UM Communication Studies Students Win Top Regional Research Award

March 10, 2016

UM communication studies students (left to right) Tyler Morgan, Mackensie Salitsky and Katjana Stutzer MISSOULA, Montana – Four undergraduate students in the University of Montana Department of Communication Studies won the top paper award at the Western States Communication Association’s annual Undergraduate Scholar’s Research Conference on Feb. 27 in San Diego.

Tyler Morgan, Mackensie Salitstky, Katjana Stutzer and J.R. (John R.) Thomas received the award for their study titled “When More Information Does Not Help: The Connection Between Facebook Monitoring Behavior, Relationship Uncertainty and Relationship Quality.” The study was conducted as part of UM communications Professor Steve Yoshimura’s fall 2015 course in Communication Research Methods.

The study, approved by the Institutional Review Board, used a nationally distributed online survey to examine the extent to which people’s self-reported relationship satisfaction and confidence correlate with the use of Facebook to monitor their romantic partner’s social network interactions.

Tyler Morgan is from Missoula; Mackensie Salitsky is from Wayland, Massachusetts; Katjana Stutzer is from Anchorage, Alaska; and J.R. Thomas is from Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

WSCA conventions have been held annually since the initial conference of 1929 in San Francisco. Each year the WSCA convention brings together nearly 750 students, faculty and practitioners to present research papers, short courses, debates, discussions and more. During the conference, the WSCA recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of communication.

To learn more about the WSCA, visit the website at


Contact: Betsy Wackernagel Bach, UM Department of Communication Studies professor, 406-243-6119,