Gerks ’21 recognized by the Florida Communication Association

Social innovation major and 2021 valedictorian Kinsley Gerks ’21 was recognized with a Top Poster Award at the Florida Communication Association Conference for her research titled, “The Pastures Aren’t Green and the Cows Aren’t Happy: Using Communication Campaigns and Systems Thinking to Advance the Farm Animal Protection Movement.”

Her qualitative research project explores communication strategies used by professionals in the field and suggests that gaps in awareness of animal rights issues, misinformation presented by the animal agriculture industry, and limited resources prove to be key challenges faced by organizations.

Gerks’ research led to the development of an interactive infographic that will be shared with the farm animal protection organizations that were involved in her research. The goal of the project was to help professionals and people new to the field navigate the communication and changemaking landscapes of farm-animal protection.