Mobile Journalism: ComArtSci Professor Takes iPhone to the Next Level

Posted on: June 26, 2017

About four years ago, then-reporter Mike Castellucci walked into a news interview with only two pieces of equipment — a microphone and his cell phone.

CastellucciAfter assuring the visibly underwhelmed interviewee that he was indeed the reporter from Channel 8 in Dallas, Castellucci filmed, produced, wrote and edited his first iPhone news segment. His iPhone work would soon gain him worldwide attention and industry recognition, including two Edward R. Murrow awards, an Associated Press award, the TEGNA Innovative Storyteller award and 22 Emmys.

The Digital Landscape

With the prevalence of social media and the ability to instantly record and share news on various platforms, Castellucci, journalism professor of practice, says that today, everyone is a journalist.

“A tragedy happens and you will see it from hundreds of people,” said Castellucci. “Are they using it like I am? Not yet, but maybe that’s coming.”

While everyone can be a journalist, that doesn’t mean that everyone can be a good one. Castellucci has figured out how to use the technology readily available to him in ways that no one else had previously thought possible.

“We can all recognize video from our phones,” said Castellucci. “Why is that? Because it’s always shaky and we’re always behind the camera so the audio isn’t very good. If you just take layers of perception and put the phone on a tripod, put a nice microphone on it, write a good story and shoot it like you would be shooting a documentary or a news program... All of a sudden those layers of perception add up.”

Castellucci Camera

Castellucci has mastered keeping his tech accessories to a minimum. Instead of a two-person camera crew, Castellucci creates his stories with a lighter load. He uses a BeastGrip smartphone rig and wide angle lens, a microphone and a small tripod that he refers to as his “poor man steady cam,” as it adds weight and steadies the camera, giving the overall video a more professional quality.

A Storytelling Pro

While technology might be continuously evolving, Castellucci says that the one thing that won’t change about the news industry is the importance of storytelling.

“I think the news business got away from storytelling in the ’80s and ’90s,” said Castellucci. “They were too concerned with automobile crashes and murders. But all anybody wants is a story. It could be a hard story, consumer story, feature story or profile, but if it’s not interesting, if you can’t write an engaging story, if it’s not emotional, then it’s just flat.”

Castellucci is putting his storytelling capabilities to the test while working on his third Phoning It In show. This time, the theme is small towns. The finished project will include segments on Golden Harvest in Old Town, Lansing and the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso (which just won an Emmy) with the idea that every small town has a story. The show will air in all of the Texas markets and on WKAR in the near future.

At ComArtSci’s J-School, Castellucci teaches students about iPhone broadcast reporting, writing, interviewing and hosting. Ultimately, he hopes that his students will see their cell phones as more than just a social media gadget.

“I just hope they come away with a better knowledge of how to view it as a broadcast instrument and not just the thing that’s constantly in their pocket,” said Castellucci. “I want them to be able to tell stories with it.”

By Kaitlin Dudlets

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Veteran journalism professor Stephen Lacy retires, leaves legacy of research

Posted on: May 27, 2016

Steve Lacy teaching

As a college graduate in 1971, Stephen Lacy couldn't imagine reaching age 65 and regretting that he failed to try something that appealed to him. More than 45 years later, Lacy looks back with few disappointments. He recalls a path that wound its way from the study of economics to photography to journalism and eventually to a 30-year faculty post at Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences (ComArtSci).

Today, the professor, researcher and administrator with the MSU School of Journalism says he's OK with retirement, although he will continue to pursue scholarship as long as he can. He says he feels proud of his teaching and his contributions toward strengthening research and research opportunities within the J-School.

"I'm happy that I got to be here at MSU with scholars who love doing research, and that I got to teach at all levels," Lacy says. "It's been a good place to work,"

A long and winding road

Lacy grew up in the Southeast United States and his high school debate activities kindled an interest in economic research. Planning on becoming a professor, he earned his bachelor's of science in economics from the University of Illinois as an honors student in the early 1970s, and then decided to explore life before settling on a career. He followed artist friends to Texas, where he took advanced photography classes at Southern Methodist University and worked as a professional photographer for a few years.

When Lacy decided his life wouldn’t be behind the lens, he enrolled again in college—this time to pursue his master's in journalism from East Texas State University. When his studies were complete, he worked in suburban newspaper newsrooms and then taught journalism and photography for a small community college in West Texas. Working at the community college rekindled his interest in teaching and research, and he went on to earn his Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Texas Austin. It was a decision, he says, that put him in the right place at the right time, and prompted his move to MSU in 1985.

"One of my UT professors said MSU would be a good place to start, but I ended up staying," says Lacy, "which is interesting because up until I came to East Lansing, I had lived in so many different places."

Decades of achievement

Great colleagues, great opportunity and great students in the MSU J-School tempered Lacy's wanderlust. He was hired as part of a group of then young professors (including Howard Bossen, Fred Fico, and Lucinda Davenport) to help build the School’s research profile. The group helped to make the J-School a national powerhouse. 

Lacy did his share. His research has been funded by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, the Knight Foundation, the Pew Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. Lacy's writing and editorial work includes more than 100 refereed journal articles, 60 conference papers, 10 book chapters, three scholarly books, and three texts including a highly successful content analysis text, Analyzing Media Messages. He also served as co-editor for the Journal of Media Economics with MSU Professor Emeritus Steve Wildman.

A dedicated teacher, Lacy was one of the first two faculty members appointed as honors professor by the Honors College. In 30 years, he served on 65 Ph.D. committees (21 as chair), 34 master’s committees (19 as chair), and 33 master’s project committees. Lacy also served in various administrative capacities, including posts as the director of the MSU School of Journalism from 1998 to 2003, associate dean for graduate studies in the College of ComArtSci from 2009 to 2012, as acting dean for ComArtSci from February to December 2014, and as the president of Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

"Steve Lacy is an accomplished researcher, teacher and administrator, who over three decades has played a vital role in both the School of Journalism and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. We will certainly miss his expertise, reasoned voice and wit," says Prabu David, dean of the College of ComArtSci. "He is widely recognized in the field for his work on content analysis and media economics. As a leader, he cared deeply about the individuals who reported to him. Though he is retiring, given his curious and agile mind, I wouldn’t be one bit surprised to see Steve maintain his research trajectory and turn out impactful research in his post-retirement phase."

Lacy's dedication to research and teaching has not gone unrecognized. He is the recipient of the MSU Distinguished Faculty Award and the AEJMC Paul J. Deutschmann Award for Excellence in Research—a career achievement award that has been awarded to only 27 scholars since its inception in 1969. And while he says awards and recognition are nice, Lacy acknowledges his true reward is the experience of having taught more than 5,000 undergraduates and hundreds of graduate students—many of whom still keep in touch.

"Being a teacher is like rafting white water," Lacy muses. "You are so busy that you don't realize how much fun it is and what is happening until it's done."

Lacy officially retired on May 16, but he retains the title of professor emeritus. He will continue to conduct research as well as travel with his wife, Leslie, watch the Tigers and Spartans and drink Michigan craft beer.

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MSU instructor and veteran photojournalist inducted into renowned NATAS Silver Circle

Posted on: April 4, 2016

gould-bob-20150828DSC_9951 copyBob Gould, MSU broadcaster in residence in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, hadn't intended to build a career in broadcast news. While a self-proclaimed "news junkie" as a kid, the MSU alum says he actually had his sights set on working in a production house, editing and shooting video.

But something changed after he graduated from MSU in 1990 with his bachelor's in telecommunications. He discovered he really did love news after shooting and editing stories for daily newscasts for WILX-TV in Lansing and later for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich. It was a path that led to a 17-year career as a revered photojournalist, earning more than 40 awards for his work from the National Press Photographers Association, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, and the Michigan Associated Press, and a combination of 10 regional EMMY nominations and awards. It was also a path that led to leadership, causing him to seek out roles with the NPPA, the Michigan TV News Photographer's Association, and the organization that will honor him for his devotion to the industry.

In late February, the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science will induct Gould into the Silver Circle—an honor reserved for individuals who have devoted a quarter of a century to the television industry, and who have made a significant contribution to the Michigan broadcast community.

Humbled by the news, Gould continues to find himself in disbelief.

"When I look at the list of people who have been inducted over the years, I have to pinch myself," Gould says. "These are people you look up to and watch on TV, and people who have reached the pinnacle of their career. I'm just the person shooting video and telling stories."

Gould left working in the field in 2007 to pursue his dream job teaching TV reporting, multimedia and media law/ethics courses at MSU. Part of his work includes executive producing the multi-award-winning, "Focal Point," a 30-minute student-produced newscast that has garnered nearly 60 awards. He also helps ensure the future of broadcast education as vice president of the Michigan Chapter of NATAS, as committee chair for the Broadcast Education Association, and as a member of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation board.

"I had so many wonderful experiences in the field, shooting and putting together stories that mattered to people," he says. "Now I get a chance to mentor students. That's pretty cool thing."Bob Gould and Mara Thompson at President's Farm Bill signing

Lucinda Davenport, professor and director in the MSU School of Journalism, says that the knowledge Gould brings to the classroom helps students know what is expected of them to succeed and be leaders in the industry.

"Our students can aspire toward the things that Bob reflects, and feel confident stepping out his classroom and into the newsroom," Davenport says. "We're very proud of Bob, and it's nice to see the rest of the world sees his successes."

Gould will be among five honorees inducted into the Michigan Chapter NATAS Silver Circle this year. The ceremony took place Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Michigan.

Gould's daughter Ilene, produced this video as a tribute to his Silver Circle Tribute.


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Learning from the Past: What Yesterday's Media Can Tell Us About the Times

Posted on: December 22, 2015


If you want to get a real feel for what was happening during a certain period in history, how people really felt about the issues of the day, take a look at the media coverage.

For example, a recent study of how historically black newspapers covered the landmark 1967 Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage, Loving v. Virginia, found their coverage not that much different from their mainstream counterparts.

The team of researchers, including Associate Professor of Journalism Geri Alumit Zeldes, was surprised by the findings, as they hypothesized that black newspapers would be more sympathetic to the racially mixed couple who challenged the Virginia law.

Historically, Zeldes said, the African-American press is an advocate for civil rights.

“Just knowing how the ethnic press operates, we thought they were going to be very one-sided in favor of the Lovings,” she said. “But they followed the same pattern as the mainstream media such as The New York Times and others.”

Zeldes said one of the lessons learned from this, something that hasn’t changed since the first newspaper was printed, is that news is a cultural mirror of what is going on in society at that point in time.

geri-zeldes feature

Associate Professor of Journalism Geri Alumit Zeldes

“If you take a look at the newspapers at the time they were published, they will give you hints as to what the times were like,” she said. “So, if we look at the black press at that time period, you can get a sense of what the black community was thinking because those reporters were part of that community.”

Zeldes said that by reviewing the newspapers’ stances on the issue, it gives us a clue to the political and cultural mood of the time.

“It indicates,” she said, “that some segments of society in the late 1960s were ready to lessen social and cultural marriage restrictions, but that other groups in the United States were still undecided.”

As today’s journalists report on civil rights issues – namely same-sex marriage, racial equality and economic injustice – they should keep in mind that they are historians, Zeldes said.

“Fifty years from now, media scholars will unearth news stories to deconstruct them, aiming to learn about public opinion during that time,” she said. “In that sense, journalists need to approach their stories as living documents, perhaps by providing voice to not just one side, but the multiple sides operating in these complex issues.”

Details of the research were published in the Journal of Social Issues.

The study was led by Jennifer Ware, a former MSU School of Journalism faculty member who now is an Assistant Professor of Multimedia at Wright State University. The third co-author was Jennifer Hoewe, Assistant Professor of Journalism at the University of Alabama.

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Carter Inducted into Women's Hall of Fame

Posted on: November 11, 2015

SueCarter-By the Numberssue-carter-9347

Esteemed faculty member, Sue Carter, recently was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame for her trailblazing career as a female broadcaster and lifelong commitment to education and paving the way for women.

“It is a huge honor,” said Carter, a Professor in MSU’s School of Journalism. “It means I have been invited to be included in a pantheon of women who have changed the lives of others, and I am thankful.”

The Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame inducts a select group of women each year based on several criteria including their service and commitment to the advancement of women and the qualities that make them role models to others.

“We are very proud of Sue’s determination and accomplishments in her earnest and admirable pursuits,” said Lucinda Davenport, Director of MSU’s School of Journalism. “She uses her determination to help others in our society and is an accomplished teacher who leads by example. She is a great role model for students, colleagues and others, which fits squarely into the spirit of mission of the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.”

Carter joined the MSU School of Journalism faculty in 1991 after teaching journalism at Wayne State University in Detroit and a 17-year career as a news broadcaster and talk show host at radio and television stations in Michigan, Connecticut and Ontario, Canada.

A Trailblazer

She began her trailblazing career as a radio broadcaster at a time when men dominated the field. She was the first female on the news staff at WVIC/Lansing and WXYZ-AM/Detroit. She rose quickly through the ranks to take several leadership positions, including becoming the first female News Director at WAVZ/New Haven and WABX/Detroit.

Sue Carter broadcaster“Be willing to challenge and inquire,” Carter said. “Be willing to lead others in new ways, don’t feel the necessity to conform.”

Among her many accolades, Carter is a member of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, has three Emmy Awards and was named UPI Sports Broadcaster of the Year in 1990 for reporting on the Detroit Free Press International Marathon while running it.

As a Professor of Journalism at MSU, each summer Carter helps lead the Mass Media study abroad program that travels to the United Kingdom. She also serves as MSU’s Faculty Athletic Representative.

Other positions she has held include Secretary of the MSU Board of Trustees, Executive Assistant to MSU Presidents Peter McPherson and Lou Anna Simon, and Press Secretary to Michigan Governor James Blanchard.

To the Top of the World and Beyond

Beyond her success in journalism and academia, Carter has continuously pushed herself into new fields and opportunities.

Sue Carter North Pole BookA member of the National Ski Patrol for more than 20 years, Cater helped organize and lead the first all-women ski expedition to the North Pole in 2001, an experience she later documented in her book, “Ordinary Women: An Artic Adventure.” Carter’s team was met at the North Pole by a group from NASA and together they conducted the first student-directed live webcast from the top of the world.

Carter also is a licensed pilot and a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. In 2002, she carried the Olympic Torch in the Olympic Torch Relay leading to the Salt Lake City Winter Games.

Carter has a B.A. in Humanities from MSU and earned an M.A. in History and Juris Doctorate, both from Wayne State University. She also is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church with a Master of Divinity from The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church of New York and a Doctor of Ministry from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Chicago.

Hall of Fame Induction

She was nominated for the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame honor by 2014 inductee Jeanne Findlater, who also worked in broadcasting in Detroit during the same time as Carter.

Carter accepted her award, along with four other contemporary nominees and five historical nominees, during the awards dinner and induction ceremony on Oct. 29 at the Kellogg Center on MSU’s campus.

The mission of the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame is to inspire and engage adults and children by celebrating Michigan women’s history, promoting educational opportunities, and honoring the accomplishments of Michigan women.

For more information, see the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame website.

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Faculty Members Named Sustainability Fellows

Posted on: August 3, 2015

Sustainability banner

Two College of Communication Arts and Sciences faculty members have been named 2015 MSU Sustainability Fellows for their environmental sustainability-themed online survey of MSU undergraduate students.

John Besley, Associate Professor and Ellis N. Brandt Chair in Public Relations in the Department of Advertising + Public Relations, and Bruno Takahashi, Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the School of Journalism and Department of Communication and Research Director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, worked on the initial sustainability survey along with Adam Zwickle, Assistant Professor in the Environmental Science and Policy Program and the School of Criminal Justice in the College of Social Science.

The survey includes questions gauging environmental sustainability and scientific knowledge, norms and practices surrounding sustainability related behaviors, and attitudes toward environmental responsibility. The plan is to make the survey an annual project.

bruno-takahashi feature

Bruno Takahashi

“The Sustainability Office, specially Ann Erhardt (Director of MSU Sustainability), has recognized the importance of evidence-based communication. In that sense, we are hoping the results of the survey will help inform the communication initiatives at MSU,” Takahashi said. “From a research perspective, there are very few empirical studies examining educational settings that attempt to understand the factors that explain the engagement in sustainability behaviors by students. We are trying to push the envelope in the study of environmentalism, behaviors, and well being among students.”

Data from the initial survey was collected at the end of the spring 2015 semester. Students were randomly selected to participate with more than 2,800 completed surveys received.

The research team plans to produce a report for the Sustainability Office with some recommendations and are working on two academic studies, one on the relationship between values and environmental behaviors, and another one examining differences in environmental behaviors based on cohorts (freshman, sophomore, etc.).

“The assumption for the second one is that students' attitudes, knowledge about science and the environment, perception of social norms, among other factors change as they move forward with their degrees, and that this affects behaviors,” Takahashi said.

Plans are already underway for a 2016 survey as well as identifying areas for targeted campaigns.


John Besley

“We want to make the survey an annual thing so that we can use it to track the impact of the college experience on students’ views and behavior,” Besley said.

MSU Sustainability’s fellowship program uses the MSU campus as a laboratory to address issues related to greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, waste reduction, water conservation, sustainable transportation, education, engagement, social responsibility and more.

The program funds research projects that focus on aspects of environmental responsibility and sustainability specific to MSU.

"The work is driven by real challenges faced by the university," Erhardt said. “The fellowship program connects researchers with campus decision-makers in order to effectively plan for the future sustainability of MSU's campus."

For more information on these and other sustainability efforts, see the MSU Sustainability website.

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‘Hillary Doctrine’ examines treatment of women as national-security issue

Posted on: June 26, 2015


Is the violence against women a threat to the security of the United States? According to a new book co-authored by faculty members from MSU's College of Communication Arts and Sciences and Texas A&M University, it is.

“The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy” argues that far from being a “soft” foreign policy issue, the subjugation of women worldwide undermines global prospects for peace and is therefore a direct threat to U.S. national security.

This was a position first articulated by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“In societies that permit and encourage violence against women, men develop a willingness to harm, kill and enslave others,” said Patricia Leidl, an international communications adviser and instructor in MSU’s Department of Advertising and Public Relations and School of Journalism. “When male bonding intensifies as competing groups vie for power, men see women’s rights and freedoms as threats to their own legitimacy.”

Co-authoring the book was Valerie Hudson, a professor in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

“Nationalism is strongly gendered,” Hudson said. “Men typically build a violent nationalism on a foundation of misogyny, and women’s rights become a battleground in resulting conflicts.

“That’s why women’s rights come under attack immediately after regime overthrow and why women are often explicit targets of war.”

Earlier this year, “The Hillary Doctrine” was nominated by the Kirkus Reviews as one of its top nonfiction picks of 2015. It said the book offers “a compelling argument for women’s rights” and is a “sound study that carries an urgent message.” It has also been nominated for a National Book Award.

Before coming to MSU, Leidl was a Canadian journalist with the Vancouver Sun and the Vancouver Province newspapers, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and CTV. During the past 16 years, she has worked with various United Nations agencies and, more recently, advising various USAID-funded projects in Afghanistan and Yemen. She formerly headed the communications department at the Geneva-based HIV/AIDS Department of the World Health Organization, and was senior editor/media adviser with the New York-based United Nations Population Fund.

Hudson is an expert on international security and foreign policy analysis. In 2009, “Foreign Policy” named her one of the Top 100 Most Influential Global Thinkers, and the International Studies Association named her a Distinguished Scholar of Foreign Policy Analysis. Most recently, she received an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. As part of her efforts to shine a light on the treatment of women worldwide, Hudson developed a nation-by-nation database,, which has been used by a variety of agencies, including the United Nations and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

For more information on “The Hillary Doctrine,” visit

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Poulson Recognized for Decades of Great Lakes Environmental Journalism

Posted on: June 10, 2015


David Poulson with droneThe International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) has recognized David Poulson, Senior Associate Director of MSU’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, for a career-long dedication to inform and educate the public and policymakers on Great Lakes issues.

The IAGLR board of directors recognized him with the John R. (Jack) Vallentyne award given for contributing substantially to education and outreach in the Great Lakes community for at least 20 years and with an impact beyond the awardee’s local community. The award recognizes people who bridge the gap between the science community and the public. Recipients can be engaged with any great lake in the world, including the North American Great Lakes and the African Great Lakes.

“I always figured that environmental science is far too important, far too interesting and way too much fun to leave only to scientists, researchers and policymakers,” Poulson said. “I’m honored to receive this award and also pleased that the association recognizes journalism as critical to engaging the public with the environmental challenges of the world.”

Poulson, a 1982 graduate of MSU’s School of Journalism, also is editor of Great Lakes Echo, the Knight Center’s award-winning regional online environmental news service. In the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Poulson teaches environmental journalism, using tools as diverse as drones, satellite imagery, geographic information systems, experiential learning and nontraditional reporting techniques. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Poulson received the award at the IAGLR’s recent 58th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research at the University of Vermont. Christine Manninen, Communications Director for the Great Lakes Commission and a graduate of the Knight Center’s master’s program, presented it.

“Dave is well respected by his colleagues and his contributions are highly valued by those in the Great Lakes science and policy communities,” Manninen said.

John Gannon, a retired research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, nominated Poulson for the award.

“IAGLR members and Great Lakes researchers at large benefit from Dave’s contributions and leadership in promoting the highest values of fairness and accuracy in reporting on Great Lakes research, outreach and education,” Gannon said in his nomination. “His contributions illustrate the true spirit and intent of the IAGLR Vallentyne Award.”

Poulson has created three online Great Lakes environmental news services. The first one, the Great Lakes Environmental Wire, was launched in 1995. The second, Great Lakes Wiki, received national recognition in 2007 with a Knight-Batten Journalism Award for innovations in journalism. The current one, Great Lakes Echo, was recognized in 2011 with a Great Laker Award for excellence in environmental reporting from the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. Great Lakes Echo is a resource and research site for nontraditional environmental reporting, a teaching tool and a significant contributor of original Great Lakes reporting online and in publications throughout the basin.

“I’m a great admirer of Dave Poulson, his work with students and professionals, and his forward-thinking approach to environmental journalism,” Lester Graham, formerly the senior editor of The Environment Report/Great Lakes Radio Consortium and now an investigative reporter with Michigan Radio, wrote in supporting the nomination. “He has taught and trained students to become the new journalistic voice for science and the environment, which will benefit the public for decades to come.”

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Instructor’s Book Among Top Nonfiction Picks for 2015

Posted on: April 22, 2015


A book co-authored by a College of Communication Arts and Sciences faculty member that examines what is known as the “Hillary Doctrine” has been nominated by Kirkus Reviews as one of its top nonfiction picks for 2015.

Co-authored by Patricia Leidl, Instructor in the Department of Advertising + Public Relations and the School of Journalism, “The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy” delves into decades of research that shows that the subjugation of women poses a direct threat to U.S. national security.

The other author of the book is Valerie Hudson, Professor and George H.A. Bush Chair at Texas A&M University.

“The nomination is the result of 30 months of hard work and the marriage of years of high-quality research on the part of my writing partner, with the narrative power of on-the-ground journalism and great timing,” Leidl said. “We’re actually pretty amazed. It isn’t often that an academic imprint attracts this kind of attention.”

The book argues that far from being ‘soft’ foreign policy issue, the poor treatment of women worldwide poses a threat to global prospects for peace and therefore a direct threat to U.S. national security – a position first articulated by former Secretary of State and current presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton.

According to Kirkus, “The Hillary Doctrine,” which will be released by Columbia University Press on Tuesday, June 30, offers “a compelling argument for women’s rights” and is a “sound study that carries an urgent message.”

It notes that the authors “argue persuasively that in societies that permit and encourage violence against women, men develop a willingness to harm, kill and enslave others.”

The book has drawn praise from New York Times Columnist Nicolas Kristof, activist and author Robin Morgan, and former Ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq Ryan Crocker.

Before coming to MSU, Leidl was a journalist who spent 16 years working with various United Nations agencies and, more recently, advising various USAID-funded projects in Afghanistan and Yemen.

She formerly headed the Communications Department at the Geneva-based HIV/AIDS Department of the World Health Organization and was Senior Editor/Media Advisor with the New York-based United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), where she also was Managing Editor of the UNFPA State of World Populations Report and Editorial Director of the Vancouver-based Human Security Report.

Kirkus Reviews, published twice a month, gives previews of books prior to their publication. Kirkus reviews more than 7,000 titles each year.

A digital preview of “The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy” can be found on Amazon.

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Poor Decision Making Can Lead to Cybersecurity Breaches

Posted on: February 15, 2015

Rick Wash mainRecent high-profile security breaches, such as those at Target, Anthem Inc. and Sony Pictures, have attracted scrutiny to how the seemingly minor decisions of individuals can have major cybersecurity consequences.

In a presentation at this year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the largest science gatherings in the world, Assistant Professor Rick Wash discussed how social interactions affect the processes behind personal cybersecurity decision making.

"We all have small supercomputers in our pockets now," said Wash, who has a joint appointment in the School of Journalism and the Department of Media and Information. "Regular people like you and I make a lot of important security decisions on a daily basis."

He said the Sony hack is a great example of smart people making poor choices.

"A lot of people were making bad decisions, sharing passwords, etc., that led to this event," Wash said. "But what's the reasoning process behind these decisions?"

Wash's research shows that how people visualize and conceptualize hackers and other cyber criminals affects their cybersecurity decision making. As people make personal assessments about the risks of their behaviors, these impressions – formed from the influence of media, interpersonal interactions and storytelling – have a great impact.

"People tend to focus on a picture they have in their head when conceptualizing hackers and virus makers," Wash said. "I have found two of these pictured individuals to be the most common and easily recognizable: The teenager on a computer in their parents' basement or the professional criminal in a foreign country. Those who picture the teenager tend to make better decisions in cybersecurity."

He said people's familiarity with the concept of a teenage mischief-maker allows them to readily visualize that person as a legitimate threat, and act accordingly. Those who visualize a foreign hacker believe they are professionals and are more likely to focus on more lucrative targets.

By identifying the social behaviors and rationales behind the decision-making process, this research can in turn help to influence effectiveness in the development of the science of cybersecurity.

Wash's presentation was part of a panel of six researchers exploring the social aspects of cybersecurity. The panel, organized by Indiana University, was titled "Holistic Computing Risk Assessment: Privacy, Security and Trust."

"We're all looking beyond the technological issues," Wash said. "It's about people and society and how it all comes together."

AAAS is the world's largest general science society. Its annual meeting brings together thousands of scientists, engineers, policymakers, educators and journalists to present new research and developments in science and technology. This year's conference was Feb. 12-16 in San Jose, Calif.

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