MARIETTA, Ohio - Megan Salatino, a Brooke High School graduate, was named the top undergraduate presenter at the 77th annual Ohio Communications Association conference.
Salatino, an Ashland University sophomore, gave the presentation "Applying Expectancy Violation Theory to Skin Cancer Diagnosis." She was one of eight Department of Communication Studies members to attend and one of six to give presentations.
Association members judge the contest, and there is a cash prize.
"I was super excited and honored to receive this award," said Salatino. "It was awesome to see all of my hard work on this project pay off at the conference. I want to thank (communications studies professor) Dr. (Ted) Avtgis for all of his support and guidance throughout the process."
Salatino chose to do the project after her mother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year and her doctor violated her expectation in a negative way.
"Because of this, I wanted to explore and determine violations that occur between a provider and patient when relaying a basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma or malignant melanoma diagnosis to a patient," Salatino said.
Salatino hopes to help physicians and patients become more aware in interpreting non-verbal behavior when delivering a disease diagnosis. In the next phase of her research, she will collect data on how patients perceived their diagnosis and whether or not their expectations were violated.
Salatino would like to coach healthcare providers in using verbal and non-verbal delivery techniques so the provider is more aware of their behavior when delivering a diagnosis and adjust to perceived violations from the patient.
"When I heard Megan's name announced it made me so proud as she is really growing into a budding young scholar," said Avtgis.
"The fact that she is only in her sophomore year makes the honor that much more incredible. I can't wait to see the quality of research she will put forth in the next two years."
Salatino is majoring in both public relations and strategic communications and sports communications.