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LSU Today Flagship Faculty
What was your previous position and where?I was an assistant professor of strategic communication and director of online undergraduate programs at West Virginia University's P.I. Reed School of Journalism.
What brought you to LSU?The impressive commitment to diversity of the Manship School of Mass Communication, the LSU commitment to community, the amazing faculty at the Manship School, the opportunity to work with both public relations and advertising students and the media effects research facility, or MEL.
What are your research interests?I research media effects on behavior, emotions, attitudes and cognitions — primarily in the area of health communication. I also examine why and how we use social media. My current research examines social media hoarding behaviors — compulsions for gathering friends/followers on social media sites — and social media use in mourning and grieving.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?I hope to get students excited about the career path they have chosen. I want them to learn to think critically, creatively and strategically. I want to help them gain the skills they need to succeed professionally. I also want to help grow a body of graduate students who love research as much as I do.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?The collegial atmosphere. The people here are wonderful — so friendly and genuine. And I love the campus. The oak trees here are like none I have ever seen before. Ours in the north grow straight up and the ones in the south grown every which way. It's beautiful.
What are your major accomplishments?I recently presented some of my social media and mourning research at the first TEDxLSU event. Currently, I am helping with the communications for the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Project. This summer, I will be able to conduct some health communication research thanks to an award from the LSU Council of Research. I was awarded the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana Professorship in health communication in 2012. I've spent this year helping PRSSA at LSU become a STAR chapter, have worked extensively with the Bateman campaign against bullying in our schools and had a PRSSA team win second place in the national Collegiate Duck Tape Challenge. In 2010, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator named me tied for 29 out of 35 for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, or AEJMC, convention research productivity and I received a research grant for the mass communication and society division of AEJMC in 2011. Finally, I was a member of the Scripps Howard Leadership Academy in 2011.