JSCC student presents paper at TCA conference in Nashville

Jackson State Community College student Natalie Coffman presented a paper at the Tennessee Communication Association’s (TCA) annual conference at Nashville State Community College in September. This is a conference attended by both 4-year and 2-year colleges from across the state. Natalie was the only community college student whose paper was accepted for presentation at the conference.

The paper that Coffman presented at the conference, “The Voice of Impression Management,” was a project she had originally undertaken for her honors speech class during the spring semester at Jackson State. Speech professor Abby Lackey recommended that she submit the project for an undergraduate presentation at the TCA conference.

For the TCA submission, Coffman created a case study for “The Voice of Impression Management.” This project studied the ability to hear and its impact on a person’s speech. She conducted additional research and wrote countless drafts before finally submitting the paper to TCA at the end of the spring semester.

According to Coffman, the subject for her project came about during a long car ride with her mother. “I brought some earbuds with me to listen to music in the car, and halfway through the drive, my mom turned and asked me a question,” said Coffman. “Without turning my music down or taking my earbuds out, I replied. Realizing I had no idea what I sounded like in my response, I was struck with a question: When humans can hear themselves, do they construct the sound of their voices based on the desire to sound a certain way?”

“This was a very rewarding experience,” explained Coffman. “Everyone was so supportive and asked engaging questions that enhanced interest in the room made the whole experience even more meaningful.”

Natalie came to JSCC as a graduate of Madison Academic Magnet High School in Jackson. She is majoring in Psychology, but her plans are to transfer to either Lipscomb University or MTSU to receive a bachelor’s degree in elementary education or early childhood education.

“I have had a strong desire to be a teacher for much of my life,” said Coffman, “and as I have grown, I have developed a love for kindergarten students. Their eagerness for learning and ability to absorb information fills my heart with joy and is exactly what I desire to be surrounded by as a teacher.”

Natalie is no stranger on the Jackson State campus. Since coming to JSCC, Natalie has been very active by assuming the role as SGA president. She is also the SGA Representative and Social Media Officer for the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, a member of the Creative Writing Club, Drama Society, and JSCC’s vocal ensemble, Innovation.