B.A., John Carroll University (Communication)
M.A., The Ohio State University (Journalism)
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Mass Communications)
Public opinion and communication, survey research methods and analysis, political communication, and terrorism.
People learn in different ways. Many people benefit by having an opportunity to use what they learn in a practical way. I like to get students involved in relating their theoretical lessons to current events happening in the world. I think it’s also very important to involve interested students in doing some research of their own whenever possible. Creating opportunities for such hands-on experiences is a big part of what I try to do, whether it's working with students on data analysis projects or writing questionnaires. Working together with undergraduate and graduate students helps get important work done and creates unique learning opportunities of special relevance. The use of collaborative writing technology such as wikis can be very beneficial to get students working together. We have been exploring together effective educational strategies for such tools. This enhances learning in my formal classes, independent studies and directed research projects. Exposing students to new tools or using familiar tools in new ways are valuable experiences that are useful in business contexts, nonprofits and the public sector.
To engage the students in active learning, I like to use discussion leaders and group projects to get students to think deeply about the issues that come up in their readings. I'm very interested in encouraging my students to appreciate the various ways people think about the scientific literature, as well as its implications for theory development, public policy, professional practice, and, of course, further research.
Much of my research involves public opinion, political communication and research methods. We recently completed a very large three-wave panel study of the 2016 election using GfK’s Knowledge Networks and are preparing papers from this now. Currently I am involved in planning a large survey project with the university and a national media firm.
For the past several years I have been head of journalism programs for the School of Communication. In this role, I chair the school’s publications committee, which oversees and sets policies for all the assets of the Lantern Media Group -- The Lantern and Lantern TV. The publications committee hires all of the 24 student editors and directors. Today’s Lantern is far more than what most people think of as a campus newspaper. News is printed on paper two days a week, but the Lantern follows a “digital first” publishing strategy and operates a large and complicated web site that has a lot of room for stories that do not fit in the printed version. The web site also accommodates photo essays, podcasts and video. Lantern TV publishes their work on YouTube channel. Students promote their stories on social media. The Lantern is a much-beloved organization to Ohio State journalism alumni and the organization has a storied history of excellence and awards. The most lasting contribution is, of course, the generations of journalists it has produced who have been remarkably successful in the world of journalism and related areas.
We have created a colloquium for journalism undergraduate students that we call NICS – News Innovation Through Communication Science. The key insight here is that we know through our research a great deal about the problems (and opportunities) of journalism. The NICS colloquia are designed to hear an expert scholar briefly introduce a topic – fake news, motivated reasoning, gatekeeping, and then engage journalism students in talking about the problem and considering how improvements in professional practice might be made. We try to do two of these informal presentations each semester.al presentations each semester.