MSU ComArtSci names Esther Thorson Associate Dean for Graduate Studies

Esther Thorson has been named associate dean for graduate studies for the Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences effective May 16.

Thorson has served as a professor in the School of Journalism since Fall 2016. She previously worked as the associate dean for graduate students and research director, Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism.

"Esther has both the breadth and depth of research and administrative experiences to lead graduate studies in the college," said Prabu David, dean of the College of ComArtSci. "She will collaborate with the directors of the graduate programs in the college to come up with creative ideas to make our highly ranked graduate programs even better."

Thorson teaches graduate seminars in theory construction and experimental methodology, and mentors graduate students at MSU. Her work includes examining news consumption patterns and fake news and fact-checking efforts, and several political socialization projects. She has chaired 50 doctoral dissertation committees and countless masters' theses throughout her career.

"When I came to MSU, one of the things I was most excited about was working with so many outstanding scholars and students," said Thorson. "This new position will give me an enhanced opportunity to serve such incredible faculty and graduate students."

Thorson publishes extensively on advertising message effects, and has edited, co-edited or contributed to more than a dozen books. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Advertising, and has applied her research to newsrooms and advertising agencies both nationally and abroad.

Thorson will succeed Kami Silk who served as the College's dean for graduate studies for three years. Before that, the post was held by Steve Lacy, Lucinda Davenport and Chuck Salmon.