Current Research Projects
|Dr. Edward Downes is currently finishing his first book, Press Secretary: The Story of Capitol Hill’s Image Makers. Prior to joining academia full-time he worked professionally in Washington, D.C., for 10 years, in the corporate, governmental and nonprofit sectors. Last month Dr. Downes accepted a position on the advisory board for a new journal, Panorama-An International Journal of Gandhian Thought, exploring Gandhi’s life and philosophy, concentrating in part on his influence in contemporary societies. His contribution to the first issue is titled, “What Kind of Public Relations Professional was the Mahatma?” The journal is headquartered at Kanya Maha Vidyalaya Women’s College in Jalandhar, Punjab, India.|
|Dr. Deborah Jaramillo‘s current book project examines the years prior to the implementation of the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters’ Television Code in 1952. The Television Code was a self-regulatory document that extended the moral concerns of the various Radio codes and paralleled Hollywood’s Production Code. The project focuses specifically on the interplay between the Federal Communications Commission, the NAB/NARTB, Congress, and television audiences. At the center of this interplay are tensions regarding the role of television in U.S. culture, the role of government in regulating the television industry, and the role of the industry in policing itself.|
|Dr. Cheryl Ann Lambert’s research agenda includes fostering relationships between public relations practitioners and media professionals and facilitating accurate messaging and portrayals of public relations in broadcast, electronic, and print media coverage. To that end, she has published an article in the October, 2011 edition of Communication Teacher classed “Cinema spin: Exploring film depictions of public relations Professionals. Also this year, she published an article in the Media Training Guidebook called “Seeking Out Citizen Journalists: Media Beyond the Mainstream. (Vol. 4, pp. 178‐179). Additionally, Lambert published an article (2009) called “Engage and inspire employees with diversity awareness events” in the Employee Communication Guidebook: The blueprint for internal PR strategies and tactics (Vol. 1, pp. 146‐149).|
documentaryMapper for Living Observatory is a design research project by Dr. Hyun Lee that explores how to interface with an evolving physical eco-landscape in Manomet, Massachusetts. The user experience is aimed to better document and interpret the ecological change so that individuals, such as enthusiasts, scientists, and AP high school science students can better understand relationships of ecological processes and climate change adaptation. documentaryMapper is a platform for understanding, sharing, and learning about real-time data points, both selectively and collectively, to bridge between time, knowledge, and shared interests.
|Dr. Patrice Oppliger is currently working on a book focused on the portrayals of bullies and mean girls in the media.|
Dr. Dustin Supa is currently conducting a study of public relations practitioners and journalists in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to determine each profession’s mutual perception of the other. This is the third in a series of studies designed to better understand the relationship between public relations practitioners and journalists, which will potentially lead to greater understanding and maximization of the relationships between the two, traditionally disparate, fields. Once the current study is completed, Professor Supa hopes to establish a theory of media relations which will benefit public relations practitioners as they seek to create and maintain relationships with journalists of all different types of media.
|Dr. Mina Tsay-Vogel (Boston University), Dr. Maja Krakowiak (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs), and Dr. Mary Beth Oliver (Pennsylvania State University) are currently examining the impact that “meaningful” and cognitively engaging films have on audience responses. In an experimental study, they empirically investigate how exposure to content that facilitates reflecting on human life, moral beauty, and tragedy, is associated with awareness and contemplation of one’s own mortality. Furthermore, they explore the potential moderating role of significant life events on the relationship between meaningful films and mortality salience.|
|Dr. Tammy Vigil is currently working on projects examining 2012 political campaigns, as well as an ongoing study on the implications of college students’ use of Facebook.|
|Dr. H. Denis Wu is currently working on a couple of writing projects. The first one is to report a series of investigations on affect agenda-setting and impact of candidates’ visuals on voting decisions. The second one is a compilation of journalists working as public relations practitioners around the world and how that convergence affects democracy and professionalism.|