Recent Southern alum’s research published in an academic journal

Trisney Wiedemann.
(Photo courtesy of: Trisney Wiedemann)
Trisney Wiedemann. (Photo courtesy of: Trisney Wiedemann)

Written by: Charlene Arnold

Southern Adventist University December 2021 graduate, Trisney Bocala, now Trisney Wiedemann, conducted academic research as a Southern scholar that significantly surpassed her expectations. 

According to the Southern Scholars website, the program is an enhanced interdisciplinary educational involvement that provides an environment for academically responsible peers through enriched experiences both in and out of the classroom.

Wiedemann’s research, titled “Social media as a tool for evangelism among youth and young adults,” was recently published by the Great Commission Research Journal, a peer-reviewed publication focused on church-based ministry, according to information on its website.  

“This school assignment has carried me further than I ever expected,” said Wiedemann, who married Randy Wiedemann shortly after graduating from Southern and is currently living in Battle Ground, Washington, and working as a public relations account coordinator for Matter Communications PR agency. 

Wiedemann was a School of Journalism and Communications student who majored in mass communication – advertising. As a Southern Scholar, she was tasked with researching an area in her major. Wiedemann chose religion as her interdisciplinary focus. 

She reasoned that social media has become the most popular medium for mass audiences and ideally is the best platform for evangelizing to the rising generation of future church leaders. According to Wiedemann, her topic of research is particularly valuable due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the creative communication methods churches have adopted because of the public health crisis. 

“It’s been super rewarding to see my undergraduate research get peer-reviewed and go through [the] process to be accepted for scholarly publication,” Wiedemann said. 

According to Wiedemann, the experience was filled with academically enriching moments that led to greater holistic lessons. She explained that through the process of conducting research and accomplishing an unexpected milestone, she has demonstrated that there is a science behind being disciplined and being a purpose-driven professional. Wiedemann believes the greatest potential gained is understanding how to strategically utilize a resource such as social media for God’s mission. 

“Southern Scholars provided me with a variety of wholesome opportunities to take ownership of my education and pursue deeper growth,” she said. “By incorporating interdisciplinary classes and sponsoring out-of-the-classroom experiences, Scholars introduced me to concepts I wouldn’t have otherwise explored in my communication courses. 

“Best of all, through Scholars, I found myself empowered to work alongside students with a shared value for intellectual growth,” she continued. “I was able to fellowship with other high-achievers, engage in impactful discussions, foster relationships that enriched my college life and network with people that will likely continue to have an impact throughout my career.” 

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