Dr. Susan Opt of Salem's communication department won the top faculty paper award Saturday at the Carolinas Communication Association annual conference, held in Conway, S.C. In addition, Dr. Carol Dykers, also in communication, became the association's first vice president and will plan CCA's fall 2011 meeting, to be held in Winston-Salem, NC, from September 28 through October 1, 2011.Dr. Opt's paper, Mammogram Screening Guidelines and the American Dream: The Rhetoric of Social Intervention, was cited by judges for opening up new questions for health communication research. At a noon lunch, she accepted a plaque and a $250 honorarium for the top peer-reviewed faculty paper. Dr. Kim Nguyen, who left Salem last May after two years as a visiting professor, also was cited for submitting one of the top four faculty papers to the CCA faculty paper competition.Saturday morning, Dr. Opt also moderated a panel presentation by four representatives of Salem College -- two faculty and two Salem graduates who discussed their communication senior research theses, earlier Saturday morning. The research session's title was, The Politics and Power of Women’s Communication.This panel of Salem College professors and students explored the politics that shape women’s communication and the power of women to shape communication. The professors examined how an academic environment primarily led by women and geared to empowering female students influences communication in the classroom and community. The students demonstrate the power of women to create projects in an academic environment that potentially affect the way society communicates.