Bellisario College researchers share expertise, insights at annual conference

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — More than 40 members of the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications were in Detroit this week presenting research, leading discussions, and accepting awards. The group of researchers were representing the Bellisario College at the 105th annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Seventeen faculty members and 25 graduate students from the Bellisario College were among the hundreds of researchers from around the world attending the conference — the largest in the communications field. Many alumni from the college were also in attendance representing their current universities. This was the first time since 2019 that the four-day conference, which concluded Aug. 5, was hero in person. This year’s theme was “Focusing on the Future Together.”

The expertise of the scholars covers a wide range of topics, including corporate social responsibility, diversity, health messaging, law, science communication, virtual reality and many more areas within the journalism and mass communication disciplines. Penn State and the Bellisario College have a long history with and have been active members within AEJMC for many years.

Holly Overton, associate professor of advertising/public relations, organized and moderated a workshop during AEJMC’s preconference. With around 40 in attendance, the meeting shared strategies for “pedagogy in research and education.” Overton is the research director of the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, a research center in the Bellisario College, which sponsored the workshop.

Overton, the vice head of AEJMC’s Public Relations Division, was also named a fellow of the Institute for Diverse Leadership at the conference.

Patrick Plaisance, the Don W. Davis Professor in Ethics, and graduate student Jin Chen received the Professional Relevance Award from AEJMC’s Media Ethics Division. The award recognized their paper, “Transparency, Disclosure and Autonomy: Moral Judgment and Attitudes towards Branded Content among Media Workers.” The Davis Ethics Award, a recognition presented by Penn State and the Bellisario College, was given to Joseph Jones of the University of West Virginia.

Graduate student Christen Buckley and recent doctoral graduate Virginia Harrison (now at Clemson) were named Kopenhaver Fellows. Graduate students Nicholas Eng and Cassandra Troy are part of AEJMC’s ComSHER Division’s student committee.

Starting out the week, The Page Center hosted its third annual Research Roundtable on Aug 1 and 2. The event is a forum where scholars present their funded research to members of the Center’s advisory board. The meeting is an opportunity to integrate two areas of public communication — academia and industry — a key objective of the center.

Next year’s conference will be held Aug. 6-10, 2023, in Washington, DC

AEJMC is a non-profit organization of more than 3,700 educators, students and practitioners from around the globe. Founded in 1912 by Willard Grosvenor Bleyer, the first president (1912-13) of the American Association of Teachers of Journalism, as it was then known, AEJMC is the oldest and largest alliance of journalism and mass communication educators and administrators at the college level .

AEJMC’s mission is to promote the highest possible standards for journalism and mass communication education, to encourage the widest possible range of communication research, to encourage the implementation of a multi-cultural society in the classroom and curriculum, and to defend and maintain freedom of communication , in an effort to achieve better professional practice, a better informed public and wider human understanding.

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