The Ohio State University
3138 Derby Hall
Columbus, OH 43210
B.A., John Carroll University (Communication)
M.A., The Ohio State University (Journalism)
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Mass Communications)
Public opinion and communication, survey research methods and analysis, political communication.
It's hard for many people to learn things without using them in a practical way, and so I try to get students involved in doing some research of their own whenever possible. Creating opportunities for such hands-on experiences is a big part of what I try to do, whether it's working with students on data analysis projects or writing questionnaires. In my current classes I like to introduce students to the use of new collaborative writing technology such as wikis. We have been exploring together effective educational strategies for such tools. This enhances learning in my classes and exposes students to new tools that are valuable in business and the public sector.
One of my favorite teaching tools is debate. In my undergraduate public opinion course the students form teams and debate a number of classic public opinion questions. Most say they were nervous about the experience because they had never done anything like it before -- but many also say it was one of the most engaging experiences of their college careers. Debate also helps students frame persuasive arguments and select and present evidence in useful ways. It is also important for students to learn to deliberate the meaning of the arguments and evidence they have heard.
To engage the students in active learning, I increasingly like to use discussion leaders and group projects to get students to think deeply about the issues that come up in their readings. I'm very interested in encouraging my students to appreciate the various ways people think about the scientific literature, as well as its implications for theory development, public policy, professional practice, and, of course, further research. My most frequent course these days is Comm 620, Public Opinion and Communication. In the 2008-09 academic year I’m going to be teaching a my course in Public Journalism for the third time.
Much of my research involves public opinion, political communication and research methods. I am the faculty coordinator of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Survey Research, a 23 credit hour program that can be added to any graduate program in the university. I am also the faculty adviser for the university's new Undergraduate Survey Research Minor housed in the Colleges of the Arts & Sciences. I am excited about this program as it is just getting off the ground. It received final university approvals in spring 2008.
For the past several years I have been the coordinator for the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences annual Summer Survey Research Fellowship, a highly competitive program that encourages graduate students to complete publishable pieces of original research during the summer. Approximately five fellows are typically selected each summer. They will work full time on their projects and be paid approximately $4000 for the summer. The program has a distinguished history of supporting important research in the area.