Fantastic Faculty! Conference Review: The 30th Annual Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference, February 26-27, Las Vegas, Nevada

Fantastic Faculty! Conference Review: The 30th Annual Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference, February 26-27, Las Vegas, Nevada

I attended the 30th Annual Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference (EQRC) to present my recent grounded theory study of the stigma of bipolar disorder for new mothers (Ladd, 2018). The conference, sponsored by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, College of Education, included pre-conference qualitative research workshops and two full days of peer-reviewed qualitative research paper and poster presentations. Conference Director, Dr. Michael Firmin, ran two concurrent conferences, the 21st Annual American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences (AABSS) and the 2nd Annual Conference on Academic Research in Education (CARE). EQRC attendees were offered access to the concurrent conferences and invited to submit manuscripts for publication consideration in the peer-reviewed, Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research (JEQR). What follows is a review of conference highlights, including the unexpected pleasure of meeting other University of Phoenix School for Advanced Studies faculty in attendance.

Day 1 Conference Proceedings

The Monday morning session offered 34 paper presentations. Of note, Perceptions and Experiences of Creole, Parish-based Workers in the Catholic Diocese of Port Louis, Mauritius, authored by Christin Juners of Franciscan University of Steubenville and Joecelyn Gregoire of Duquesne University reviewed an ethnographic, phenomenologically-oriented study of the perceptions of low-wage ethnically Creole workers employed by Roman Catholic parishes on the island of Mauritius. The authors described the role of the ‘fabric’, or the administrative board, in determining worker salaries, contracts, working conditions, and job descriptions. The study highlighted the need for workers’ rights and professional development.

An outstanding morning presentation included Barriers to African-American Participation in Clinical Trials: A Qualitative Study, authored by Cicely Johnson, Ph.D. of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. Dr. Johnson described her community-based focus group study examining the reasons African Americans in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York are resistant to participating in clinical research trials. The study, sponsored by Pfizer pharmaceuticals, sought a deeper understanding of the relationship between health literacy, patient-provider relationships, and the role of cultural health practices in help-seeking behaviors. The study took place in non-traditional settings, such as barber shops and hair salons in the community. Findings revealed that male participants described fear of addiction to the trial medication as a barrier to participation and women reported medical mistrust, referencing the Tuskegee syphilis experiments. Dr. Johnson’s work approaches important intersection of community-based research and cultural health practices.

Keynote Address

The conference keynote address, Rewards and Challenges of Community-Based Research, was delivered by Dr. Jennifer R. Keene, Executive Associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts, University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).  Dr. Keene’s address drew from her published research and experience as a community-based research project director. Dr. Keene reviewed the responsibility for the academy to meet the needs of a diverse society, using social science research as a change agent for STEM discipline initiatives in through partnerships with community stakeholders. Her address noted the benefit to researchers in gaining access to “people, networks, and information—building a body of scholarship over time that makes significant differences in the lives of everyday people” (Johnson, 2018).

Following the keynote, the poster session featured 27 posters, including Reinventing by Job Crafting: An Autoethnographic Case Study presented by UOPX faculty Dr. Lilia Santiague, Associate Dean of Instruction for Doctoral Studies in Education, School of Advanced Studies, and Holly Rick, of Walden University. The poster presented a potential conceptual model of higher education and job crafting, transition strategies, and career reinvention. 

The Monday afternoon session offered 37 paper presentations. Highlights included a fascinating study, Understanding How Media Messages Influences the Portrayal of Opioid Addiction, by Constance Milbourne and Christine Connolly, of Rhode Island College. The authors performed content analysis of 40 vignettes from eight documentaries regarding opioid addiction. Findings revealed discourse difference among media, the addict, the addicts’ family and law enforcement. Thematic summaries revealed “sensationalized language by the media, desperation and hopelessness for the addict, denial for the families, and the changing role of law enforcement” (Milbourne & Connolly, 2018).

I attended a presentation of a grounded theory study, Parental Disposition to the Challenges and Well-Being of Visually Impaired Teenagers in South-Western Nigeria, by Celestina Oluwawemimo Adediran, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Dr. Adediran interviewed 22 visually impaired adolescents from six southwestern Nigerian states and how their parents responded to their disability. Her results revealed that as a result of stigma and limited access to counseling, parents had overwhelming shame, subsequently not engaging with their visually impaired children. As a result, the participants reported preference for spending time in school where they felt accepted by peers and teachers. Day 1 conference presentations were followed by an informal meet the editors event, and a Dedoose Qualitative Software Training.

Day 2 Conference Proceedings

Tuesday morning offered 33 paper presentations, including Turning Vision into Second Life Reality: A Conceptual Model of Avatar-Mediated Leadership Behaviors, a paper presented by University of Phoenix Faculty, LauraAnn Migiliore, Ph.D., SAS Lead Faculty Area Chair and University Research Methodologist, and Kevin Bottomley, Ph.D., SAS Lead Faculty Area Chair for Research and Senior Research Fellow for the Center for Leadership Studies and Educational Research.

I attended Teaching Qualitative Data Analysis through Gaming, by Leo Mallette, of Pepperdine University.  Dr. Mallete’s presentation described his experience using Pickles and Penguins as class activities demonstrating basic principles of qualitative analysis such as looking for metaphors, recognizing idiosyncratic data, identifying patterns, unifying and interpreting themes and experimenting with possible organization materials. Following Dr. Mallette’s presentation, Marcus Weaver-Hightower of the University of North Dakota presented one of the highlights of the conference, Making Comics as Qualitative Research, a description of the use of comics form—panels, word balloons, images and text, sound effects—to conduct and present qualitative research and theory.

Following the last 18 poster presentations, 41 paper presentations were slotted for the final Tuesday session. The Presence of Denied Processes in Organizational Decision-Making: A Case Study presented by colleague Kevin Bottomley, Ph.D., described his case study of 22 C-level senior executives and administrative support personnel for a large nonprofit organization in the southeastern United States. Dr. Bottomley’s research revealed the “unspoken factors exist within organizations, however, it is difficult to surface the unspoken factors within a group”. I learned a great deal from Dr. Bottomley’s presentation and look forward to seeing his future research. Following the conference, Dr. Bottomley reflected, "This was a well-organized conference that provided a variety of great topics in the qualitative research field."

The highlight of the conference for me was the unexpected meeting with fellow UOPX faculty researchers. As faculty in an asynchronous online environment, we rarely, if ever, see each other in person. Thank you to my colleagues for attending my presentation, asking thoughtful questions, and sharing your warm scholarly spirits. As Dr. Migliore shared, "I had a wonderful surprise at the concurrent conference connecting with fellow University of Phoenix colleagues that I did not know would be there!  Together we strengthen the quality of research and scholarship and inspire each other to go higher!" 

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References

Adediran, C. O. & Adetunde, C. O. (2018, February). Parental disposition to the challenges and well-being of visually impaired teenagers in South-Western Nigeria. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Bottomley, K. (2018, February). The presence of denied processes in organizational decision-making: a case study. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Johnson, C. (2018, February). Barriers to African-American participation in clinical trials: a qualitative study. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Ethnography and Qualitative  Research Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Jungers, C. & Gregoire, J. (2018, February). Perceptions and experiences of Creole, parish- based workers in the Catholic diocese of Port Louis, Mauritius. Paper presented at the   30th Annual Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Keene, J. R. (2018, February). Rewards and challenges of community-based research. Keynote address presented at the 30th Annual Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Ladd, W. (2018, February). ‘Born out of fear’: a grounded theory study of the stigma of bipolar disorder for new mothers. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Ethnography and  Qualitative Research Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Mallette, L. (2018, February). Teaching qualitative data analysis through gaming. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference, Las  Vegas, NV.    

Migliore, L. & Bottomley, K. (2018, February). Turning vision into second life reality: a  conceptual model of avatar-mediated leadership behaviors. Paper presented at the  Conference for Academic Research in Education, Las Vegas, NV.

Milbourne, C. & Connolly, C. (2018, February). Understanding how media messages influence the portrayal of opioid addiction. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Ethnography and  Qualitative Research Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Rick, H. & Santiague, L. (2018, February). Reinventing by job crafting: an autoethnographic case study. Poster session presented at the 30th Annual Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Weaver-Hightower, M. (2018, February). Making comics as qualitative research. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

 

 

Comments

Diane Walker's picture Diane Walker | May 2, 2018 5:52 am MST

Hi Dr. Ladd,

I know the conference was a tremendous success for you.  Just stop by to say hello and thank you, I really enjoyed your class.  Congrats on sharing your qualitative knowledge with others at the conference.

 

Deedy