Chambers Presents Research at National Conferences

Hannah Chambers recently presented three research posters at the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS) conference this February in New Orleans.

Chambers is a current graduate student at the University of Arkansas. The first poster Chambers presented was titled “Texas State Parks and the Effect of COVID-19 on Their Communication Styles and Frequencies: Consumer Perceptions.”

“This poster covered the qualitative portion of a mixed- methods undergraduate research thesis I did during my senior year at Texas A&M,” Chambers said. “I wanted to see if Texas state parks changed how they communicated on Instagram during the pandemic and if consumers used individual Texas state park Instagram accounts as a way to receive information.”

Chambers and her research committee found most people did not go to the individual parks’ Instagrams for COVID-19 information. Instead, participants typically found information on the park website or the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Instagram.

“Most of the participants said they used Instagram for information, but the type of information differed,” Chambers said. “Some said they wanted to see visual information, such as what you can see on a specific hike or what a campsite looks like, and others sought more technical information, such as upcoming events or day-pass availability.”

The second poster Chambers presented was titled “A Qualitative Content Analysis of Leader Critiques.” She collaborated with University of Arkansas faculty to analyze undergraduate student leadership essays to see if who they defined as a leader aligned with a Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness study.

“Our results aligned with this study as students named many political, social change, and military leaders,” Chambers said. “The students said the attributes which made leaders in their eyes included influence, position, certain traits, skills, and rising to the challenge of leadership.”

Chambers’ final poster was based on the master’s thesis of Ashlyn Ussery, a former University of Arkansas student.

“The study sought to discover how Arkansas Farm Bureau employees and members preferred to communicate, which is important with the rise in computer-mediated methods of communication,” Chambers said. “Most of the participants said they preferred face-to-face communication methods, typically in the form of county and state meetings but recognized the need for computer-mediated methods, especially during the pandemic.”

Presenting at this conference allowed Chambers to not only showcase some of her research but also make new connections and develop new research ideas.

“I loved making new connections and seeking advice and insight from professionals within the industry,” Chambers said. “I left the conference with a few business cards and a plethora of ideas for new research, which makes me excited for what these next few years have in store.”