Greetings and welcome to the Fall 2013 semester! I hope everyone had a wonderful summer. When you get the chance feel free to stop by my office in Craig 375, give me a call at 417-836-4423, or email me at ShawnWahl@MissouriState.edu if you have questions about the department, advising, programs, student organizations, internships, and more. Check out the latest information, media, and events going on in the department at our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Also of course check out the Department of Communication’s website for more resources and information available to students!
I would like to begin the new year by announcing a partnership connected to our socio-political communication major. Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Dudash (Associate Professor of Communication), Spencer Harris (Visiting Assisting Professor of Communication), and Brandi Chen (COM Graduate Research Assistant).
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RaceProject Announces Partnership with MSU
The Project on Race in Political Communication has entered into a partnership with the Socio-Political Communication Lab at Missouri State University to research individuals’ real-time responses to various forms of race-based audiovisual content. The collaboration brings RaceProject co-directors Stephen Maynard Caliendo (Professor of Political Science, North Central College) and Charlton McIlwain (Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University) together with Missouri State University Associate Professor of Communication, Elizabeth Dudash, Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Spencer Harris, and Communication Department Graduate Assistant Brandi Chen.
The Socio-Political Communication Lab is built around the Dialsmith Perception Analyzer (R) response system technology, which tracks individuals’ responses to a variety of public affairs content in real time and on a fluid scale. Participants hold a response device (pictured at right) and move the dial to reflect how they are feeling while exposed to various stimuli — in this case, racialized communication. The researchers note that technology offers a potential for improvement from their previous work, which asked participants to indicate their thoughts and feelings at one point in time, after being exposed to the stimulus.
“This collaboration allows us to build upon the research about race-based appeals that we have conducted over the past decade,” Caliendo said. “We’ve found that people’s attitudes about minority candidates are influenced by race-based political appeals, McIlwain added. “Access to new technologies through this partnership will allow us to better understand what types of racial content generate reactions from participants.”
“It is an honor to work with Drs. McIlwain and Caliendo,” said Dudash. “The Department of Communication is always looking for ways to serve and help the community, and this research is central to understanding political communication in the present and future. We look forward to working in this partnership.”
While most of the research will be conducted during the fall of 2013, a small group of volunteers participated in a pilot study on August 7.