The Illinois Speech and Theatre Association named Anna Wright, senior in Communications Studies and Teacher Education, as its 2010 Outstanding Communication Student on September 24, 2010. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the promotion of the Communication discipline. Wright says “When I found out I would be receiving the award I was overwhelmed. I fell in love with my major and worked hard, but to receive such an award was something that I didn’t see coming. I was proud of myself for my hard work but also grateful to the director of the program for not only nominating me, but also working with me to make me the student I am today.” Wright has given state, regional, and national presentations on the importance of having a communication curriculum in secondary schools.
In addition to presenting research, Anna conducted her own research on school administrator’s perceptions of oral communication. She studied what kind of oral communication courses were included in school’s curriculum and identified the importance of having the courses. She found that 33% have an exclusive oral communication course and 16% leave it out entirely. Wright’s overall research found that school administrators agree that oral communication is important; however, with the need for higher standardized tests scores, they cannot justify adding a course without knowing if oral communication skills could improve those scores. She presented this information to both school administrators and communication scholars.
Wright is from Alexander, IL and is currently student teaching at Central Catholic High School in Bloomington, IL.