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College senior Sara Carlsen reflects on social media research, internships, and possibilities at KU

Friday, April 10, 2020

sara carlsen
major: film & media studies
minors: English + journalism

KU College Stories | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Where do you turn for inspiration? Sometimes taking a look back at where you were a few years ago and the progress you’ve made along the way can put things into perspective and provide the creative spark needed to move forward. For KU senior Sara Carlsen, learning to focus on possibilities rather than limitations has opened doors to undergraduate research experiences, internships, and connections to experts in her industry.

See what Sara had to say about her research on social media and Brown vs. Board of Education, interning for KU Marketing Communications and the KU Memorial Union, finding inspiration in her own improvement (and Beyoncé), and the advice she’d give herself as a freshman.

What are your research interests and why did you choose them? Was there a moment when you decided this is what you wanted to study?

My collegiate research interests include (1) parental use/perspectives of social media and (2) the impact of Brown vs. Board of Education. I took Dr. Germain Halegoua’s FMS 345 New Media and Society class which spurred my interest in the historical and current usage of social media by various demographics. When I was completing my Capstone course in the Film & Media Studies Department, Professor Ron Wilson encouraged me to pursue a historical project which led me to Brown vs. Board of Education. Something I was not expecting in this journey was the intersection between my interests and the interests of my professors. Their expertise assisted in the expansion of my knowledge, creativity, and post-college pursuits.

What is one thing you think everyone should know about your research project or research interests?

While parents may have a different perception of social media than the children they are raising, the ethical questions that are being posed by these authority figures are worth investigating because they are not closed off to the positive components. In addition, Brown v. Board of Education had many unintended consequences in the years that followed and the effects that we are still feeling today... Read more

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