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Four Robertson School faculty named AEJMC Emerging Scholars

Jan 9, 2019

Posted in: News

By Marcus Messner, Ph.D., Associate Director

AEJMC Emerging Scholars: Dr. Karen McIntyre (top left), Dr. Nicole O'Donnell (top right), Dr. Jeanine Guidry (bottom left) and Professor Jay Adams (bottom right).

Several Robertson School faculty were recognized as 2019 Emerging Scholars by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) this week. Dr. Karen McIntyre, Dr. Jeanine Guidry, Dr. Nicole O'Donnell, and Professor Jay Adams won the prestigious national awards for research projects they proposed to a review committee of senior scholars.  The Emerging Scholar Program honors the most promising junior faculty in the field of mass communications by funding their research projects. 

“Most hearty congratulations to Karen, Jeanine, Nicole and Jay on winning these highly competitive and very prestigious AEJMC national grants! They make us all Robertsonians so proud,” said Dr. Hong Cheng, director of the Robertson School. “These wins speak volumes for the quality of their research proposals and the strength of their collective wisdom. In particular, their productive and successful teamwork represents very innovative and inspiring approaches in professional-research and cross-sequence and cross-university faculty collaboration.” 

McIntyre, who is an assistant professor in the journalism sequence, proposed the project “The Role of the Media in Post-conflict Development in Three East African Nations” with Dr. Meghan Sobel from Regis University in Denver.  Both researchers plan to go to Kenya this spring to interview journalists about press freedom in their country. They have already conducted this research in Rwanda and Uganda, and plan to write a comparative study after they finish the interviews in Kenya. 

"Meghan and I can't be more thrilled to have received this grant. After interviewing journalists in Rwanda and Uganda about press freedom in their respective countries, we have been eager to replicate this study in Kenya," said McIntyre, who is a Fulbright scholar in Rwanda for the 2018-2019 academic year. "The three countries are at different stages of post-conflict development, and we hope our research will facilitate a better understanding of the evolution of the press after civil conflict in East Africa. Traveling to Kenya to conduct this research is a fantastic opportunity, and we are grateful for the support of the AEJMC Emerging Scholars Program."

Guidry, O'Donnell and Adams, who are assistant professors in the public relations and advertising sequences, proposed the research study "Promoting Pro-Environmental Behaviors through Visual Social Media" as a team project. The researchers proposed an experimental study to test visual message characteristics focused on affecting pro-environmental behaviors, perceived threat, perceived efficacy, and behavioral intent. They expect that the results of the study will have practical implications for science, government, environmental, and health communication professionals.

"Environmental messages that include fear-based images like smoke-stacks and dried up lakes help to communicate the severity of climate change. However, viewing these images may also make people feel that climate change is a distant issue and that their personal actions have less of an impact," said O'Donnell. "Our team is interested in this topic. We hope to explore visual message strategies that may reduce psychological distance and promote participation in small, pro-environmental behaviors, such as recycling or reducing single-use plastics. "