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WAKE FOREST AND THE WEAVER FERTILIZER PLANT FIRE: HOW A UNIVERSITY AND ITS STUDENTS RESPONDED TO A CRISIS

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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title
WAKE FOREST AND THE WEAVER FERTILIZER PLANT FIRE: HOW A UNIVERSITY AND ITS STUDENTS RESPONDED TO A CRISIS
author
Campbell, Halle
abstract
In January 2022 the Weaver Fertilizer Plant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, experienced a fire that had the potential to result in an explosion. This crisis impacted the community of Winston-Salem, including Wake Forest University and its student population, resulting in the evacuation of community members, students, faculty, and staff living within a one-mile radius of the fertilizer plant. This case study investigates the crisis communication practices of Wake Forest University during the Weaver Fertilizer Plant fire and uncovers the student experience using qualitative research methods including document collection and interviews. Using Coombs’s Situational Crisis Communication Theory and the best practices for crisis communication, this study analyzed the messages sent by Wake Forest to its students and interviewed informants and students to better understand the crisis from their perspective. The results of this study showcase students' thoughts and feelings about the university's crisis communication to better this practice at Wake Forest University.
subject
Crisis communication
Higher education
Wake Forest University
Weaver Fertilizer Plant Fire
contributor
Gill, Rebecca (advisor)
Barbour, Joshua (committee member)
date
2023-07-25T17:48:27Z (accessioned)
2023-07-25T17:48:27Z (available)
2023 (issued)
degree
Communication (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/102218 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
type
Thesis

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