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Dec. 10, 2021

Communication research paper receives highest score from peers

By Edidiong Idong-Bassey, communication assistant


Dr. Brenda Rourke

Dr. Brenda Rourke

Dr. Joy Daggs

Dr. Joy Daggs

Dr. John Katsion

Dr. John Katsion

Northwest Missouri State University associate professors of communication Dr. Brenda Rourke, Dr. Joy Daggs and Dr. John Katsion were recognized this fall for submitting the top-ranked paper to the National Communication Association (NCA).

The honor recognizes the top-ranked paper submitted to the convention’s Visual Communication Division. Rourke, Daggs and Katsion collaborated on the paper with Dr. Deya Roy, a professor of communication at California State University in San Marcos. Rourke, who is the paper’s lead author, presented it Nov. 20 at the NCA annual convention in Seattle.

The paper titled, “Using Emojis to Transform Messages: Manipulating Visual Rhetoric to Achieve Compliance,” describes visual artifacts people use in messages that function as visual representations of dialogue. The paper argues such messages may not be interpreted positively nor fulfill a sender’s intended purpose.

“The big takeaway with this paper is that when we use a smiley face, we hope to increase positive feelings, and a frown to show others that we are sad increases negative feelings, but when we use artifacts – pizza, cake, a clock – they may be perceived negatively,” Rourke said.

Daggs joined the Northwest faculty in 2012. She obtained a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in communication studies from the University of Northern Iowa. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English communications from William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri. Her academic interests include crisis communication, communication teaching, organizational impression management and academic mentorship.

Katsion joined the Northwest faculty in 2010. He obtained a Ph.D. in communication studies from Regent University and a master’s degree in communication from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Owatonna, Minnesota. His academic interests include visual rhetoric, speech pedagogy, and the rhetoric of popular and religious culture.  

Rourke joined the Northwest faculty in 2019. She obtained a Ph.D. in communication and master’s degree in communication and new technology from the University of Connecticut. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Rhode Island College. Her academic interests include new communication technology, identification, perception, persuasion and autism spectrum disorders.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704