Olivet students in the university's journalism program expect to experience a blend of professional practices with biblical vision and mission. In OSMC's 'Thesis Research and Methodology' course, students are learning how to prepare for their master theses.
Graduate student Chang Liu expressed his reflection on his progress toward completing a thesis. He has continuously studied about evangelical viewpoints in the field of Journalism. He explained why faith is needed in doing his researches.
"No one is a genius. For me, the process involves work day-in and day-out, which sometimes involves both joy and frustration," shared Liu. "I think a good researcher is the one who can be persistent and have faith. The path to find the truth needs time and effort. Only if one has great interest in the topic can he carry out and finish something special. It reminds me of Barbara McClintock's story. She was a geneticist who struggled for years, unappreciated, because her research community considered her work uninteresting. But she believed in her research and pressed on. Finally she won science’s highest honor, the Nobel Prize."
Liu is interested in studying the influence of culture and perspective on media, especially those on his home country. "I found that some newspapers continue writing about the same topics regarding China. It is quite interesting that the point of the articles can at times be totally different. When I researched about the owners of those newspapers, usually their background is diverse. This is an obvious phenomenon, but I would like to look deeper into the issue and understand its influence toward society, especially towards China," said Liu.
"Doing research is like climbing an unknown mountain where no one has reached the top. It is a hard yet rewarding journey. The researcher needs to find answers to a question that no one has had or even considered as a question. Most of the time, the problem is not on the writer's intelligence but on the writer’s emotional factors. For my research, I've spent a lot of time finding related papers within library databases, or observing the phenomenon in the field. Performing experiments can become boring at times. It feels normal that the result of the experiment cannot match what the researcher expected. It’s always changing the condition and repeating the experiment again and again until I can get some conclusion. Often the answer is not easily attainable, but I feel that my journey goes on despite obtaining what I want or expect."
Olivet School of Media and Communication's Thesis Research and Methodology is one of the university's Capstone Project courses available for graduate students. After completing this course, students pursue their research with consultation from their theses advisers. In this course, students are trying to choose and develop an appropriate research topic for a thesis, design a research strategy, and learn appropriate investigative techniques. It is highly expected that International students apply their faith and knowledge studied so far to Capstone projects and produce meaningful works to honor the University’s Bible-based identity and heritage to the world.