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Southern Oregon University

McNair Scholars

Kourtney Mahan is a senior at Southern Oregon University earning a baccalaureate of arts degree in Human Communication in the Video Production track with an emphasis in directing, editing, and cinematography.  Her research interests include: director analysis, film genre studies, fantasy, science fiction, action –adventure, modern film technologies/editing techniques, world cinemas, and film and cinema history. She anticipates graduating cum laude in June 2014.

During this past year Kourtney participated in the Southern Oregon Arts & Research Conference in which she presented on the rare genetic prion disease known as Fatal Familial Insomnia. Her interest in this topic occurred while she was completing her lower division coursework in the behavioral neuroscience psychology class. 

Kourtney will be participating in the 2013 Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program Summer Research Internship in which she will be researching Authorial Stamping within a Formulaic Genre analyzing the film director Peter Jackson and his work The Lord of the Rings trilogy. With the completion of this research, Kourtney will be presenting what she has learned at the McNair Summer Research Symposium in August. 

Kourtney has always been inspired by movies and the people that create them. After completing her undergraduate studies and graduating from Southern Oregon University, she is excited about continuing her academic journey in graduate school, where she hopes to attain a Ph. D. in the area of film, visual studies, and digital media. Kourtney wants to inspire people with her movies and possibly get the chance to educate others with what she has learned by teaching at a university after completion of a doctoral degree.

McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Clift, Assistant Professor of Communication

McNair Faculty Co-Mentor: Dr. Jody Waters, Chair/Associate Professor of Communication

Curriculum Vitae


SOU McNair Scholars Journal 2013

Article: Authorship and Genre in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy


2013 McNair Scholar Symposium

Presentation Pamphlet: Authorial Signature in a Formulaic Genre

Presentation: Authorial Signature in a Formulaic Genre


2013 Southern Oregon Arts & Research (SOAR)

Presentation: Fatal Familial Insomnia