2015 Undergraduate DePauw Honors Conference with Katie Canning

I just returned from dinner where it was nice just to relax. We have been going since 7 a.m. this morning. Almost a solid 12 hours of presentations, discussions, and critiques. I didn’t know that I would be this exhausted, but I am. To be honest, I figured blogging about my sessions and experiences would be easy.
But, it’s not. I find that it’s hard to hone in on specific topics because we did so much during the day.
However, I know that I want to center this blog on Dr. Travis Vogan, my small group’s leading professor, and how he talked about his new book about the culture of ESPN. The book is not officially named yet, thus the reason why I didn’t provide the exact name.
During our small group session, Vogan didn’t really tell us much about his research, only that he teaches about sports media at the University of Iowa in the school of journalism.
Maybe this is me being naive, but I never would have guessed that a professor would come to an academic conference and give a talk about ESPN’s growing cultural practices and how it affects society at large.
Let’s be honest, some realms of academia are utterly boring and highly confusing. Vogan shattered these expectations, which is something I really admired.
In a nutshell, he explained that ESPN claimed its own environmental kingdom in sports media, making this enterprise basically untouchable. Because of their status, ESPN is able to configure or build their own culture at a large scale to share with audiences of all kinds.
As a student, I was pleased that he was able to conduct research in such a popular field that so many people find interesting and understandable. Because Vogan teaches at the University of Iowa, it’s easy to see how making a lasting connection with him could help me in future endeavors, due to his close proximity to Augustana.
Yes, I know that each blog I harp on making connections. Yet, I have found that it is a crucial take away that any Augustana student should be aware of when participating in a conference of this kind.
Tomorrow we have two more sessions with our small groups and hear one more talk with the large group. It’ll be interesting to see how this conference raps up.
This is a written account by Augustana junior multimedia journalism and communication studies major Katie Canning as she takes us on her journey of navigating an undergraduate honors conference at DePauw University.