News & Media

Psychology major wins WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Whitewater by explaining racial bias research

WHITEWATER—Senior psychology major Purcell Pearson won the WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Whitewater on Nov. 12.

The student “pitch” competition inspires UW System students to consider the impact of their research and effectively communicate it to the public.

The title of Pearson’s winning presentation was “Racial Bias in News Media and its Effects on Black Males Self-Image.”

News media has been studied intensively and a trend showing bias towards African American males has been found. This bias is the characterization of black males as criminals or aggressive thugs. This bias has been shown to have an effect on viewer judgement and black males, according to Pearson.

Pearson, who won a $300 prize, is now eligible to participate in the WiSys Quick Pitch State Final at the WiSys SPARK Symposium in Madison, July 27-28.


Junior Veronica Johnson, a communication sciences and disorders major, won the event’s People’s Choice Award sponsored by the UW-Whitewater Undergraduate Research Program.

The title of Johnson’s presentation was "Captioning Applications that Promote Language Access for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students.”

The main focus of this project is to evaluate and compare low cost real-time captioning applications that may be utilized in elementary school settings by students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The collection of data is expected to support the use of real-time captioning technologies in the academic setting. The research aims to discover if this may improve incidental learning through increased access to classroom language, according to Johnson.

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.