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.

Submit Your Research to our Mixed Reality Interactive Exhibition

Are you a William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications alumni, student or faculty conducting research in health communications? The Center for Excellence in Health Communication to Underserved Populations (CEHCUP) announces the first installment of its Research Exhibition with the topic "COVID-19 and Society." Research that explores how the pandemic influenced societal norms, how social actors responded to the threat, and media roles in influencing opinions and behaviors related to the pandemic are welcome.

A display gallery open in Stauffer-Flint Hall from Feb. 15 to March 12, 2023, will be a mixed reality interactive event (no physical displays). QR codes will be placed at locations in the building. Scanning them with a phone or a tablet will open either 3D interactive posters or a web page with 2D posters. A map locating all the posters will be hosted on a dedicated web page, and viewers can vote online for their favorite posters. CEHCUP will make digital tablets available in the Resource Center that can be checked out by students to see the exhibition if they do not have a compatible mobile device. Prizes will be awarded for the posters that receive the highest rankings, separately for students and for faculty research, and all authors will receive participation certificates. Winners will be announced March 12, 2023.

Instructions for submission: Prepare your poster as you would for a conference presentation. Digital posters should be 4x6 feet, landscape orientation. Use a transparent background for tables, images or graphics, if possible. Export as a PDF file. The following must be included: Title, authors, affiliations, introduction, method, findings, discussion, conclusion, implications for health communication research and practice, and ​selected references.

Authors also are encouraged to submit a three- to five-minute audio presentation of their poster (MP3 file). It will be included as an option for viewers. Email your posters and audio presentation to Dr. Mugur Geana. Deadline is Jan. 15.

All the processing and preparation of posters for the 3D virtual display will be provided by CEHCUP. Authors will receive a photo of their virtual posters in place as part of their participation certificates. This is the first augmented reality research exhibition organized by the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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 Associate Professor Mugur Geana.

Faculty Members

  • Mugur Geana (lead, associate professor), Joseph Erba (associate professor, co-facilitator)

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

Latest research news from KU Journalism and Mass Communications

A study by Associate Professor Mugur Geana found that an augmented reality lesson scored highly among users, who reported that they felt more engaged with the content than from a video lesson. However, objective data showed that those who interacted with the AR model learned less than those who…

Researchers analyzed how fact-checkers in four countries practice the craft in relation to the issue of climate change. They found that fact-checkers have different approaches and suggest the most effective tactic is to provide accurate, reliable and easy to understand information to the public.

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A study by Assistant Professor Vaibhav Diwanji analyzed more than 1,000 AI-generated ads from across the web and found that they are only labeled as ads about half the time — and that they intentionally appeal to consumers in positive ways to influence them.