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Deborah J. Danuser Awarded Top Student Paper in AEJMC’s ComSHER Division


Deborah J. Danuser, a doctoral candidate at the Department of Communication, received the 2023 Lori Eason Award for the top student paper in the Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk (ComSHER) division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). Her paper, titled “The Creation of an Electronic Draw-A-Scientist Test (eDAST) Using a Social Media Avatar Program,” offers researchers a digital means of administering the Draw-A-Scientist Test (DAST).

For more than 40 years, scholars have relied on the DAST as the primary means to capture an individual’s image of a scientist in order to understand culturally held beliefs about scientists. Deborah’s study uses Bitmoji, a social media avatar program, as an alternative way to translate participants’ internal images of scientists to external graphic representations without relying on artistic abilities. She found that the results of the electronic draw-a-scientist test (eDAST) are similar to the drawings generated in a traditional DAST study of college-age participants.