Week 1: Introductions

Hello! I’m Katie DeChristopher, a first year graduate student pursuing a masters degree in Communication. I graduated from Christopher Newport University and am very excited to be continuing my studies at Virginia Tech! My research looks at the relationship between computer mediated communication and eating disorder-specific social media, with an emphasis on self-disclosure and “pro-ana” websites. I’m also doing research on the use of narrative in social justice movements, and enjoy interpersonal communication and feminist rhetoric!

My first impression of the statement of principles is largely positive; I appreciate the emphasis on diversity.  I believe that principles act as a foundation on which an organization builds their community, so basing it in respect is a good choice in my eyes. Likewise, I believe it is extremely important to recognize past mistakes and errors in policy- I think the acknowledgement of prior bias and exclusion is necessary and welcome. To me, this suggests a sense of awareness of past mistakes in order to prevent the institution from making the same errors in the future. For that reason, I believe it emphasizes the integrity of an institution.

The principle I found most intriguing was recognizing the “dignity and value of every person”. I feel that this is something that is integral to an organization’s success, and by celebrating differences we can grow in the future. One thing I feel is missing is an emphasis on enthusiastic learning- Virginia Tech is a deeply passionate institution, and would like to see that recognized.


3 Replies to “Week 1: Introductions”

  1. Katie,

    I loved reading your blog for week one! I agree that the “dignity and value of every person” is such an important principle to have on a college campus with diversity.
    If enthusiastic learning became an integral part of Virginia Tech’s principles, what would that look like for you? What educational changes, do you think, would have to be made?


  2. Hi there, Katie!
    I really appreciated your remark about the recognition by Virginia Tech of “dignity and values of each person.” That was something I noted in my reading and comprehension of the statement as well. To me, one of the many things that makes Virginia Tech great is the way they strive to be inclusive and sensitive to all of their students and workers regardless of their background. We are all different and by embracing and as you said, celebrating, those differences we can only hope to grow more with one another.
    I also really liked what you mentioned about an “emphasis on enthusiastic learning.” That was something I had never thought of before reading your blog, when I was reading the statement. Of course it only makes sense for their to be an addressing of enthusiastic learning in VT’s statement because there is so much emphasis by the university on learning and contributing to research and academia as a whole. It would only further solidify this viewpoint to have it mentioned in their official statement.
    Enjoyed reading your blog!

    FROM: Carlianne “Lindsey” Hanks

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