Note from the Director
It is a pleasure to offer this newsletter reporting developments at the Institute for Hispanic and International Communication during 2011-2012. The year was another eventful one for the Institute and our affiliated faculty and graduate students whose activities and achievements are summarized herein. The summer of 2012 is a particularly busy one as we prepare for our move to the former Business Administration Building in August. Please come by Room 252 West to see IHIC’s new home!
Dr. Boris Muñoz
Kennedy School Scholar Visits CMC
The journalist and scholar Dr. Boris Muñoz, fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, visited the College of Media & Communication March 3-5. Dr. Muñoz delivered a brownbag lecture, “Saving the Press in Venezuela from Chavez and the Opposition.” He also visited Dr. Weiwu Zhang’s graduate seminar in political communication and Dr. Kent Wilkinson’s seminar in popular culture and undergraduate course, “Ethnicity, Race, Gender in Media.”
Mr. Robert Montemayor
Pulitzer Prize Winner Speaks with Students
Mr. Robert Montemayor, a 1975 graduate of the college and 1984 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service while working at the Los Angeles Times, delivered the 2012 Buessler Lecture on Feb. 24. The annual lecture series honors Catherine Buessler, a retired faculty member whose teaching has had an enduring influence on many students including Montemayor. He also spoke in several classes and recorded an interview for an IHIC radio program to air on KTXT-FM. Montemayor teaches journalism at Rutgers University and directs the Latino Information Network.
Wilkinson Guest Lectures in Paris, London
IHIC Director Dr. Kent Wilkinson guest lectured at the French Institute of the Press at the University of Paris II in November 2011. Dr. Remy Rieffel, who visited Texas Tech in February 2011, invited Wilkinson to lecture in five graduate courses on topics including representation in media, U.S. ethnic-oriented media, and language difference in international media. Wilkinson also traveled to Goldsmith’s College, London, to discuss immigration and the media with Dr. Marianne Franklin’s transnational media course. An essay on intercultural communication written by Wilkinson can be found here.
Peaslee Co-edits Book
“Web-Spinning Heroics: Critical Essays on the History and Meaning of Spider-Man,” a book co-edited by Dr. Rob Peaslee and Rob Weiner of Texas Tech University Libraries recently was published by McFarland and Company. As described on Amazon.com, “this volume collects a wide-ranging sample of fresh analyses of Spider-Man. It traverses boundaries of medium, genre, epistemology and discipline in essays both insightful and passionate that move forward the study of one of the world’s most beloved characters.”
Dr. Autumn Shafer, Dr. Liz Gardner and Dr. Lily Luo
Dr. Liz Gardner (Public Relations) recently completed a study demonstrating that narrative style and a focus on family and friends are effective message design strategies to encourage Hispanic diabetics to engage in healthy eating and physical activity practices. In the summer she and Dr. Autumn Shafer plan to conduct research in Lubbock and El Paso that will examine additional message design features for health communication with Hispanics, focusing primarily on diabetes, obesity, HPV vaccination, and STI prevention.
Dr. Yunjuan “Lily” Luo (Journalism) presented her paper, “The Internet and Agenda Setting in China: The Influence of Online Public Opinion on Media Coverage and Government Policy” at the International Communication Association conference in Phoenix, Ariz. She also presented a paper on Chinese public opinion, internet, media and government at the World Association for Public Opinion Research conference in Hong Kong. In August, she will serve as a panelist and present a paper at the AEJMC conference in Chicago.
Dr. Rob Peaslee (Electronic Media & Communications) delivered a paper on media festivals to the Society for Cinema & Media Studies in March, and he continues work on music bloggers and SXSW, and is completing a theoretical piece on media conduction for the International Journal of Communication. His co-authored article, “The expediency of hybridity: Beijing 2008,” was published in an Olympics-themed issue of Mass Communication and Society (June 2012). As noted on page one, he recently co-edited a book on Spider-Man; an edited volume exploring The Joker is in progress.
Dr. Autumn Shafer (Public Relations) has been analyzing evaluation data from a panel study of parents of children with eating disorders from the Caring For Yourself is Caring For Your Child project, a health communication intervention designed to support parents by encouraging adaptive coping behaviors that would help them be more energized and confident in administering their child’s treatments. She is also working on evaluating the use of entertainment-education to prevent teen pregnancy.
Dr. Weiwu Zhang (Public Relations) recently finished a book chapter on survey methods for a graduate research methods text in media studies. In 2011, he co-authored an article on political public relations in the health care reform debate with Dr. Trent Seltzer (Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly). His encyclopedia chapter on political behavior in social network sites with doctoral student Sherice Gearhart will appear in 2012. He recently was selected to participate in Texas Tech’s Transdisciplinary Research Academy, and to serve on the President’s Diversity and Equity Advisory Council.
Arijit Basu (Ph.D. program) is researching how mall brands in India are using social media to recruit and retain college-going consumers and develop brand loyalty for their malls amidst stiff competition. He also is studying how English-language media portrayals of Hispanics are changing as U.S. broadcasters become more sensitive to stereotyping.
Shankar Borua in the spring successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, “American Political Documentaries: Structure, Agency, and Communication of Meaning.” He returned to his homeland Assam, India, to begin work on Bohaag, the digital storytelling collective for 9-15 year old rural children (the month Bohaag marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year in mid-April). He also plans to resume his work as a filmmaker in the motion picture industry.
Brandon Bouchillon (Ph.D. program) is conducting comparative cross-cultural content analysis of how American, British, and Australian newspapers covered Julian Assange in the wake of “Cablegate.” The research examines whether newspapers were more likely to frame Assange as a terrorist, a free speech advocate, or a sex predator (stemming from his rape charges in Sweden).
Jessica El-Khoury (Ph.D. program) is researching cross-cultural elements of new media technology and its functions. She is particularly interested in the Middle East and its complex interactions with Western society. During the summer she will conduct primary research on pro-social messages in Lebanese media, and will present a paper on e-learning at a conference in Egypt.
Dane Kiambi (Ph.D. program) studies corporate reputation management, crisis communication, public diplomacy, and public relations. He had three articles accepted for publication in spring. In 2011-2012 Kiambi taught Public Relations Strategies and Research Methods in Mass Communication. He is collaborating with Dr. Autumn Shafer on one study regarding adolescents’ media consumption and orientations toward sex, and another examining organizational reputation and crisis response strategies.
Krit Kachathan (M.A. program) is conducting research on freedom of the press in developing countries. He is particularly interested in the relationship between foreign aid from developed nations and conditions of press freedom in developing countries.
Patrick Merle (Ph.D. program) taught International Public Relations in spring. His research activities include finishing a cross-national study about the Arab Spring for a book chapter, concluding a project with Dr. Dennis Patterson (Political Science) to be presented at the Comparative Agendas Project conference in France, and collecting data with fellow doctoral student Jerod Foster for the second phase on a study about foreign news consumption by students.
Prisca S. Ngondo (Ph.D. program) taught Public Relations Strategies, and advanced her dissertation proposal in spring. Additionally, Ngondo co-authored a paper with Dr. John Wirtz presented at the 15th Annual International Public Relations Research Conference in Miami in March. She has accepted a position at California State University, Chico, as an assistant professor in public relations, starting Fall 2012.
Mehrnaz Rahimi (Ph.D. program) presented her research at Texas Tech’s Graduate Student Research Poster Competition in April. She co-authored a paper about the salience of social media in news coverage of Egypt’s upheaval with Patrick Merle and Jessica El-Khoury for the AEJMC midwinter conference in Norman, Okla. Rahimi also delivered two presentations at the International Research Conference for Graduate Students at Texas State University last November.