Since opening its doors in 1955 as the first college of communication in the country, MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences has been a pioneer in the industry — and remains one of the largest and most respected communication colleges in the nation. Our faculty have a tradition of being foundational scholars in the field of communication and trailblazers in the teaching of creativity.
Meet the eleven newest educators and researchers to join ComArtSci in 2023.
Danielle K. Brown (she/her)1855 Professorship in Community and Urban Journalism / Associate Professor
Danielle K. Brown is a researcher of journalism, politics, and sociology — specializing in media representations and narrative change; reconciliation and reparative solutions; social movements and activism; and identity and political psychology. Brown has published dozens of articles in top-tier journals in mass communication, sociology, and political science, and her work also appears in popular media outlets like the Washington Post, Nieman Lab, Columbia Journalism Review and The Conversation. Brown is an associate editor for the International Journal of Press/Politics and serves on the editorial board for Journalism Practice. She brings additional skills in industry and community engaged research, public scholarship, and visual communication to the J-School.
Jarrad Henderson (he/him)Artist in Residence
Jarrad Henderson is a respected industry leader who seeks to democratize journalism by empowering diverse voices to share their stories. A 4-time Emmy Award-winning visual journalist, multimedia alchemist and inspirational educator, Henderson has produced impactful content in large newsrooms for over a decade — specializing in access to visual storytelling education, documentary filmmaking, photojournalism, video editing, media entrepreneurship, media literacy, mentorship and professional development.
Amanda Cote (she/her)Associate Professor / Director of Serious Games Certificate
Amanda Cote is a researcher of digital and analog game studies, specializing in gender, identity, and representation; issues of technological access; media industry studies; and collegiate esports. Cote draws on critical explorations of industry texts and practices, along with interviews with female gamers, to explore gaming’s conflicting trends towards greater diversity and greater discrimination. She is the author of Gaming Sexism: Gender and Identity in the Era of Casual Video Games, as well as articles for publications such as Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, Games and Culture, and Feminist Media Studies. Her key strengths include research methods, idea synthesis, mentoring and academic professional development.
Susan Bonner (she/her)Associate Professor / Professor of Practice
Susan Bonner is a designer and researcher, specializing in the gamification of social-emotional coping skills development in young children; visual development for entertainment media; accessible and universal design; and animation. Bonner is the creator of The Road Crew Social Emotional Health Game, which aims to teach young children coping skills for anger, loneliness, and anxiety through an augmented reality (AR) experience. Other educational games produced by Bonner have won Serious Play and Meaningful Play Awards. Bonner brings expertise in collaborative workflows, mentoring, field research and user testing to the department.
Cory Heald (he/him)Instructor / Professor of Practice
Cory Heald is an industry expert with more than 20 years’ experience, specializing in digital and physical game design; art direction; 3D modeling and graphic design. Recently, Heald led production at Underbite Games, successfully releasing three titles on PC and consoles. He is skilled at problem-solving, project management, and creative thinking — and he has a passion for all aspects of game development and student mentorship, as well as learning new tools and techniques.
Yoo Jung “Erika” Oh (she/her)Assistant Professor
Erika Oh is a researcher specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) dialogue systems, commonly referred to as “AI chatbots;” human-AI communication; interaction dynamics; persuasive technologies; and health communication. Dr. Oh’s research focuses on human perceptions, communication patterns, and the resulting persuasion and relational outcomes of human-AI interaction. Her studies have been published in academic journals such as Journal of Communication, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and International Journal of Communication. She has a passion for teaching and student mentoring, and is particularly adept at computational methods, AI algorithms, and designing technology-based interventions.
Stephen Spates (he/him)Assistant Professor
Stephen A. Spates is a researcher specializing in exploring the source credibility of online messages, effectiveness of workplace diversity programs, and organizational communication within health environments. His research has been published in journals such as Southern Communication Journal, Communication Teacher, Communication Studies, Howard Journal of Communications, Frontiers in Communication, and Communication Research Reports. Recently, Spates completed a grant-funded project with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, providing educational resources to help individuals learn about bias and discrimination. He has a knack for teamwork and collaboration; creating community; celebrating and providing support; listening and brainstorming.
Jacob Fisher (he/him)Assistant Professor
Jacob Fisher is a researcher at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and media psychology. He uses brain imaging, behavioral data, and digital trace data to investigate how digital media influence attention and pursuit of goals. Fisher’s research also seeks to understand how morally charged messages uniquely motivate attention and action at the individual and societal level — leveraging tools from computational social science, natural language processing, machine learning, and “big data.” His work has been published in journals such as Nature Human Behaviour, Communication Methods & Measures, Journal of Communication, Journal of Media & Communication, Computational Communication Research, Annals of the International Communication Association, and Communication Monographs.
Hyesun Choung (she/her)Assistant Professor
Hyesun Choung is a researcher specializing in trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI), AI-human collaborative decision-making, compassionate computing, media effects and strategic communication. Recently, Choung and her collaborators initiated the Compassionate Computing Project, which leverages the capabilities of large language models (LLMs) to establish a platform for advice-giving and human-AI collaborative decision-making. Her work has been published in journals such as International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, International Journal of Science Education, AI & Society, International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and Mass Communication and Society.
David Markowitz (he/him)Associate Professor
Dave Markowitz is a researcher specializing in relationships between humans and technology. His work examines language patterns from natural databases to infer what people are thinking, feeling, and experiencing psychologically. Markowitz’s research has appeared in outlets such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Communication, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and has been covered by news outlets including Vice, Business Insider, Forbes, and NPR. In 2022, Dr. Markowitz was named a “Rising Star” of the Association for Psychological Science.
William Nowling (he/him)Director of Communication, Leadership, and Strategy Institute / Professor of Practice
Bill Nowling is a strategic communication practitioner with more than 25 years experience in crisis response and management. He has a passion for applied communication research in strategic and crisis communication, and teaching. Nowling led communication on the City of Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy and consulted with the State of Michigan on the Flint water crisis. In addition to his crisis roles, Nowling has led and grown the Detroit offices for two national public relations agencies. This fall, he will defend his Ph. D. dissertation at Wayne State University.