BPC faculty and affiliate faculty members frequently engage with BPC Fellows to share their knowledge and expertise to help fellows’ research and training through special BPC seminars, meetings, events, and other engagements. They have specialties in various areas related to communication and media.
Brand Communication and Advertising
Jooyoung Kim, Ph.D., Dan Magill Georgia Athletic Association Professor, Professor of Advertising, Executive Director of BPC Fellows Program
Dr. Kim’s research focuses on the advertising theory and practice. His research interests are advertising engagement, advertising integration effects, and consumer emotion. Many of his research have been published in top leading academic journals such as the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, International Journal of Advertising, Psychology & Marketing, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, among others. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Interactive Advertising and an Associate Editor of International Journal of Advertising.
Nathaniel J. Evans, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Advertising
Dr. Evans’ research examines the blurring of boundaries between entertainment and commercial content. He uses experimental and survey methodology to examine consumers’ information processing, evaluation, and behavioral outcomes of exposure to native advertising and other immersive or covert advertising formats. His research has examined regulatory and policy related topics in advertising, marketing, communication and health. Dr. Evans’ published work is featured in the Journal of Advertising, International Journal of Advertising, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Journal of Interactive Advertising, Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, Journal of Consumer Affairs, and Health Affairs.
Hye Jin Yoon, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Advertising
Yoon’s primary research interests are humor effects and schema incongruity processing in advertising. Other research interests include health and environmental issues in advertising and their impact on consumers and society, digital and social media advertising, and network and sentiment analysis. Her work has been published in the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Business Research, International Journal of Advertising, Journal of Health Communication, Health Communication, and Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, among others.
Communication and Media Technology + Innovation
Jay Hamilton, Ph.D., Director of New Media Institute, Department Head for the Department of Entertainment and Media Studies
Dr. Hamilton’s research focuses on the history, theory and practice of alternative media and democratic communication. A central goal of his project is, first, to develop a historicizing critique not only of specific practices of democratic communications but also of their conceptualizations and forms. Second, but equally importantly, the project seeks to recontextualize, retheorize, and thus reconstitute the possibilities of democratic communications in the current era of digital media, globalization, and perpetual political, economic, and ecological crises. Dr. Hamilton’s books include “Democratic Communications: Formations, Projects, Possibilities” (Lexington Books, 2008; paperback edition 2009); “Alternative Journalism” (Sage, 2009), which is co-written with Chris Atton (Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland); and “Explorations in Critical Studies of Advertising” (Routledge, 2017), co-edited with Robert Bodle, and Ezequiel Korin. He continues to publish research in leading journals such as Media, Culture, and Society, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, and Media History, and present his work at a variety of major academic conferences.
Grace Ahn, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director of the Games and Virtual Environments Lab
Dr. Ahn’s main program of research investigates how interactive digital media such as virtual and augmented reality transform traditional rules of communication and social interactions, looking at how virtual experiences shape the way that people think, feel, and behave in the physical world. Her work is supported by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health and is published in numerous top-tier outlets in the fields of communication, health, and engineering. She is the recipient of the Mary Alice Shaver Promising Professor Award from the American Academy of Advertising, the inaugural Early Career Award from the National Communication Association’s Health Communication Division, and the Krieghbaum Under-40 Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Itai Himelboim, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director of the SEE Suite, the social media engagement and evaluation lab, Thomas C. Dowden Professor of Media Analytics
Dr. Himelboim’s research interests include social media analytics and network analysis of large social media data related to politics, news and international affairs. Dr. Himelboim studies the network structures that are formed when users interact on social media, including the emergence of network clusters as information echo chambers and the diffusion and sources of content within and across these information silos.
Joe Phua, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Advertising
Dr. Phua’s research examines the impact of new and emerging communication technologies, including social media, on advertising and branding, social marketing campaigns for public health issues like obesity and smoking cessation, and sports marketing. His research has been published in top journals in the field, including Journal of Communication, Journal of Advertising, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Journal of Health Psychology, Journal of Smoking Cessation, Asian Journal of Communication, International Journal of Sport Communication, Journal of Sports Media, and Social Influence. His research has also received coverage in publications including Newsweek, Men’s Health, Huffington Post, Men’s Fitness, and WebMD magazine, as well as in news outlets like ABC News, Yahoo! News, and NPR Marketplace Tech.
Glenna Read, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Advertising, Director of the Brain, Body, and Media (BBAM) Lab
Dr. Read applies a social cognitive neurophysiological perspective to investigate social information processing of media messages and how these processes relate to behavioral outcomes – both prosocial and consumer. Research interests center on the use of media and communication technology to promote positive health and social outcomes. Her methodological expertise is in the use of peripheral and central psychophysiological measures of electroencephalography, facial electromyography, electrocardiography, and electrodermal activity.
Bartosz W. Wojdynski, Ph.D., Jim Kennedy Professor of New Media, Director of the Digital Media Attention and Cognition (DMAC) Lab
At the DMAC Lab, Dr. Wojdynski leads a team of researchers in the application of eye-tracking and facial expression analysis methods to the study of psychological responses to digital media. His research measures the influence of digital message design on users’ visual attention, and the consequent effects of visual attention on understanding, persuasion and behavior, with particular emphasis on digital news and advertising.
Crisis Communication and Reputation Management
Bryan Reber, Ph.D., C. Richard Yarbrough Professor in Crisis Communication Leadership, Professor of Public Relations, AdPR Department Head, Supervising Director of BPC Fellows Program
Dr. Reber’s research focuses on public relations theory, practice and pedagogy. He has published his research in the Journal of Public Relations Research, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Communication Management, and Newspaper Research Journal among others. In addition, Dr. Reber has presented his research at numerous academic conferences. Prior to joining the Grady College, Dr. Reber worked in public relations at Bethel College, Kansas. He has conducted research and consulted for the University of Alabama, Alabama Entrepreneurial Research Network, Sierra Club, Ketchum, Missouri Public Service Commission, and others. He taught at the University of Alabama immediately prior to joining the Grady faculty.
Yan Jin, Ph.D., Professor of Public Relations, Georgia Athletic Association Professor, Assistant Head of Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Associate Director of Center for Health and Risk Communication
Dr. Jin has authored more than 80 refereed journal articles and over 20 book chapters. She is the co-editor of the book Social Media and Crisis Communication (Routledge, 2017). She received the Krieghbaum Under-40 Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) in 2014 for outstanding achievement in research, teaching, and public service. In 2019, she won the Kitty O Locker Outstanding Researcher Award from the Association for Business Communication (ABC) for her body of work in crisis communication, conflict management, and strategic health risk communication. Dr. Jin is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and serves on the board of trustees of the Museum of Public Relations and the Corporate Communication International (CCI).
Juan Meng, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public Relations
Meng’s research specialization includes leadership in public relations, talent management and leadership development, and corporate reputation management. Meng serves on the national board of advisors of The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and has led many signature research projects funded by The Plank Center, including the largest global study of PR leadership, Millennial Communication Professionals in the Workplace, the biennial Report Card on PR Leaders, and the North American Communication Monitor. She also serves on the editorial advisory board for leading scholarly journals in public relations and strategic communication.
Health and Risk Communication
Glen Nowak, Ph.D., Professor of Advertising and Public Relations, Director of Center for Health and Risk Communication
Dr. Nowak is actively involved in communication research and training related to infectious and vaccine-preventable diseases, crisis and emergency risk communication (including recently with COVID-19), and vaccination acceptance and decision making, including by parents and adults. Prior to re-joining the University of Georgia (UGA) faculty in January 2013, Dr. Nowak spent 14 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including six years as the Communications Director for the National Immunization Program and six years as the agency’s Director of Media Relations. He was CDC’s Director of Media Relations during the 2009 H1N1A influenza pandemic.
Jeong-Yeob Han, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Advertising, AIM (Analytics, Insights, & Measurement) Club Coordinator
Dr. Han’s research mainly concerns the design and evaluation of interactive health communication campaigns, the benefits of online social support groups for cancer and other health related cognitions and behaviors, and statistical methods and research design. Han has developed programs of research on (a) antecedents and consequences of engagement with various eHealth initiatives, particularly focusing on theory and measurement development, (b) transaction logfile analysis, a unique method to probe interaction between computer and human, and (c) message expression and reception effects, particularly within online social media tools. Articles presenting this work appear in leading communication, psychology, and public health journals: Computers in Human Behavior, Health Communication, Health Education Research, International Journal of Medical Informatics, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Journal of Communication, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Health Psychology, Mass Communication and Society, Patient Education and Counseling, Psycho-Oncology, and Translational Behavioral Medicine.
Journalism Practice, Innovation, and Leadership
Keith Herndon, Ph.D., Professor of Practice, Morris Chair in News Strategy and Management, Director of the Cox Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership
Dr. Herndon spent decades in the media as a journalist and technologist before becoming an educator. His Ph.D. in media and information is from Australia’s Curtin University, and he holds a master’s in liberal studies from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor’s in journalism from UGA. Herndon teaches several courses including media management, entrepreneurial journalism and financial journalism.
Tudor Vlad, Ph.D., Director of the Cox International Center
Dr. Vlad’s research focuses on media challenges in emerging democracies and impact of midcareer training programs for journalists. He conducted workshops for journalists around the world. Dr. Vlad worked as a journalist in Romania for 20 years. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Georgia, Dr. Vlad was the chair of the Journalism Department of the Babes-Bolyai University, Romania, and director of the World Free Press Institute. Dr. Vlad has been a visiting IREX Fellow at the University of North Carolina and a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Georgia.
Media Law and History
Karen Russell, Ph.D., Jim Kennedy Professor of New Media, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor
Dr. Russell teaches public relations and media history and advising the college’s Integrated ADPR master’s program. She studies media history with an emphasis on public relations and is interested in qualitative research, such as ethnography and case studies, on PR. She is the author of two books, “Promoting Monopoly: AT&T and the Politics of Public Relations, 1876-1941,” and “The Voice of Business: Hill and Knowlton and Postwar Public Relations.” She has published articles in the Journal of PR Research, Public Relations Review, Business History Review, Communication Yearbook, Journal of Political Marketing, American Journalism, and Journalism and Communication Monographs. She served as editor of the Journal of Public Relations Research from 2009 to 2015.
Jonathan Peters, J.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Media Law
Dr. Peters has appointments in the College of Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of Law. He is the press freedom correspondent for the Columbia Journalism Review and a coauthor of the textbook The Law of Public Communication. His research is in three areas. First, he studies how Internet companies make decisions about the content they host. Second, he studies how recent economic, political, and technological changes have complicated efforts to regulate the modern practice of journalism. Third, he studies international and comparative media law and policy
Public Affairs, Political, and Government Communication
Joseph Watson, Jr., J.D., Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professor of Public Affairs Communications
Dr. Watson directs the first-in-the-nation Public Affairs Communications Program that provides students with practical training in the strategy and practice of public affairs communications focused on government, public policy, and politics. Watson has over 20 years experience in campaigns and communications. He served as an appointee in the Administration of President George W. Bush, served as a senior aide to former U.S. Senator Peter G. Fitzgerald, and established and led the public advocacy group for a Fortune 100 company.
David Clementson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Public Relations
Dr. Clementson runs experiments testing how politicians and business spokespersons dodge reporters’ questions and whether audiences notice. He builds theoretical models that explore how the public will cognitively process deception in media interviews. His latest studies assess whether the public can detect when a company spokesperson is dodging questions amidst a company crisis, and the different ways a public figure might deceive audiences. His work has been published in Journal of Communication, Public Relations Review, Political Psychology, Communication Studies, Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Discourse & Communication, Mass Communication and Society, International Journal of Sport Communication and Journal of Political Marketing. His research has also appeared in Politico, NPR, NBC News, the Boston Globe, the Daily Mail, Scientific American, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle, the Huffington Post, the New York Post, the Washington Examiner, New York magazine, Psychology Today and Newsweek.
Science and Environmental Communication
Jeff Springston, Ph.D., Professor of Public Relations, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
Dr. Springston’s research interests are public relations, health promotion, and emerging communication technologies. His work is published in a variety of leading journals and scholarly publications, including the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Cancer Detection and Prevention, Journal of the Health and Human Services Administration, Handbook of Health Communication, Handbook of Public Relations, Health Communication, Journal of Public Relations Research, International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, International Journal of Intercultural Research, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Public Relations Review, Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, and Small Group Research.
Michael Cacciatore, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public Relations
Dr. Cacciatore’s research has examined the communication of science and risk topics ranging from nanotechnology to food safety to global climate change. A significant portion of this research has tracked media depictions of science and risk issues, paying particular attention to the role of social media in the communication process. His other research has focused most directly on the interplay between media, values and risk in public opinion formation. Dr. Cacciatore’s work has been published in Public Understanding of Science, Science Communication, Risk Analysis, New Media & Society, and Health Affairs among others.
Sports Media and Communication
Welch Suggs, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Journalism, Associate Director of the Sports Media Certificate Program
Welch Suggs is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Georgia and associate director of the sports media undergraduate certificate program. His research focuses on the interactions of sports, media, and education. He spent 10 years as a journalist for publications including the SportsBusiness Journal and the Chronicle of Higher Education, and was one of the first American reporters covering the business of sports as a full-time beat. He also served as a staff member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and as assistant to the president of the University of Georgia. He holds a Ph.D. in education policy from Georgia and a bachelor’s degree from Rhodes College.
Affiliate Faculty and Experts Outside Grady College
Inkee Kim, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Computer Science at UGA
Advising Area: IoT and Smart City Communication
Inkee Kim is an assistant professor of computer science and an affiliate faculty member of the Institute for Artificial Intelligence at the University of Georgia. His research interests are cloud computing, large-scale distributed systems, and edge computing for real-world IoT applications (e.g., Smart Home/City/Transportation, Environmental Sensing).
Kyu Hyung Lee, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Computer Science at UGA
Advising Area: Cyber Security Communication Strategy
Kyu Hyung Lee is an associate professor of computer science and an affiliate faculty member of the Institute for Artificial Intelligence at the University of Georgia. As an expert in cyber security, his research areas include system security, software security, digital forensics, software reliability, program analysis, and mobile security.
Jaewoo Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Computer Science at UGA
Advising Area: Data Mining and Machine Learning for Strategic Communication
Jaewoo Lee is an assistant professor of computer science and an affiliate faculty member of the Institute for Artificial Intelligence at the University of Georgia. His research interests include data mining, machine learning, privacy-preserving data analysis.