Skip to Content
February 21, 2018
Life At Witt

Relationships and Research

Katie Bunsold '18 Develops Independent Research Project with Professor Dr. Kelly Dillon

As I started thinking about life after Witt, I realized how prepared I am because of the opportunities and relationships I’ve cultivated here. I have had the chance to study abroad, start a student organization, and now my newest adventure: research.

Coming into my senior year, I had a semester that was quite honestly my hardest at Wittenberg. Last semester was my first semester back from studying abroad with the Witt in Wittenberg, Germany, program and I was taking all upper-level course in my major.

One of these courses was Communication 300z: Social Scientific Methods. Essentially, this class was about learning how to read and understand research, as well as learn how to do research. Through the course, each student had to create a research question and look up academic articles and research about that topic. The final paper that we turned in for the course was a methods section that explained how you would do this research and what steps you would follow.

As the course began to wind down into this paper, the professor teaching Comm 300z, Dr. Kelly Dillon, encouraged all of us that if we, as students, had an interest in actually carrying out this research we should come and meet with her about how we could accomplish it.

I was skeptical about doing undergraduate research since it was something I had never aspired to do, but it seemed like an opportunity worth spending half an hour investigating, especially since Dr. Dillon spoke so passionately about it.

So I did. I went to Dr. Dillon and spoke with her about doing the research, and she explained that with the work I had already done in the Comm 300z course, I could do an independent study project without overwhelming myself. We talked about being able to use the research experience for applying to graduate school, as well as being able to submit it for presentation at communications conferences.

For me, the pros outweighed the cons of giving myself even more work to do, and so I declared that I wanted to do an independent research project.

After the holiday break, as the second semester of the 2017-2018 school started, I began working with Dr. Dillon during weekly meetings. During these meetings, we more clearly defined our research topic and how we planned to measure it. Our research focuses on media effects and cultivation of television. Following this additional planning, we began to take steps toward submitting my research proposal for approval by the university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB checks the methods of proposed research to make sure that there are no ethical issues.

Dr. Dillon has been there through the whole process, so she guided me through the process, whether it was adding questions, finding new surveys to add data, or showing me how to complete the training for responsible research. She has been so patient and available to discuss not only topics related to our research but about life as well.
Katie Bunsold '18

There is a lot of work that goes into doing research before you even submit something to the IRB. Dr. Dillon has been there through the whole process, so she guided me through the process, whether it was adding questions, finding new surveys to add data, or showing me how to complete the training for responsible research. She has been so patient and available to discuss not only topics related to our research but about life as well.

Even with all of the incredible things I have been able to do at Wittenberg the most incredible part of my four-year experience has been the people -- peers who inspire me and professors who feel like friends.

Katherine E. Bunsold ‘18
Major: Communication

Minor: East Asian Studies and Cinema Studies
Hometown: Berkeley, IL

Recitation Hall
University Communications Staff
Staff Report

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

Make a Gift

We make the news because of you. Make a gift today and support the impact that comes from Wittenberg.

Make a Gift

Back to top