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.