Graduate student travels to Europe for ‘life-changing’ presentation experience
NDSU communication graduate student Alicia E. Phillips beams when she talks about her recent research presentation in Europe.
“It was incredible. It was amazing,” the native of Mandan, N.D., said of her trip to Amsterdam. “It was truly life changing for me. Not many students get to do something like that.”
Together with Amy O'Connor, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Communication, Philips presented “Consumption Conundrum: Millennials’ perceptions of pink ribbons” at the Corporate Social Responsibility in Communication conference Oct. 26-28.
The presentation was an extension of Phillips’ master’s degree thesis project, which focuses on how millennials perceive pink ribbon products associated with finding a cure for breast cancer. O'Connor is Phillips’ adviser.
"The conference was an excellent opportunity for Alicia to engage in collaboration and conversation with the international research community,” O’Connor said, noting the gathering was the first international conference dealing with corporate social responsibility issues.
Phillips describes the conference as enlightening – a chance to mingle with scholars, practitioners, corporate executives, representatives of non-profit organizations and other students. Phillips credits O’Connor for making her unforgettable trip possible.
“Not only did I learn a lot academically at the conference from the corporate responsibility aspect, but the trip opened up my world. I had never been to Europe, so I experienced things I had not been able to do before,” said Phillips, who saw the home of Anne Frank, visited museums and took a canal tour. “We spent some time walking around the city. Amsterdam is quite amazing; it’s beautiful.”
Phillips sees herself as another convincing example of why NDSU has a long-held reputation as a student-focused, land-grant national research institution. Phillips suggests she may not have had this experience at many other universities.
“My experience at NDSU has been great, and our department is like a family,” said Phillips, who earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in public relations/advertising and sociology at NDSU in 2009. “Not only have I made some of my best friends here, but I’ve always felt my instructors had my best interest at heart. Dr. O’Connor is a wonderful person who has really encouraged me with my research – she changed my life.”
Phillips will graduate Dec. 16 with her master’s degree in communication.