Exterior photo of the side entrance and tower of Stauffer-Flint Hall; photo is tinted blue

Our Journalism & Mass Communications Experts

Our professors are top researchers in a wide range of journalism and communications areas and are available for collaboration, commentary or interviews. Choose a topic below for a list of our experts and their research specialities.

Research Groups

Faculty and students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications work through research groups focused on specific issues related to communication and information, contributing to advancing scholarship and research-informed practical and policy recommendations. Please contact the group leader if you are interested in joining a group.

EmTech & Public Interest Tech Group

This research group focuses on understanding roles of digital and emerging technologies in helping address societal problems at local, national and international levels. In close collaborations with community partners, we design and conduct empirical research in the areas of digital divide/equity/inclusion, online misinformation, and digital civic engagement.

If you are interested in joining the EmTech & Public Interest Tech Group, contact Professor Hyunjin Seo.

Faculty members

  • Hyunjin Seo (lead, professor), Vaibhav Diwanji (co-facilitator, assistant professor), Genelle Belmas (associate professor)

Student Members

  • Ph.D.: Darcey Altschwager, Annalise Baines, Matt Blomberg, Ursula Kamanga, Muhammad Ittefaq, Fatemeh Shayesteh

  • Undergraduate: Janada Birdling, Hanna Mackenzie, Nicole-Marie Konopelko

Science/Environmental Comms Group

We focus on the broad topic of science/environmental communication. We use different methods including computational, survey, content analysis, experiment, in-depth interview, and textual analysis. Current projects include (1) fact-checking on climate change from four countries; (2) media use and green consumption and policy support on plastic waste; (3) computational approach on online content on climate change across the world; and (4) exploring content elements in strategic messages by environmental NGOs.

If you are interested in joining the Science/Environmental Comms Group, contact Associate Professor Hong Vu.

Faculty Members

  • Hong Vu (lead, associate professor), Ever Figueroa (assistant professor), Jeff Conlin (assistant professor), Vaibhav Diwanji (assistant professor)

Student Members

  • Ph.D.: Muhammad Ittefaq, Annalise Baines, Mauryne Abwao, Nhung Nguyen, Pamela Peters, Ayman Alhammad

  • Master's: Manzur Maswood

Experimental Research Group (ERG)

The ERG aims to promote and facilitate experimental research in media. We welcome any experimental approaches, from laboratory studies to online experiments, to field experiments. Group members can take advantage of a dedicated research facility – the Experimental Research Media Laboratory (Dole 2001C), equipped with psychophysiology data acquisition, reaction time, facial emotion recognition, dial studies, and eye tracking equipment. The group is open to all faculty, undergraduate and graduate students interested in experimental research, and it is supported by the Center for Excellence in Health Communication to Underserved Populations and its national and international research partnerships.

If you are interested in joining the Experimental Research Group, contact Professor Mugur Geana.

Faculty Members

  • Mugur Geana (lead, professor), Alyssa Appelman (associate professor), Vaibhav Diwanji (assistant professor), Judy Watts (assistant professor)

Student Members

  • Ph.D.: Nazra Izhar, Jun Pei, Alfredo Urbina Carreño

  • Undergraduate: Alyssa Cangelose, Thomas Wiley

Qualitative Research Group

The questions that qualitative research is best suited to address differ from those taken up by quantitative methods but are just as critical to understanding how the world works. As Geertz (1973) put it,“To look at the symbolic dimensions of social action … is not to turn away from the existential dilemmas of life for some empyrean realm of deemotionalized forms; it is to plunge into the midst of them.” Ready to take that plunge? Join us for learning, resources, and support.

If you are interested in joining the Qualitative Research Group, contact Associate Professor Genelle Belmas.

Faculty Members

  • Genelle Belmas (lead, associate professor), Melissa Greene-Blye (co-facilitator, assistant professor), Teri Finneman (associate professor)

Immersion, Computation, and Expression (ICE) Group

The ICE Research Group undertakes mixed-methods and multidisciplinary research projects to study disruptions in the increasingly immersive, algorithm-led, and multicultural creative marketing communication and digital gaming ecosystems. The group is also dedicated to addressing issues of diversity and inclusion in these research areas.

If you are interested in joining the ICE group, contact Assistant Professor Vaibhav Diwanji.

Faculty Member

  • Vaibhav Diwanji (lead, assistant professor)

Student Members

  • Annalise Marie Bragalone, Finn Bauer, Kaitlin Clark

Shut Up and Write

Assistant Professor Chris Etheridge hosts a university-wide weekly research group sessions at the Hall Center for the Humanities. The sessions are designed to give scholars across disciplines a quiet place to develop, write, or revise research.

If you are interested in joining the research group, contact Assistant Professor Chris Etheridge.

Faculty Member

  • Chris Etheridge (lead, assistant professor)

Persuasion Group

Persuasion Group: Collectively, this research group examines how individuals process, respond to, and are influenced by media messages to alter attitudes and behaviors. We have an emphasis on theory-driven research using experimental methods.

Faculty Members

  • Judy Watts (lead, assistant professor)

  • Jeff Conlin (assistant professor)

  • Vaibhav Diwanji (assistant professor)

Latest research news from KU Journalism and Mass Communications

Lacy C. Haynes Professor Patricia (Weems) Gaston served as a 2024 Pulitzer Prize juror. The Pulitzer Prize is regarded as the highest national honor in print journalism, literary achievement, and musical composition.

University of Kansas students received two first-place awards, four second-place awards and five honorable mentions in the College Visual portion of the 2024 Kansas Association of Broadcast Student Awards.  The list of KU honorees: 

Stauffer-Flint Hall aerial shot.

Thirty faculty and graduate students from the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications are presenting their research studies, teaching best practices, and creative projects at the 107th annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.