Open online course “Global Health and Social Media” offered again in fall semester

Smart Phones and Digital Tablets ExhibitionThis fall semester, I am offering again the undergraduate open online course on “Global Health and Social Media” at Virginia Commonwealth University. The course will run over the entire semester this year and course content will be released on the course website in weekly modules, starting with the first module on the first day of class. Continue reading

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Social media campaigns class offered this summer

Here is a great opportunity to engage in social media and develop campaigns for nonprofit clients in Central Virginia. The VCU Robertson School is offering its Social Media Institute again this summer, which is open to all undergraduate and graduate majors. In July, Vivian Medina Messner and I will work with students on social media projects during the four-week intensive summer class “Social Media Campaigns” (MASC 491) and “Social Media Leadership” (MASC 691).

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Workshop at the Virginia Press Association

VPA logo

The following are additional resources for participants in my workshop “Introduction to Mobile and Social Media Journalism” at the Virginia Press Association on Jan. 15.

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@VCUsocialmedia and #vcuglobalhealth featured in VCU President’s annual report

President annual report


Our annual IYLEP Social Media Institute and this fall’s open online course on Global Health and Social Media were featured as exemplary global partnerships in the annual report of VCU President Michael Rao this week. The annual report is available online as well as additional information and media coverage on the summer institute and the open online course.

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Social media fuels protests in Ferguson and New York

After the controversial grand jury decisions in Ferguson and New York City on the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Gardner, protesters turned to social media to organize their demonstrations. Twitter and Instagram were used to visualize the growing crowds and motivate additional protesters to join the organizers in the streets. I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal for a story on the use of social media platforms as organizing tools in these protests.  Continue reading

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Interviews with CBS 6

I did two interviews with CBS 6 in Richmond this week. The first interview was about Internet safety and an incident in which a community came together on social media to warn about a stalker. The second interview was about social media uses by the terrorist group ISIS in the Middle East and the arrest of a local sympathizer. You can view both interviews below:



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iPadJournos interview Warner, Gillespie and Sarvis


The student reporters in our iPadJournos project, which I taught with Vivian Medina-Messner this fall semester, covered the senatorial election in Virginia for and landed interviews with incumbent Sen. Mark Warner as well as his challengers, Republican Ed Gillespie and Libertarian Robert Sarvis. Our mobile and social media reporting project, which is a capstone in VCU’s journalism program, covered all major topics in this election and reported from the polls on Election Day as well as the candidates’ election parties in Northern Virginia and Richmond when the results came in on Nov. 4. Continue reading

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Research study published in First Monday

Our research study “Influencing public opinion from corn syrup to obesity: A longitudinal analysis of the references for nutritional entries on Wikipedia” was published this week in the online journal First Monday. The study was written with my colleagues Marcia DiStaso, Yan Jin, Shana Meganck, Scott Sherman, and Sally Norton and was previously presented at the national conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. It is available online and can be read on the website of First Monday.

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Social media research course offered in spring semester

In the spring semester 2015, I am offering a course on social media research at VCU. In the course “MASC 591 – Social Media Research,” I will develop and carry out research projects with graduate and highly qualified undergraduate students (seniors with some research experience) to study the impact of social media in the field of mass communications. The class will be held Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. in the Incubator Classroom of the VCU ALT Lab, a state-of-the-art learning space.

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Symposium on Mobile and Social Media in Health Communication

Our Center for Media+Health at VCU invites health communication researchers to submit research abstracts for presentations at the 2nd Media + Health Symposium. The theme of this virtual symposium is “Mobile and Social Media in Health Communication” and submissions addressing this topic are strongly encouraged. Faculty and graduate students are invited to submit quantitative and qualitative research. Continue reading

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