Serena Carpenter Ph.D.

Serena Carpenter

Director of Journalism Graduate Studies

  • Journalism
(517) 432-9245


Serena Carpenter joined Michigan State University’s School of Journalism in 2012. She worked at Arizona State University from 2007-2012 specializing in the research and teaching of digital media and theory after finishing her Ph.D. degree in Media & Information Studies at Michigan State University. Her research has been published in research journals such as Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, Mass Communication and Society, New Media & Society, Journalism Practice, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Health Communication, and Telecommunications Policy.

​Carpenter taught courses in the areas of online/multimedia journalism, social media, engagement and mass communication theory in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Carpenter has also taught broadcast, documentary and online journalism courses at Michigan State University and Bloomsburg University. Her professional background includes working as a television reporter.

Research and Teaching

Media Sociology
Journalistic Practices

Social Media
Journalism and Graduate Education

Empirical Methods
Scholarly Communities


Ph.D., Media & Information Studies, Michigan State University (2007) M.A., Journalism, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2003) B.A., Communication, South Dakota State University (1993)

Recent Publications

Boehmer, J., Carpenter, S., & Fico, F. (In press). More of the same? Influences on source use in for-profit and nonprofit news organizational content. Journalism Studies. (Journal Institute for Scientific Information [ISI] impact factor: 1.927; H-index: 23; Rank #14/423 Communication).

Hoag, A., Grant, A., & Carpenter, S. (2017). Mediated and unmediated referents and personality: A study of communication undergraduates’ choice of major. NACADA Journal, 37(1), 5-14.  

Carpenter, S., Peng, Z., & Cepak, A. (2017). An exploration of the complexity of journalistic interviewing competencies. Journalism Studies, 1-21. Published OnlineFirst June 23, 2017.

Boehmer, J., Carpenter, S., & Fico, F. (2017). Filling the void: Non-profit news and factors affecting government conflict coverage. Digital Journalism, 1-20. Published OnlineFirst March 21, 2017.

Carpenter, S., Hoag, A., & Grant, A. E. (2017). An examination of print and broadcast individuals’ personality traits. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 1-20. Published OnlineFirst January 21, 2017. 

Carpenter, S., & Kanver, D. (2017). Journalistic expertise: A communicative approach. Communication and the Public, 2(3), 197–209.

Carpenter, S., Kanver, D., & Timmons, R. (2016). It’s about me: A study of journalists’ self-presentations of their visual and verbal selves. Journalism Practice, 1-21. Published OnlineFirst Nov. 22, 2016. 

Carpenter, S., & Lertpratchya, A. (2016). A qualitative and quantitative study of professional social media communicators: An extension of role theory to digital media workers. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 60(3), 448-464. 

Carpenter, S., Boehmer, J., & Fico, F. (2016). The measurement of journalistic role enactments: A study of organizational constraints and support in for-profit and nonprofit journalism. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 93(3), 587-608.

Carpenter, S., & Lertpratchya, A. (2016). Social media communicator roles: A scale. Social Media + Society, January-March, 1-11.

Carpenter, S., Grant, A.E., & Hoag, A. (2016). Journalism Degree Motivations (JDM): The development of a scale. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 71(1), 5-27. 

Carpenter, S., Takahashi, B., Lertpratchya, A., & Cunningham, C. (2016). Greening the campus: A theoretical extension of the dialogic communication approach. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 17(4), 520-539. 

Carpenter, S., Takahashi, B., Cunningham, C., & Lertpratchya, A. (2016). Higher education and public communication campaigns: The roles of social media in promoting sustainability. International Journal of Communication, 10, 4863-488

Lertpratchya, A., & Carpenter, S. (2015). Social media communicators’ motivations for professional engagement: A study of altruism, reciprocity, and reputation. PRism, 12(2).

Carpenter, S., Nah, S., & Chung, D. (2015). A study of U.S. online community journalists and their organizational characteristics and story generation routines. Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, 16(4), 505-520. 

Carpenter, S., Makhadmeh, N., & Thornton, L.J. (2015). Mentorship on the doctoral level: An examination of communication mentors’ traits and functions. Communication Education, 64(3), 366-384.  

Carpenter, S., Hoag, A., Grant, A.E., & Bowe, B. (2015). An examination of how academic advancement of U.S. journalism students relates to their degree motivations, values, and technology use. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 70(1), 58-74.

Blom, R., Carpenter, S., Bowe, B., & Lange, R. (2014). Frequent contributors in U.S. newspaper comment forums: An examination of their civility and informational value. American Behavioral Scientist, 58(10), 1314-1328. 

Courses Taught at MSU

Online Spartan Newsroom, JRN 400
Images and Messages, JRN 445
Broadcast News II, JRN 403
Public Relations Topics in Journalism, JRN 402
Advanced Multimedia Storytelling, JRN 492

Multimedia Reporting I and II, JRN800 and JRN801
Introduction to Quantitative Research, COM 803
Social Media News & Information, JRN821

Media Theory, JRN821
Scale Development and Reporting, CAS892

Project Title and Source

The Office of Sustainability. (2014). The sustainability practices of U.S. universities.

The Arthur W. Page Center (2013). Roles of professional social media communicators: An examination of perceptions, conflict and identity.

National Academic Advising Association (2012). “Cultivation and expectancy value influences on college major choice: A study of communication undergraduates.”

Favorite Quotation

“Some people follow the path laid out by others, and if they do, they will not have passion.” – Wayne Dyer


Describe in one sentence what you hope your students learn from you, your scholarly work or teaching:
To be inspired to challenge our understanding of the world.

Describe yourself in five words or less: 
passionate, focused, open, adventurous, honest

Contact Information

404 Wilson Road, Room 344
Communication Arts and Sciences Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824

Twitter: @dr_serena