Professor presents to fandom

Professor presents to fandom

Communications professor Janet McMullen gave three presentations at the Official Star Trek 2018 Convention in Las Vegas Aug. 1-5.

The Star Trek convention had 139 celebrity guests, including old and new actors of the ongoing series, such as William Shatner and Anthony Rapp. The science-fiction series originally aired in 1966 and has continued with several smaller series, such as “Star Trek: Discovery,” the newest series.

McMullen’s students know her love for Star Trek, and some have even seen her all out decorated office. Senior Kobee Vance said McMullen is not just a Star Trek fan, “she is a pure-blooded Trekkie.”

Topics McMullen presented included Star Trek as Modern Mythology, Diversity in Star Trek and Teaching Media Literacy with Star Trek. In a further explanation, she said it is all under the umbrella of “Teaching with Trek.” McMullen went on to discuss how everything in television shows matter, down to the color scheme.

“When we understand (all of these smaller elements), we see more, we appreciate the craft, we notice the strategy and we’re less likely to be persuaded about something without really thinking about it,” McMullen said.

McMullen said that she likes to implement shows, such as Star Trek, into her teaching because students grasp onto concepts better when they can relate the concept back to media. Since Star Trek addresses social issues and historical concepts, McMullen said it is not to bring Star Trek into the classroom.

McMullen said her love for Star Trek began after she watched the first episode when it aired in 1966 and has never missed an episode. McMullen traces her love back to her family’s loves and traditions of Star Trek.

“My mother enjoyed Buck Rogers when she was young, and so I think I got some of that from her,” McMullen said. “They offered a positive view of the future, of growth, promise, and learning. It was fun. It was smart. It was appointment television.”