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Tarleton hosts first social media conference
Social Media Conference Organizers Among those welcoming more than 200 attendees and participating in the first-ever Social Media Conference at Tarleton State University were: (front, l-r) Katy Thomas, social media intern; Nicole Sonnier, head conference planning Intern; Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards, TSMRI director; Megan Matthews, training and development Intern; keynote speaker Lynn Rossi Scott; (back, l-r) Dr. Charles Howard, Communication Studies Department chair; Kelsie Ray, head training and development intern; Melissa MacDonald, head intern/researcher; Dr. Credence Baker, TSMRI co-director; Heather Hale, social media intern; Becca Downes, conference planning intern; Cortney McFarlin, conference planning intern; and Emily Noggle, training and development intern.

Tarleton State University

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 6, 2011

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Tarleton State University welcomed more than 200 attendees for the inaugural Social Media Conference, an event hosted by the Texas Social Media Research Institute that allowed students, faculty and professionals from across the U.S. to share information on the transformative phenomenon taking place online.

Conference participants, including graduate and undergraduate students from Tarleton, Howard Payne University, Texas Woman’s University, the University of Minnesota, Southern University, the University of North Texas, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, presented research and training focused on communication technology and social media for use in K-12 and higher education, business, and nonprofit organizations.

“With more than 200 attendees and volunteers, we’re delighted with the turnout for this first year and will continue to raise the bar next year,” said Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards, assistant professor of communications studies and director of the research institute. “Our keynote speaker, attorney Lynn Rossi Scott, really made people think. Participants examined issues they might not normally think of, but really need to in terms of future and current jobs.”

Among the research missions of the institute is to investigate generational perceptions of social media in various contexts; to determine the best practices of using social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to reach potential customers; investigate how social media can be used to facilitate communication with organizations; and to examine current organizational policies focused on social media in the workplace.

Sixty-five Tarleton students presented findings from their surveys and research, with topics ranging from “How Different Relationships on Facebook Affect Posts” to “College Students’ Perceptions of Emotional Exchanges on Social Networking Websites.” Other topics included “Cleaning Up Your Digital ‘Dirt’”, “Social Media and Family History/Genealogy”, and “Examining Student Reflective Use of Twitter.”

“I’m most proud of the hard work put forth by our 10 student interns to successfully plan and implement a conference of this size and scope. It was truly a collaborative effort, and the feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive,” said Dr. Credence Baker, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, and co-director of the institute.

The conference was the first of its kind at Tarleton, and over the next year, the institute plans to continue trainings, launch research partnerships and begin plans for the second annual conference slated for Nov. 30, 2012.

In the future, institute interns and student researchers hope to explore privacy issues related to social media, and determine innovative methods to facilitate training and the best practices of using social media in a classroom environment.

For more information about the Texas Social Media Research Institute, visit http://www.tarleton.edu/TSMRI/.

Follow TSMRI online at:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TSMRI
Twitter: @TSMRI
Blog: http://tsmri.blogspot.com/

dingbat

Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Kurt Mogonye
254-968-9460
mogonye@tarleton.edu

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Social Media Conference Organizers

Among those welcoming more than 200 attendees and participating in the first-ever Social Media Conference at Tarleton State University were: (front, l-r) Katy Thomas, social media intern; Nicole Sonnier, head conference planning Intern; Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards, TSMRI director; Megan Matthews, training and development Intern; keynote speaker Lynn Rossi Scott; (back, l-r) Dr. Charles Howard, Communication Studies Department chair; Kelsie Ray, head training and development intern; Melissa MacDonald, head intern/researcher; Dr. Credence Baker, TSMRI co-director; Heather Hale, social media intern; Becca Downes, conference planning intern; Cortney McFarlin, conference planning intern; and Emily Noggle, training and development intern.