March 22, 2001

CONTACT: Ward Mullens






YPSILANTI - Unlike the Oscars, there won't be any red carpets, paparazzi or limousines. But outstanding performances will be recognized during Eastern Michigan University's Salute to Excellence Week, March 26-30.

Two highlights of the week are the Undergraduate Symposium XXI, Friday, March 30, 8:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., and the Graduate Research Fair, Monday, March 26, 2-6:45 p.m. Both events will be in McKenny Union and are open to the public. Admission is free. Call (734) 487-4400 for more information.

The presentations of both events cover a broad spectrum of topics from current inquiries into educational, social, political, Internet-related, and business issues to more traditional examinations of history and literature and straightforward scientific experimentation.

Symposium XXI will feature more than 100 students giving oral and poster presentations. Topics include:

"Are Ratings an Adequate Measure to Prevent Children's Exposure to Violent Video Games?" by Kathleen A. Targowski of Naperville, Illinois. This presentation maintains that video game ratings are not entirely effective in preventing impressionable players from being exposed to harmful content. This presentation also explains the negative influences that some video games can have on players and suggests ways that ratings can be made more effective.

"Reality TV: Conventions and Ideology" by Tanya L. Shelley of Ann Arbor -- Analyzes the hidden messages popular culture is providing through reality-based programs by revealing the internal and external conventions of this genre, and using

video examples to illustrate how these programs are linked to social Darwinism. The genre seems to exploit a paradox between honesty and deception in interpersonal relationships for capital gains and network ratings. One twist is Shelley's presentation is the planned use of an on-camera presentation, giving viewers a choice of watching her in person or on a television monitor.

"Project Dark-Sky: Educating Michigan's Youth About Light Pollution" by Thomas A. Kasper of Livonia -- Kasper's interactive, multimedia outreach program, "Light Pollution: Our Vanishing Night," is aimed at students of Michigan high schools and middle schools. Thomas is a Speech and Communications major and also serves as president of the Student Astronomy Club. He has been given a grant from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium to extend this program into high school science curricula across the state.

Other Excellence Week celebrations include the Employee Recognition Program, March 27; the Distinguished Faculty Recognition Awards, March 28; the Founders Day/Gold Medallion Awards, March 29; and the College of Education Honors Banquet, March 29.