Communication PhD Students

From left to right: Clare Grall, Qi Hao, Joomi Lee, Minwoong Chung, Eric Novotny

Since the inception of the doctoral program in Communication in 1958, there have been 370 doctorates in Communication granted.  Those who receive a doctorate from the Department of Communication join a force of global leaders in the teaching and research of communication. Some of the sharpest minds in the world have pursued their doctorate in the Department of Communication at Michigan State University.  Below is our current doctoral cohort.

Melinda Aley-Grad Page2017.jpgMelinda Aley - Melinda's focus is the influence of media on the development of children, specifically more and gender development. She is also interested in the use of technology to increase learning in the classroom. Contact:

Arram Bae - Arram's research interests involve communication behavior among online and social media using computational approaches (e.g., network analysis, text mining and time series analysis). She focuses on three topics: 1) communication network dynamics and structure in online health community, 2) communication network and topic-based clusters in social networking sites among U.S. congressmen, and 3) selective exposure among homogeneous and heterogeneous network and political polarization. Contact:

Josh Baldwin - Joshua's research investigates the motivations for selecting entertainment media and the emotional and cognitive effects that narrative have on individuals. More specifically, his work focuses on how and why people enjoy and select entertainment from well established media franchises. His study interest includes nostalgia entertainment, franchise characters, and familiar versus novel narratives. Contact:

David Beyea-Grad Page2017_0.jpgDavid Beyea - Davids's research focuses on computer-mediated communication and how interpersonal interactions differ when communication in both high and low fidelity virtual environments.  He is also interested in areas where the interpersonal side of CMC interacts with media effects within these virtual environments. Contact:

Ying Cheng-Grad Page2017.jpgYing Cheng - Ying's research areas involve the effect of message features on persuasion outcomes in the health communication context, and the role of interpersonal conversations in impacting media effects. She is also interested in the application of mobile technologies to promote healthy behaviors. Contact:

MinwoongChung-Grad Page2017.jpgMinwoong Chung - Minwoong studies theory-driven health communication, specifically in relation to social influences such as social norms, social networks, and culture. His research focuses on how such social factors drive a person's health behavior. Contact:

Michael Davidson - Michael has worked as a digital strategist in government and political campaigns for nearly a decade. Michael's research focuses on improving our understanding of the relationship between emerging communication technologies and politcal participation. Contact:

Nancy Dai-Grad Page2017.jpgYue "Nancy" Dai - Nancy's research centers on how interpersonal, and intergroup factors shape impression formation processes in online settings, and how impressions influence attitudes and relationships. Her research typically examines interaction dynamics that are brought about or made prevalent by social media, with the purpose of deepening the understandings of communication in new media contexts. She is also interested in ways of leveraging technological affordances of new media to promote postive communication outcomes. Contact:

Clare Grall-Grad Page2017.jpgClare Grall - Clare's research interests lie at the intersection of media psychology and neuroscience with a general focus on how the brain processes media as rich, complex stimuli. Specifically, she is interested in integrating methods to investigate how media brings about positive affect and how we can use fMRI data to create entertaining media narratives. Contact:

Lindsay Hahn-Grad Page2017.jpgLindsay Hahn - Lindsay's research investigates the cognitive processes surrounding narrative media experience and influence in both children and adults. More specifically, her work has focused on the relationship between media content and intuitive values, or more primitive internal forces that drive human judgment and behavior. Contact:

Qi Hao-Grad Page2017.jpgQi Hao - Qi follows the cybernetics tradition of communication and tries to explain communication phenomena without depending on psychological constructs. He works on three topics: 1) diffusion of information and social influence in networks, 2) Mechanisms of information transfer via verbal communication and 3) small group discussion dynamics: how the group discussion history of talk turns and talk contents affect the group's discussion behavior to come. Contact:

Brian Klebig-Grad Page2017.jpgBrian Klebig - Brian's areas of interest include pre-deliberative mental processes such as attention and intuitive response to media. His research frequently involves utilizing virtual reality, augmented reality, and motion capture for both induction and analysis purposes. Contact:

Kevin Kryston-Grad Page2017.jpgKevin Kryston - Kevin's research concerns the selection, experience, and outcomes of media exposure from a media psychology perspective. He is specifically interested in enjoyment, appreciation, and morality. He is also interested in using neuroscience and other continuous response measures to determine how the real-time experience of media exposure leads to lasting effects to behaviors and perceptions.  Contact:

Joomi Lee-Grad Page2017.jpgJoomi Lee - Joomi's research focuses on motivational responses and perception of affordances while using media and virtual environments from an embodied, embedded, and dynamic systems perspective. Contact:

Sanguk Lee - Sanguk's research focuses on the social and psychological influence of new media technologies in diverse contexts (e.g., education, game, health). He is also interested in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Contact:

Adam_Mason_LgInsert_0.jpgAdam J. Mason - Adam's primary research interests center on computer-mediated communication. Specifically, he looks to study, identity and impression formation resulting from mediated interaction, as well as how modality affects interpersonal and group related processes. Contact:

Eric Novotny-Grad Page2017.jpgEric Novotny - Eric's research focuses on interpersonal coordination of people in real-world and virtual environment interactions, and the use of virtual reality and motion capture technology to measure this phenomenon. He is also interested in inter- and intra-cortical synchrony of neural networks during viewing media stimuli. Contact:

Sunyoung Park - Sunyoung's research interests is the intersection of interpersonal and health communication. She is particularly interested in how messages from interpersonal relations can bring impact on an individual's health related behaviors. She is also interested in how social norms affect an individual's behaviors. Contact:

BenPrchal-LgInsert.jpgBen Prchal - Ben's work seeks to understand the processes that influence attitude formation and change in the context of computer-medicated communication environments. Specifically, he wants to expose the impact one's own mind has on these processes in the unique realm of CMC. Contact:

Abby Rainer-Grad Page2017.jpgAbby Rainer - Abby's research focuses on the nature and implications of difficult workplace conversations (e.g., conflict, salary negotiation, and performance feedback exchange). She is also interested in survey methodology, public safety, consulting, and leadership. Contact:

Reed _Reynolds-LgInsert.jpgReed Reynolds - Reed studies social influence, including the communicative processes that occur within interpersonal relationships and information-processing more generally.  His research utilizes theories of attribution, person perception, and nonverbal behavior to explain how communication can shape socially relevant beliefs, motivations, and behaviors. Contact:

Samantha Shebib-Grad Page2017.jpgSamantha Shebib - Samantha's research focuses on experimental designs, advanced statistical analyses, and dyadic interactions, Her primary interest lies in marital interactions during conflict episodes. She's interested in examining how physiological responses (i.e., cortisol and testosterone) affect how one communicates when conflict transpires. Additionally, she's interested in how conflict behaviors are transmitted across generations as children learn these behaviors as ways to manage and handle conflict. Contact:

Neha Sethi - Neha's research interests lie at the intersection of media psychology and new media technologies, with a focus on how various characteristics of new media technologies influence the psychological and cognitive processes. Contact:

Brandon Thomas - Brandon's research interests include health campaign design, implementation and evaluation. He is also interested in topics pertaining to sexual health, more specifically research pertaining to HIV risk as well as other sexually transmitted diseases. Contact:

Daniel Totzkay - Dan is broadly interested in communicative and social influence processes taking place in health promotion and risk reduction contests. This interest is primarily focuses on the communication of complex, tentative, and emerging health science in order to motivate risk reduction and health promotion behavior. Other key interests are in formative evaluation for health and prosocial communication campaigns and theory-driven program evaluation. Contact:

Clint Townson-Grad Page2017.jpgClint Townson - Clint's research focuses on persuasion and social influence, specifically in law contexts. He has previously studied the contrasting effects of different witness types, deceptive forensic testimony, and public perceptions of jury service. He intends to continue exploration in this area with a career in trial consulting in mind. Contact:

Brandon Walling - Brandon's research focuses on interpersonal communication across different contexts. Specifically, Brandon is interested in health and criminal justice contexts where he seeks to improve provider-patient communication and the correctional officer-client relationship for women on probation and parole. Contact:

Xiaodi Yan - Xiaodi's research focuses on message effects in contexts of intergroup relations and health. Specifically, she is interested in studying how certain message features could have impact on relevant perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. She would aslo like to investigate the role of emotion and culture in individual's information processing and message effects. Contact:

Shay_Yao-LgInsert.jpgShay Yao - Shay studies the effects of mediated communication during consumption and its underlying reception processes. She is also interested in the interplay between media messages, communication technologies, and media consumers' attitudes and behaviors. Contact:

Yi Zhu-Grad Page2017.jpgYi Zhu - Yi's research areas include face and conflict management in intercultural communication contexts, politeness theory, communication between domestic and international students, intergroup bias, and stigma due to health status and linguistic competence. Contact: