School of Communication Studies to Host First Research Colloquium Session at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, Rm. 109 ART

The School of Communication Studies will host the first research colloquium in its Spring 2017 series at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, in Rm. 109 of the Art Building.

The session, entitled “Identity and caregiving: Negotiating what it means to be a cancer caregiver,” will be presented by Nichole Egbert, Ph.D., a professor and graduate coordinator in the School of Communication Studies (COMM).

Egbert will discuss the way people’s identities change and how they deal with those changes as they become caregivers to those with cancer, presented through the lens of the Communication Theory of Identity. The research behind her study is the result of a highly collaborative ongoing project.

“It’s a good model of engaging students in research at every level,” Egbert said. “My students collected data, transcribed data as part of a class, and my doctoral students helped me analyze it. Not every project works that way.”

The research – consisting of nine interviews with cancer caregivers – was conducted and transcribed by both graduate and undergraduate students in Egbert’s classes. The data was then coded by Egbert and two Ph.D. candidates over the summer.

Egbert hopes to continue to interview cancer caregivers to expand the data set before submitting the study for publication. She will present the study at a conference in Washington, D.C., in April.

“Twenty percent of people in America are currently caring for a family member or friend, and the percentage of caregivers will drastically rise during the next 10 years,” Egbert said. “So it’s very current; it’s everywhere. This is going to hit every American life. If you’re not dealing with it now, you will be later.”

COMM research colloquia are free and open to the public.

The School of Communication Studies Research Colloquium Series provides an opportunity for faculty members and students to foster intellectual and collaborative discussions and to stay informed about current research efforts. The next session in the series, entitled “Mourning broadcast: Social media use following the WDBJ shooting,” will be presented on Friday, March 3 by Gretchen Dworznik, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

For more information about the School of Communication Studies, visit For questions or consideration for future colloquia, contact COMM Assistant Professor Aaron Bacue, at

POSTED: Monday, January 30, 2017 11:24 AM
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 08:39 PM