By Lindsay McNeish
Senior Laura Buser graduates next spring with a world of experiences under her belt. As a communication studies major and honors program student, Buser has worked for SLiCE as an involvement advisor, been a student associate with the Center for Public Deliberation, participated in marching band, studied abroad in Italy, and gone on multiple Alternative Spring Break trips.
The constant for Buser among all these activities? “From the moment I entered CSU until now, I have wanted to work with people,” Buser said. “I’ve always been interested in relationships and the way those play out.”
For Buser, communication studies was the perfect academic fit–the degree was broad and it aligned with working with people and relationships. Then, as a sophomore she took an ethnic studies class called Border Crossings, which breathed new life into her academic interests.
“It opened my eyes to different human rights issues that I didn’t know existed,” said Buser. Driven by a new perspective, Buser began focusing on studies on co-cultural and intercultural communications.
Student-teacher relationships in the classroom inspired Buser during a co-cultural communications class. “I was noticing a lot of my teachers making very explicit identity disclosures in the classroom. I was curious about how that was impacting the way I was perceiving teachers,” said Buser. This observation led to Buser to write her final project about those disclosures and perceived credibility.
“I wrote the paper as someone who was interested in going into education,” said Buser. “What does it mean to negotiate identity well?” Buser submitted her paper to WSCA and had the opportunity to present in San Diego, Calif.
One year later, Buser is still exploring those co-cultural and interpersonal relationships, this time in the form of her honors thesis. She studied three professors– observed, interviewed, and surveyed them. After collecting the data, Buser said, “I’m now in the process of making sense of how professors negotiate culture identity in the classroom.”
After graduation, Buser would like to continue her education and passion for communications. She would also like to work in education with K-12 students in the Fort Collins area.
Buser will be taking over CMST’s Instagram (@csucommstudies) the week of Nov. 28, 2016. Make sure to check it out!