SVC Faculty Member Honored by International Organization

by Public Relations | Jul 01, 2019

Melinda Farrington 

LATROBE, PA – Dr. Melinda Farrington, assistant professor of communication at Saint Vincent College, was recently honored for her doctoral dissertation by the Media Ecology Association.

Farrington was awarded the MEA’s 2019 Harold A. Innis Award for Outstanding Thesis or Dissertation in the Field of Media Ecology for her dissertation entitled “The Role for Rhetoric: Ong’s Ramus Research as a Hermeneutic Opening for Mediated Communication.”

The Innis Award recognizes the top master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation on any topic related to media ecology, which is defined as the study of the complex set of relationships or interrelationships among symbols, media and culture. 

Farrington’s dissertation examined the research of Walter J. Ong, S.J., on Ramism, the collection of theories on rhetoric, logic and pedagogy developed by French scholar Petrus Ramus in the 16th century. A Jesuit priest, literature scholar, philosopher and student of renowned philosopher and communication theorist Marshall McLuhan, Ong studied Ramism extensively, particularly how it affected university pedagogy and influenced the role of rhetoric.  

The MEA is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the study, research, criticism and application of media ecology in educational, industry, political, civic, social, cultural and artistic contexts. The Innis Award was one of 13 handed out at the MEA’s annual convention in Toronto, Ontario, at which more than 30 countries were represented.

The award is named in honor of the late Harold A. Innis, a Canadian professor of political economy at the University of Toronto and the author of seminal works on media, communication theory and Canadian economic history.

Farrington, who joined the Saint Vincent faculty in 2016, holds 20 years of experience in marketing and public relations in both the private and non-profit sectors. She earned a Ph.D. in Rhetoric from Duquesne University in 2016, and also holds a master’s degree in philosophy from Boston College and a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from SUNY-Albany.

At Saint Vincent, she teaches courses including Writing for Media, Public Relations Strategies, Advanced Public Relations, Non-Profit Communication, Introduction to Organizational Communication and the senior capstone course, Creative Campaigns. She also serves as adviser for the Saint Vincent chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society.

She resides in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

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PHOTO: Saint Vincent College assistant professor of communication Dr. Melinda Farrington.

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