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  • Kathrine Thomas Photography: A Business Rebrand

    Vincent, Cindy; Thomas, Kathrine (2021)
    When you think of a company, you most likely picture their logo in your head. Having a recognizable brand is something that sets a business apart from others. This thesis focuses on rebranding my business, Kathrine Thomas Photography in order to appear more appealing and cohesive. This thesis examines the successes, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats my business faces with a SWOT analysis, and identifies current communication tactics and evaluates market competition in a situation analysis. This study also incorporates a survey of current clients to understand preferred communication modalities. As a result of this research, my website is now easier to navigate and informs potential clients about what it is like to work with me. I also created a brand identity kit that includes a color palette and typefaces to serve as a guide for my business. Overall, this research serves as a resource for small business owners in rebranding their own business.
  • The Next Step: Social Media and the Evolution of Journalism

    Fauske, Christopher; Paine, Emory (2015-05-01)
    This dissertation examines the effect of social media on the professional field of journalism. In history, there have been several occasions where introductions of technology have disturbed the journalistic sphere. After a period of unrest, the technology merged with journalism, evolving the field in a moment of punctuated equilibrium. In the past century, this has been observed with the introductions of radio and television. Social media technologies have shown many indications of being the next occurrence of this evolution. Blogs, Twitter, web forums, Facebook, Podcasts, and YouTube offer natural opposition to newspapers, radio and television, and their disturbance can already be felt in falling advertising revenues and circulation numbers. Indications of the coming convergence between traditional and social media can already be seen, which this dissertation will explore.
  • A Study of Social Media's Effectiveness as a Vehicle for Social Change

    Vincent, Cindy; Culp, Judith (2015-05-01)
    Human trafficking is one of the greatest sources of crime in the world, second only to the drug trade. Modern day slavery isn’t just an issue abroad, though, it happens in the United States every day. Public relations experts are calling social media the next big industry secret, but can it tackle social issues this big? Social media is a cheap alternative to traditional public relations tactics that are too costly for nonprofit organizations, but it might not be the best way to create the lasting change they are looking for. In this study, I tested how I could use social media to show college students that human trafficking is happening in their backyards and they have the tools to end it at their fingertips. I posted photos, videos, infographics, quotes, articles, and information about anti-trafficking organizations daily for two months on Facebook and Twitter and monitored likes, shares, favorites, and retweets. At the end of the study, I encouraged followers to take a survey that asked about their engagement with the posts on social media and their actions offline regarding the information. I hope that other researchers will continue this work so we can understand the effectiveness of this industry trend.
  • Race Representation and the Translation from Text to Screen: A Critical Analysis of Cloud Atlas

    Hains, Rebecca; Coates, Nicole (2021-05-01)
    This thesis project examines the 2012 film Cloud Atlas and how the film’s portrayals, through its unique use of an ensemble cast, challenge our understandings of socially constructed differences. This analysis examines the thematic significance of the actors’ appearance changes throughout the film as they play characters of different genders, ages, races, and classes. It also considers how these changes provide commentary on contemporary society’s views of these social groups. Central topics of analysis include the characters portrayed, the time periods in which their storylines are set, and the characters’ connections to one another. It also critiques the filmmakers’ choices, however, acknowledging the voices of groups that identify problematic elements, such as performative diversity and its use of yellowface—prevalent issues which deserve recognition. This thesis further explores these themes through an additional video essay component, available on Vimeo, discussing the paradox of the film’s positive intended messages versus its problematic use of an ensemble cast. This thesis’s goal is to provide a bridge that connects the film’s embedded message with our understanding of race, gender, and other social strata. It explains why the story helps to amplify the connections between the movie’s plot and society’s understanding of our many differences. By connecting the key elements and events of the film, this project provides insights regarding the film’s disconnect between the intent and the execution of the story and its message on screen.
  • Pivotal Transition - A Women’s Skateboarding Documentary

    Oehlkers, Peter; Volpacchio, Maya (2020-12-01)
    This documentary examines the current state of women’s skateboarding during a pivotal time in the industry. Social media has allowed what was once a small, marginalized community to blossom into something much greater. In addition, the induction of skateboarding into the next Summer Olympics places the sport at an interesting crossroads. I begin with a personal reflection of my own journey in skateboarding, acknowledging how the lack of visibility for women and the male dominance made participating in the sport intimidating and difficult. I transition to talk about how once I began meeting other women skateboarders and building a network of friends, it allowed me to find a sense of belonging in a community that was diverse, encouraging, resilient and inspiring. Through eleven formal interviews, including two with professional skateboarders, I discover through the skater’s perspective what makes the women’s skateboard community unique, what barriers women in skateboarding still face, and where women’s skateboarding stands today. I address the gender divide that exists in skateboarding, and I gather various perspectives on what further changes will help to erase the gender divide and further equality in skateboarding. My interviewees discuss where they see skateboarding going in the years to come and how the Olympics will impact the sport. Finally, each woman discusses the greatest thing they’ve gained from skateboarding and what makes them continue. The documentary is accompanied by three montages of skateboarding clips and original music by the artist Jaguar Sun.
  • How the Democratization of Music Changed the Industry

    Kvetko, Peter; Feyre, Ryan (2020-05-01)
    The music industry has witnessed a rise in democracy in the 21st century, both in terms of how artists write and record their content, and how we as listeners consume it. The growing affordability of music technology over the past ten years has allowed artists to work in the confines of their own homes. Many musicians are now granted the opportunity to build their own fanbase without the help of a label, mainly through music chat channels. As a result, consumers acquire music from a variety of places (Limewire, Napster, and now, Spotify). Corporations have now seemingly convinced customers that Spotify is the best place for acquiring any music one could want. This was thanks to the many innovations in the early 2000s, as well as a group of people who wanted as much music as possible for free. My objective in this thesis is to showcase the trends of the music consumption process, and how it has directly affected the streaming era. File-sharing and the development of the mp3 will be fully explored in relation to the democratization of music. I will gather information through various readings (Michael Ayers’ Cybersounds for example) and interviews with my peers at Salem State University. They’re the ones who grew up in the era of file-sharing. I will also use information from Slate’s Hit Parade podcast about the death of the single. These studies will assist with proving file-sharing’s impact on the industry. With these various sources, I hope to find out who specifically was affected by the looming grasp of the music industry (lower class, media, etc.), as well as the full breadth of the industry’s impact (Kanye West and Theodore Adorno seem to think so). I specifically want to explore Napster’s impact on modern streaming, and how that era affected music democratization. Lastly, I will identify how these developments have influenced the artist’s creative process.
  • For Goodness Bakes: Family, Cookbooks & Confections

    Torlone, Lauren; Prince, Ashleigh (2020-05-01)
    Cookbooks and recipes are a staple in every kitchen. There are countless dog-eared and sauce stained pages adorning countertops and shelves all around the world, and year after year, those pages are shuffled and shared between friends, family, and the occasional lucky outsider. This thesis project is an exploration of cookbook writing, cookbook culture, digital design, branding and printing. While crafting a cookbook, I will be relating my experiences and findings to research on the history of cookbooks, cookbook culture, and the positive psychological effects of baking. At the conclusion of this project, I will have made and printed a cookbook as a reflection of my findings. This cookbook will be made in honor of the Noel family matriarch, my Great Grandma Ina, who passed away in 2017, and will be titled “For Goodness Bakes”. “For Goodness Bakes” is inspired by Ina and her abundant love for her family, culture, and sharing pastries. My collection of recipes (inherited from Ina and her family members), will be coupled with familial research, personal anecdotes, baking tips, and a series of food and family photography. Throughout this project, it is my goal to further connect to my family’s history, as well as gain meaningful experience in writing and designing for publication.
  • Teaching Collaboration In A Collegiate Environment: Motivations And Abilities Of College Professors

    Torlone, Lauren; Heron, Kiah Rose (2019-12-01)
    The term ‘soft skills’ encompasses a range of personal, non-technical skills that include attributes such as adaptability, leadership and communication. Collaboration is an example of a soft skill that has proven to be essential in education and reflective of the current workforce. There is a growing gap between the “expectations of employers and the reality of today’s young talent” that is referred to as the soft skills gap (Tulgan, 2015). Closing this gap is part of preparing students for their future outside of education, which is the mission of many higher education institutions across the world. This project explores how higher education professors feel about all soft skills, particularly collaboration, in addition to exploring their motivations and abilities to teach and foster these skills in their own classrooms. The research is pertinent to the second half of the project, which is developing an informational and persuasive campaign. Based on research done on soft skills, a questionnaire was conducted at three higher education institutions to better understand professors’ perspectives of soft skills and collaboration. The findings demonstrate that professors feel very strongly that both collaboration and all soft skills are important to success outside of the classroom although many view them as extremely difficult and not always their responsibility to teach. There was a high-level of interest from professors to learn more information about soft skills. This is delivered through part two of this project, a website campaign with the goal of making college professors more aware of the significance of teaching soft skills and giving them techniques and tools to do this in any field.
  • Socio-Political Advertisements And Their Effect On A Brand S Sales And Public Perception

    Torlone, Lauren; Kelly, Ashley (2019-05-01)
    Over the past few years, many advertisements, from commercials to television, radio, print and digital have had a socio-political or humanitarian aspect to them. Commercials during various Super Bowls have focused on immigration, diversity, overcoming obstacles and more. This study will investigate whether these types of advertisements affect a brand’s sales and public perception, be it positively, negatively, neutrally or a combination of these. My hypothesis states that these advertisements elicit strong emotions from consumers, which in turn impacts a brand’s sales and public perception. To test this, I designed and sent out a survey via Facebook showcasing three advertisements: Coca-Cola’s "Together is Beautiful" commercial, which aired both during the 2014 Super Bowl and before the 2017 Super Bowl; Oreo’s "Pride" social media image, which was released in 2012: and Ram’s "Built to Serve" commercial, which aired during the 2018 Super Bowl. The survey included demographic questions as well as questions about each commercial, such as "did you think the commercial was effective?" and "after viewing this image, would you be more willing to buy from this brand?" Results were then examined to see if consumers felt positively, negatively or neutrally towards these advertisements, and whether these emotions affected these brands’ sales and public perceptions.
  • Understanding Your Target Audience: A Communications Plan For The Olde Colonial Cafe

    Torlone, Lauren; Eckhardt, Matthew (2019-05-01)
    Having a clear and consistent brand is an important marketing tool for any business. As a whole, the restaurant industry has a unique opportunity to attract a wide range of customers and multiple tools at their disposal to help deliver consistent clientele as well as draw in new people. This paper provides a case study of the Olde Colonial Cafe, a restaurant located in Norwood, Massachusetts. The purpose of this study was to examine the current state of the restaurant and find and create tools that the owner and manager could use to attract a younger target audience, which is a stated primary goal of theirs. Using a variety of research as well as by drawing on my own experiences as a seven year employee of the O.C.C., several changes were recommended and models provided to demonstrate the kinds of updates that are likely to expand their customer base. Sweeping upgrades were made to the O.C.C.’s website and menu. To align with the O.C.C’s goal of reaching a younger audience, two releases were created. The first was a standard format event release and the second a social media release. Both were created based on findings from original research and conversations with the manager and staff at the O.C.C. about ways they might be interested in reaching their desired target audience.
  • Generational Social Media: How Social Media Influences The Online And In-Person Relationships Of Gen X, Gen Y And Gen Z

    Melilli, Mary; Giarla, Veronica (2019-05-01)
    For my Honors thesis, I wanted to analyze the way Generations X, Y and Z interacted with social media and new technology and how it influences their online and social relationships. To study this, I researched previous works that discussed the relationships that each generation had with social media and new technology (such as Alexa and smartphones). After my research was complete, I created my hypothesis that Generation Z, the youngest generation, is the best equipped to navigate social media and technology and can build stronger relationships online but lack the social skills that the other generations have, making it harder to read in-person social cues. To find out if my hypothesis is correct, I conducted a series of interviews with members from each generation and I posted an online survey for my personal Facebook friends to take about the subject. I asked one person from each generation about their experiences using social media and if they noticed their social skills changing because of their use of social media. With these results, I hoped to find that Generation Z is the generation that uses social media the most and the have superior skills to navigate the online world, but they struggle to communicate efficiently in-person.
  • The Harlem Renaissance

    Wilson, Jamie; Hill, Jordan (2018-01-01)
    the spring of 2017, I was approached by a professor to join him in a writing project that will be published in 2019. The project is a volume called: 50 Events that Shaped African American History. My contribution to this project is a chapter on the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance took place between 1920 and 1930. Once the decade passed, the Harlem Renaissance ended as quickly as it had begun. Using primary and secondary sources, I researched and learned about the various themes within the Harlem Renaissance. Such themes include: politics, literature, music, and black identity and culture. I had to write a chronology, a narrative, two biographies, and two sidebars. One biography is about Langston Hughes, and the other, James Weldon Johnson. The one side-bar comments on the concept of “The New Negro” and the other, comments on the Harlem Riot of 1935 and how that symbolized the end of the Harlem Renaissance. The goal of this project was to write an unbiased view of the Harlem Renaissance. I encountered the arguments, victories, and defeats of the Harlem Renaissance. Writing about the Harlem Renaissance also caused me to ask questions. One question was: “Was the Harlem Renaissance a success?” I intend to share what this writing experience has taught me and also hope to offer my own take on the questions offered above, and help to start an educated conversation of an influential moment in African American History.
  • Creative Salem: A Public Relations Report

    Vincent, Cindy; Diamantides, Alyse (2018-01-01)
    This project serves to clarify and simplify the brand identity of Creative Salem –– an integral organization that connects creative individuals, community and commerce in the city of Salem under owner and chief creator, John Andrews. After extensive background research and planning, a proposal report was created to highlight what Creative Salem is and how it helps the community. The goal was to lay the foundation of the brand from a public relations lens in order to help the business grow and continue to become more financially sustainable as it expands into more communities across the North Shore. For this project, I began by conducting background research on my client and establishing a PR plan with deadlines. As the timeline progressed, I created materials such as a mission statement, elevator pitch and media relations kit that included a backgrounder, news release, fact sheet, staff biographies, illustrated designs, and media links, along with other supporting documents. From then, I organized and conducted a focus group of 10 people to present the information I created and receive feedback. As a result, I listened and took into consideration their advice and presented the final materials to my client for ultimate review.
  • The Evolution of Structural Racism

    Levy, Richard; Green, Ayana (2016-01-01)
    With the election of our current president Barack Obama, many believe that racism had finally ended and equality amongst all has finally been achieved, unfortunately this is not the case. Although a lot has changed for people of color, such as an increase in opportunities for success, there is still a major disconnect between the playing field of Caucasians and people of color. The United States is run by a series of institutions that monitor its population, but it is these exact institutions that continue to cultivate inequality. Ta-Nehisi Coates describes racism as “the need to ascribe bone- deep features to people and then humiliate, reduce and destroy them” (Coates 2015, 7). Our political institutions such as political parties, courts, and branches of government have helped to promote racism since the ending of slavery. Although racism is not as blatantly overt as it used to be, it still hinders people of color from having equal opportunities for success.
  • Health and Happiness: Dogs and Their Therapeutic Value

    Regan, Jane; McKeon, Gabrielle Marie (2016-05-01)
    About two years ago, I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder. That, along with my life-long love of dogs, stirred my interest in their therapeutic value. Being around dogs promotes safe and calm feelings; just the sight of them brings a smile and a feeling of peace and happiness. Beginning with a brief history of therapy dogs, the research and story unfold through interviews, site visits, and photos. The project discusses the process of certifying therapy teams, and witnesses the special bond between canine and human through interviews with therapy teams and personal interactions between teams and people of various ages captured in photographs during site visits. It also examines the observations and continuing study of dog therapy by medical professionals. Therapy dogs bring significant benefits to people in medical facilities, schools, assisted-living facilities, long-term skilled nursing homes, hospice living, among others. The benefits are far reaching, extending to the handlers, facility staff, and also the dogs. The mounting literature and research along with the interviews, site visits, and photos clearly support the basic premise of this project: that therapy dogs are a powerful and positive force. The human-canine connection provides happiness and health benefits for all involved.