Three Missouri School of Journalism doctoral students win scholarship from American Academy of Advertising

Evgeniia Belobrovkina, Ting-Hao Tsou and Weilu Zhang headshots

Evgeniia Belobrovkina, Ting-Hao Tsou and Weilu Zhang.

July 15, 2022

Evgeniia Belobrovkina, Ting-Hao Tsou and Weilu Zhang were recently awarded the American Academy of Advertising’s (AAA) Graduate Student Conference Scholarship. The award allowed the three Missouri School of Journalism doctoral students to travel to St. Petersburg, Florida, in March to present their research in person at the annual AAA conference, which showcases research that “drives continued progress in the practice of effective, innovative, and responsible advertising.”

“This recognition is another example of the strength of our doctoral program,” said Earnest Perry, associate dean for graduate studies and research at the School of Journalism. “This is the type of hard work done daily by our students and their faculty mentors. I’m very proud of what they have achieved.”

Belobrovkina, Tsou and Zhang presented a paper about gender stereotypes in online public service announcements about breast and prostate cancer, a paper that also served as the students’ application for the scholarship.

“Eventually, we found that men are more often presented as heroes, while women were more often presented as victims,” said Tsou. “At the same time, men would be shown in the workplace while women were staying at home.”

“The paper was written under the guidance of our inspirational research advisor, Dr. Shelly Rodgers, and was welcomed with much interest at the conference,” added Belobrovkina, who also emphasized the importance of travel scholarships in the pandemic era. “Thanks to this kind of scholarship, graduate students probably feel more encouraged to visit conferences in person than virtually when there is a choice.”

Tsou and Zhang both earned master’s degrees in Taiwan before coming to Mizzou to pursue doctoral degrees, while Belobrovkina earned a bachelor’s degree from the Russian State Social University in Russia and went on to receive a master’s degree in public health at Mizzou before joining the School of Journalism’s doctoral program. The trio leapt at the opportunity to present at the conference, which also gave them the opportunity to meet peers from around the country conducting advertising research.

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