Academic Expo Showcases Student Research in Communication

Publish Date: 
May 24, 2014

SALINAS, Calif. - Hartnell College and the Communication Studies Department present the Academic Expo, May 27 - 29, 2014 from 8:00 a .m. to 5:00 p.m. at Steinbeck Hall located at 411 Central Avenue, Salinas, CA. An awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 29 at 5:00 p.m.

Students enrolled in COM-3, Introduction to Communication, were divided into working groups of 3 to 5 to work on this final project requirement.

The Expo was created by Instructor Jason Hough to help the students apply communication principles to different scenarios; Hough assigned a current release film and a communication concept to each group. The group members had to conduct a literature review and write an original analysis of the characters in the movie utilizing communication tenets.

In addition, each group has to create an original table display and backdrop to present analysis findings in a public forum. This event is open to the public during Expo hours.

This semester, there are 38 different group projects. The films and communication concepts include:

  • 47 Ronin, non-verbal communication
  • August Osage County, family communication
  • The Book Thief, mass communication
  • Philomena, Schutz' communication needs
  • Walking with Dinosaurs, leadership styles and communication
  • Frozen, Johari Window (communication assessment tool)
  • 12 Years a Slave, intercultural communication
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, group/team communication
  • Saving Mr. Banks, conflict styles and communication
  • Dallas Buyers' Club, LGBT communication
  • Last Vegas, aging and communication
  • All is Lost, intrapersonal communication

"These group projects demand the top three skills employers are demanding," said Hough. "Students must work effectively in a group, producing a final work heavy in oral and written communication."

In his tenth year of teaching, Hough created the Academic Expo model to introduce students to the basics of research and effective group decision making.

For more information about this Expo, contact Professor Jason Hough at 831-755-6994 or email


Hartnell Community College District

The Hartnell CCD serves over 15,000 students annually through its main campus in Salinas, the Alisal Campus in East Salinas, the King City Education Center, and various outreach learning centers throughout the Salinas Valley. Hartnell College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, provides workforce training, basic skills courses, and prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Hartnell College is recognized for its innovative public and private partnerships that support world class STEM education, career technical education, fine and performing arts, humanities, and athletics. We are growing leaders through opportunity, engagement, and achievement. For more about Hartnell CCD, visit