoroughly engaged her fellow students. She’s a natural teacher,” Trebing said.

Román describes herself as passionate about academics and leadership, so being president of SALSA is a natural fit because SALSA’s mission is to raise awareness of the Latino culture at Kent State.

“By focusing on cultural awareness, we want to make our Latino heritage and presence more visible and in turn, improve our educational experience and lifestyle here at Kent State,” Román added.

Román is proficient in both Spanish and English, and uses these skills as an undergraduate research assistant to Federico Subervi, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is also employed as an assistant to the Director of University Dining Services.