Ph.D. Program: Faculty

Deb Aikat

Dr. Aikat theorizes about the evolving roles of media and journalism in the digital age.

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Lucinda Austin

Dr. Austin’s research focuses on the influence of social media on health and crisis communication and publics’ perspectives in corporate social responsibility and organization-public relationship-building.

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Spencer Barnes

Dr. Barnes' research employs cognitive engineering and quantitative research methodologies to study the design and efficacy of dynamic visual communication products such as visual explanations, motion graphics and data visualizations.

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Lois Boynton

Dr. Boynton’s research focuses on ethical decision-making by public relations and media practitioners, professionalism and agenda building, particularly related to nonprofits.

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Joe Cabosky

Dr. Cabosky's research and creative work focuses on diversifying public relations by better appreciating the differences among publics and how this diversity should lead to better ways to build relationships with publics and stakeholders.

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Francesca Carpentier

Dr. Dillman Carpentier’s research lies within the broad area of media psychology, focusing on how cues within the media we consume can slip in under our radar and affect our attitudes and judgments without our express awareness.

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Joan Cates

Dr. Cates uses social marketing, media campaigns and message framing in interventions to promote healthy choices, such as vaccinations to prevent disease.

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Nori Comello

Dr. Comello's research focuses on developing and testing messages to promote health and other prosocial issues, guided by theories relating to identity and self-concept.

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Tori Ekstrand

Dr. Ekstrand uses critical and mixed methods approaches to studying media law and policy – with specific research on conflicts between copyright law and the First Amendment and on web accessibility for people with disabilities.

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Deen Freelon

Dr. Freelon's primary areas of expertise are political expression through digital media and the use of computer programming and computational methods to extract, preprocess, analyze and visualize large digital datasets.

 

Barbara Friedman

Dr. Friedman's research focuses on media representations of sex trafficking and, more broadly, on constructions and contestations of race, gender and class.

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Rhonda Gibson

Dr. Gibson's most recent research focuses on media portrayals of sexual minorities and the influence of these portrayals on both individual perceptions and public conversations.

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Heidi Hennink-Kaminski

Dr. Hennink-Kaminski’s research uses the social marketing approach to develop interventions and campaigns to drive behavior change in areas such as childhood obesity and clinical trial participation.

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Joe Bob Hester

Dr. Hester's research focuses on methodological issues, particularly the use of computational research methods, in areas such as sampling, agenda setting and social media.

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Michael Hoefges

Dr. Hoefges’ research focuses the intersection between First Amendment law and public policy, particularly within First Amendment commercial and corporate speech doctrines.

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Anne Johnston

Dr. Johnston's research focuses on media coverage of sex trafficking and other forms of gender-based violence.

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Dan Kim

Dr. Kim’s research focuses on increasing the effectiveness of advertising through consumer psychology, consumer-brand relationships and new media effects.

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Daniel Kreiss

Dr. Kreiss’ research analyzes the effects of technologies on electoral politics, political thought and American democracy.

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Allison Lazard

Dr. Lazard's research revolves around a core interest in how visual and interactive design influences perception and impact of strategic health and science messages.

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Trevy A. McDonald

Dr. McDonald’s creative work and research uses oral history to produce documentaries and books on the Civil Rights Movement through the lens of Black journalists.

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Seth Noar

Dr. Noar's research is focused on the use of communication strategies for health behavior change, especially in a cancer prevention context.

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Cathy Packer

Dr. Packer is co-director of the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy. Her research interests are access to government information and reporter’s privilege law.

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Daniel Riffe

Dr. Riffe's research areas include mass communication research methodology, media processes and production, mass communication and environmental risk, international news, the effects on public opinion of political communication and government-press relations.

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Adam Saffer

Dr. Saffer’s research takes a network perspective to study the relationships and social capital among individuals, groups and organizations, particularly in the areas of public relations and strategic communication.

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Charlie Tuggle

Dr. Tuggle studies media coverage of the Olympics, particularly of female athletes who participate in the Games.

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