I am an assistant professor at the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. My main research focus is on the growing influence of new media formats. I am especially interested in the impact and the adoption of social media in journalism and public relations. My research also analyzes the impact of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
I have presented more than 40 research papers at national and international conferences and have published more than 20 articles in academic journals such as Newspaper Research Journal, Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, Mass Communication & Society, and Public Relations Journal as well as in various books. I am also a regular speaker on social media issues at professional meetings and events.
I am teaching in the undergraduate journalism program as well as the graduate multimedia journalism program at VCU. In recent semesters, I have taught classes in social media reporting and networking, global communication, business of media, and research methods. In 2011, I received a Promising Professor Award for excellence in teaching from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and was selected as a Legacy Scholar by the Arthur W. Page Center. I have been awarded a Knight News Challenge Bridge Grant by AEJMC for 2012-2013, and I have been selected as a recipient for the Emerging Scholar Grant for 2013-2014, also by AEJMC.
Before becoming a journalism professor, I worked as a newspaper reporter, editor and correspondent in my native Germany and the U.S. I earned my Ph.D. in Communication and my M.A. in Print Journalism from the University of Miami in Florida and my B.A. in English Literature from Angelo State University in Texas.
I am currently serving as the Director of Research and Teaching at the Center for Media and Health at VCU, on the editorial board of the Newspaper Research Journal and on the advisory board of the Social Media Club Education Connection (SMCEDU). I am also a past head of the AEJMC Communication Technology Division (2010-11).
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