MSU students presented their research at the national Conference on College Composition and Communication Annual Convention.

When Michigan State University professional writing junior Emily Dallaire, of Flint, Mich. and English senior Brooklyn Pluger, of Hudsonville, Mich. recently applied to present their research at the national Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Annual Convention, they knew it was a longshot as students are rarely invited to participate in the event.

“I was shocked when they accepted the proposal,” Dallaire said. “I didn’t expect to be able to present at a national conference, especially one of this caliber, at such a young age. This is a milestone event for me personally and it helps show other undergraduate students that these kinds of awesome opportunities really do exist.”

The CCCC supports and promotes the teaching and study of college composition and communication in a wide variety of ways, including through its annual convention. Competition for a place on the convention program is intense and the review of proposals is rigorous.

Dallaire and Pluger are working closely with Professor of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures Stephanie Amada to research “hookup culture” among college students by interviewing both male and female MSU students on this topic. “Hookup culture” is characterized by spontaneous, commitment-free romantic flings. The days of dinner-and-a-movie have become functionally obsolete, as many students today have never been on a traditional “date.” Young people instead rendezvous over phone texts, Facebook posts, instant messages and other “non-dates” leaving an entire generation confused about how to start a meaningful relationship.

“Both in my department at MSU, and in our field of composition, it is important for us to create outstanding opportunities for our undergraduate students,” Amada said. “One way I have done this is to invite undergraduate students to work collaboratively with me on my research project examining hookup culture on college campuses. Three of the undergraduate students who worked with me on this research asked if we could submit a proposal to a conference. We decided to go for the gold standard and propose a panel presentation to the big national conference in our field, CCCC, and we were accepted!”

The CCCC Annual Convention takes place March 19-21 in Indianapolis, Ind. Amada, Dallaire and Pluger will be joined by Siobahn Jones, a recent MSU grad, to present their research on this topic via a panel discussion on Friday, March 21, 2014, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., during a session entitled “Out in the Open: Hooking Up in the Modern, Digital Era.”

“For the past year, we have been researching our topic, the College Hookup Culture, and what we have found has been truly fascinating and exciting,” Pluger said. “It is so exciting to be able to present at a conference like CCCC’s because it’s like we are finally being able to bring all the work we have completed to center stage and show people what we have discovered, created and learned through this fantastic experience.”

Visit the CCCC website for more information about the CCCC Annual Convention.