Research Faculty Bios

Alyssa Appelman, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Alyssa Appelman specializes in news accuracy and credibility. She tests the effects of journalistic norms and practices on readers. She has conducted projects on the effects of grammatical errors, stylistic errors and factual errors in news articles. More broadly, she’s interested in the effects of message characteristics in digital and social media. She collaborates with scholars on projects related to journalism, misinformation, media effects and communication technology.

Key words: journalistic practices, news accuracy, fact-checking, media credibility, media psychology, information processing, media literacy, social media

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Genelle Belmas, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Genelle Belmas’ research centers on First Amendment jurisprudence. Her current areas of research interest are the law of the American flag, anonymity law, judicial election campaign finance, and censorship of the scholastic press (particularly junior high and high school student journalists). Secondarily, she is interested in media ethics, particularly the intersections between media law and ethics, and is working on a research project on the prisoners’ dilemma and journalism education. She is also working on a project on the censorship of citizen health blogs by state agencies.

Key words: First Amendment, media law, media ethics, American flag, scholastic journalism, censorship, anonymous speech

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Yvonnes Chen, Ph.D., Professor

Yvonnes Chen’s research focuses on designing and implementing health promotion activities to improve underserved populations' health decision-making process and behavior. She has explored research topics--including nutrition, sex education, tobacco use, alcohol abuse, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption- -with her intramural and extramural funded grant projects.

Key words: health communication, health promotion, media literacy, underserved populations, tobacco, alcohol, nutrition, sugar-sweetened beverage, sex education

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Chris Etheridge, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Chris Etheridge researches media representations of crime and community storytelling. His current work focuses on information-seeking behaviors of community groups and the ability of media outlets to serve those information 36 needs. He also studies digital adoption of technology in rural communities and related relationships between news organizations and their audiences.

Key words: crime, community, storytelling, technology, information-seeking behaviors

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Teri Finneman. Ph.D., Associate Professor

Teri Finneman’s primary research interests include gender and media, particularly press portrayals of women politicians and first ladies. Her research also includes journalism history, oral history, media ethics, and issues for women journalists. Finneman does qualitative and historical research.

Key words: gender and media, women in politics, journalism history, oral history

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Mugur Geana, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Mugur Geana conducts research in health communication, with emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention to underserved populations, as well as the development and testing of novel communication technologies addressing the delivery of tailored health news and information. He currently focuses on research targeting cancer screening and societal attitudes about people living with chronic pain. He collaborates with researchers from KUMC as well as with nonprofit organizations. Dr. Geana is open to assist with any quantitative, qualitative or experimental research proposals focused on underserved populations through the Center for Excellence in Health Communication to Underserved Populations (CEHCUP).

Key words: health communication, tailored news, pain, cancer, minorities, health promotion, disease prevention

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Melissa Greene-Blye, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Melissa Greene-Blye is an enrolled citizen of the Miami Nation. Her research examines journalistic representations and negotiations of American Indian identity past and present. Most recently, her work has been published in Journalism History. She has presented research at the American Journalism 37 Historians Association annual conference as well as the Joint Journalism Conference held in New York City each year.

Key words: American Indian studies, race, media representations

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Lisa McLendon, Ph.D., Lecturer

Lisa McLendon’s primary area of research is language attitudes: the judgments people make based on others’ use of language, both written and spoken. Her secondary area of research is error hierarchy: looking at which nonstandard language usages, in both speech and writing contexts, are considered more or less serious than others.

Key words: language, linguistics, sociolinguistics, grammar, pronunciation, writing

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Scott Reinardy, Ph.D., Professor

Scott Reinardy’s primary research interests include the examination of stress and burnout of journalists, organizational change in newspaper newsrooms, newsroom layoff survivors, and newspaper management. His secondary research area includes the ethical development of journalists, sports journalism, and experiential education.

Key words: journalists’ burnout, organizational change, layoff survivors, newspaper management

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Janet Rose, Ph.D., Professor of the Practice and Director of The Agency

Janet Rose has worked as an executive for consulting and advertising agencies, including McCann-Erickson, Saatchi & Saatchi X, and FCB Global. Her research focuses on understanding consumers and cultural trends to identify intersections of strategic business and marketing opportunity.

Key words: creativity, brand strategy, consumer identity, experience economy, entrepreneurialism

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Hyunjin Seo, Ph.D., Professor

Hyunjin Seo’s research interests lie at the intersection of digital media, international communication, and strategic communication. Specifically, Seo’s research program focuses on identifying emerging properties of networked communication and understanding their implications for social change, collective action, and civic engagement. Seo has conducted research on how social collaborative networks, often facilitated by digital communication technologies, catalyze social movements and address social issues at local, national, and international levels. Her research considers three interrelated core topics: network-facilitated political and social movements; structure of digital communication networks; and credibility in social media content.

Key words: digital media, social media, social change, political/social movements, credibility online

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Matt Tidwell, Ph.D., APR Assistant Dean for Graduate and Professional Studies

Matt Tidwell’s research addresses corporate and organizational behavior as it relates to public relations and communications. He specializes in crisis communications and examines how companies view and enact transparency in the age of the empowered and connected stakeholder.

Key words: organizational behavior, public relations, crisis communications

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Hong Tien Vu, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Hong Tien Vu’s research addresses international communication with a special focus on climate change and media. For example, he looks at how the media from the U.S. and various countries portray climate change; what macro factors shape climate change coverage; and what effects that coverage has on the public. His second research area addresses changes in newsroom practices amid the rise of technological innovations. His work has focused on the changing gatekeeping role as the journalism industry is adapting to the technological evolution.

Key words: climate change; media; technological changes; gatekeeping

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Doug Ward, Ph.D., Associate Professor; Associate Director, Center for Teaching Excellence

Doug Ward is author of A New Brand of Business: Charles Coolidge Parlin, Curtis Publishing Company, and the Origins of Market Research (Temple, 2010) and several articles on the history of advertising, marketing, and consumer culture. More recently, he has been writing about teaching and technology for such publications as The Chronicle of Higher Education, PBS MediaShift, and Bloom's Sixth, the blog of the Center for Teaching Excellence. He is the creator 39 and curator of, an online language reference source and blog, Journalism Tech, a site devoted to applying technology to journalistic projects, and curator of Digital Learning in Higher Ed, which is devoted to articles on online, hybrid and mobile learning, as well as digital literacy and media literacy.

Key words: consumer culture, teaching, digital learning, digital literacy, media literacy, technology, editing

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