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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Grimm Receives Fairness in Media Award

Posted on: November 14, 2014

Joe-GrimmSchool of Journalism Editor in Residence Joe Grimm is the 2014 recipient of the Fairness In Media Award presented by the Michigan Muslim Community Council. He received the award Nov. 2 at the 28th Annual Unity Banquet, which helps bring Michigan Muslim communities together.

"It is humbling to be recognized just for doing what you should do," Grimm said. "American Muslims are under intense pressure these days. Every time someone acts with violence in the name of Islam but in contradiction to its teachings, Muslims are victimized twice. First, the attacks are usually directed against other Muslims and second, they find themselves under suspicion. It is not fair to them or to us, their neighbors and fellow citizens. Good journalism has to be part of the answer."

Grimm has helped to educate the public on issues surrounding Arab Americans. In 2000, he created "100 Questions and Answers About Arab Americans" and posted it the day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. It became a timely, well-read publication. The guide was one of the inspirations for the School of Journalism's "Bias Busters" series, which Grimm launched in 2013 with the goal of using journalism to combat biases and stereotypes and to encourage conversation among people.

So far, six books in the series have been published. A seventh guide on Muslim Americans will be released this month. The series also includes questions and answers about Americans, Arab Americans, East Asian Cultures, Hispanics and Latinos, Indian Americans, and Native Americas. Next semester, a guide about Jewish Americans will be created.

Along with his commitment to teaching students in the classroom, Grimm is the faculty adviser for the student chapters of the Society for Professional Journalists and MSU Association of Black Journalists. He also is part of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences team that has worked with professionals at Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia.

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Journalism Faculty Receive Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Awards

Posted on: November 11, 2014

Darcy Greene Award mainTwo School of Journalism faculty members were honored for their outstanding work advancing community engaged learning at MSU and presented with MSU Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Awards at a ceremony Nov. 7 at the MSU Union Ballroom.

Associate Professor Darcy Greene and Specialist Jeremy Steele were among the 24 recipients of this year's award, which is presented each year to recognize innovative and/or sustained effort in the area of academic, curricular or co-curricular service-learning/civic engagement that is specifically linked with the mission and efforts of each college at MSU.

Jeremy Steele"We are pleased to recognize the efforts of faculty, staff and longstanding community partners for their collaborative efforts," said Renee Zientek, director of the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. "MSU's faculty continually demonstrates an innovative approach for connecting campus and community, and that plays a critical role in the development of students as engaged citizens. That commitment, combined with the support of community partners, ensures that lifelong engagement is a distinction of students and graduates of Michigan State University."

The MSU Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, in partnership with the Office of the Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Services, and with endorsement from the Office of the Provost, initiated the awards in 2008. Each college dean is asked to name a faculty member, academic staffer, or other individual for the award.

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Takahashi Elected Vice Chair of ICA's EC Division

Posted on: October 28, 2014

Bruno Takahashi mainBruno Takahashi, Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Department of Communication  and Research Director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, has been elected to serve as Vice Chair of the Environmental Communication (EC) Division at the International Communication Association (ICA) beginning May 2015.

Takahashi, who says he is pleased to be recognized and appointed as EC Division Vice Chair, said, "It is one of the fastest growing divisions at ICA."

The ICA is an academic association for scholars interested in the aspects of human and mediated communication. The EC Division's goal is to expand research on human relationship with the environment through communication. Since its start in 2011, the division has expanded from 40 attendees to 230 members.

As Vice Chair, Takahashi will plan the submissions as well as the reviews of papers and presentations at the ICA annual conference.

He will serve two years as Vice Chair and then will move to the position of Chair for two more years. As Chair, he will head the ICA annual conference and represent the interest group on the ICA Board of Directors.

"I have been involved with the division since the beginning and know most of the people involved," said Takahashi, who also is involved with the International Environmental Communication Association, the National Communication Association's Environmental Communication Division and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication's ComSHER (Communicating Science, Health, Environment and Risk) Division. He said his appointment as EC Division Vice Chair will help him build relationships with these groups.

"It also means that I will be able to influence the field not only with my research but also with my leadership," he said.

Takahashi said he is most looking forward to helping environmental communication interest grow and working with leading scholars around the globe.

"As someone from Latin America, I expect that my contacts and knowledge of the region will help grow the membership to incorporate people from other regions outside the United States and Europe," Takahashi said.

Takahashi will begin his role as Vice Chair on May 26, 2015, following the ICA annual conference in Puerto Rico.

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Sue Carter Begins New Role as MSU Faculty Athletic Representative

Posted on: August 1, 2014

SueCarter2Professor of Journalism Sue Carter is doing anything but slowing down this summer. From her travels with the Mass Media study abroad program to her engagement with MSU students in the classroom, Carter is beginning yet another chapter as MSU's Faculty Athletic Representative.

Appointed by the university president, the representative is a tenured faculty member who represents the university and its faculty in MSU's relationships with the NCAA and the Big Ten. In this role, Carter also will chair the Athletic Council, which functions as the faculty voice in intercollegiate athletics on issues of academic policy related to student-athletes.

"It is a great honor, and a wonderful opportunity to serve the Michigan State University community, its faculty, and student athletes in particular," Carter said. "I hope that my sports background - as a broadcaster, professor and weekend athlete - will be of value."

Carter joined the School of Journalism in 1991 after a 17-year career as a news broadcaster and talk show host at radio and television stations in Michigan, Connecticut and Ontario, Canada. Before coming to MSU, she taught journalism at Wayne State University in Detroit. She also served as Secretary of the MSU Board of Trustees and Executive Assistant to Presidents Peter McPherson and Lou Anna K. Simon.

In addition to helping lead the Mass Media study abroad program in the United Kingdom this summer, Carter currently is learning her new position while preparing for the coming fall. With her diverse and experienced background as a national broadcaster and three-time Emmy awardee, this Michigan Journalism Hall of Famer will not fail to bring new and innovative ideas to carry on the Spartan pride.

A graduate of MSU with a B.A. in humanities, Carter earned a master's degree and law degree from Wayne State University; a Master of Divinity from the General Theological Seminary; and a Doctorate of Ministry from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.

Carter succeeds Michael Kasavana, Professor in the School of Hospitality Business, who served as MSU's Faculty Athletic Representative since 1988.

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Poulson Speaker at Center for Science and Media Colloquium

Posted on: May 2, 2014

D_Poulson_mainEagles and beer were among the diverse topics recently discussed by Knight Center Associate Director David Poulson at a San Diego State University Center for Science and Media colloquium.

Poulson was invited to be part of the Center for Science and Media's 2014 Colloquium Speaker Series. His lecture, "Eagles and Beer: Explaining the Environment in a New Media Landscape," was April 17 and focused on news coverage of the environment and how new media technologies have affected this coverage.

During his presentation, he examined the opportunities and challenges of reporting on the environment with emerging new media tools. He discussed how those tools are redefining news communities, news stories and who gets to be a journalist.

"There is an exciting confluence of art, data, science, technology and journalism that is producing exceptional environmental reporting," Poulson said.

He cited examples as diverse as animated wind current maps displayed in near real-time, wave heights shifting across the Great Lakes during a three-day storm 100 years ago and videos of drought and of fire shot by a drone.

Finding common ground on the environment with diverse readers is a challenge, Poulson said. But he pointed to examples such as news stories about water-intensive craft beer brewing as a way of teaching readers useful concepts of perceiving the environment and of defining a news community.

Dave-Poulson-speech3New and emerging tools for explaining the world means that it is even more important to teach traditional values of fairness and accuracy to the increasing number of non-journalists who may use them, he said.

Poulson explained how such tools are used in the Knight Center's environmental reporting efforts at the center's 5-year-old news service, Great Lakes Echo. He also met with students and faculty studying media entrepreneurship at San Diego State University.

Founded in 1994, MSU's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism teaches students and professional journalists how to better report on the environment.

Poulson teaches environmental, investigative, computer-assisted and public affairs reporting to graduate and undergraduate students at the Knight Center. His research interests include non-traditional methods of gathering and delivering news, reader engagement, climate change communications, and nonprofit journalism.

Poulson also is the founder and editor of Great Lakes Echo, a nonprofit environmental news service that serves the Great Lakes region. Prior to arriving at MSU in 2003, he was a reporter and editor for 22 years, covering the environment for several news organizations.

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Grimm Receives Instructional Technology Award

Posted on: April 29, 2014

grimm-award-wpSchool of Journalism Editor in Residence Joe Grimm and Emily Brozovic, Creative Producer in IT Services, Teaching and Learning, teamed up for a teaching and technology award. They share an honorable mention in the 2014 Michigan State University AT&T Faculty-Staff Instructional Technology Award program for their creative course JRN 491, Brand You: Public Relations Topics in Journalism.

A fully online course, JRN 491 focuses on the principles of digital career branding and teaches strategies to help students obtain post-college jobs using the three major career-related social networks: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. In the course, students work to receive digital badges that note their achievements.

The overarching goal of the course is to provide students hands-on experience where they create their own digital brand, according to Grimm.

A newsroom recruiter at the Detroit Free Press for 18 years, Grimm said, "professional brands must be authentic, consistent and valuable. Social media help us develop and convey our career brands. They help us champion the values we are passionate about."

Initiated by IT Services and funded by AT&T, the annual AT&T Faculty-Staff Competition in Instruction Technology Awards program recognizes outstanding contributions to the use and development of informational technology for teaching and learning in credit-bearing courses at MSU and encourages effective practices in the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.

"As the number and diversity of faculty using or desiring to use online instructional techniques increase, we know that one of the best ways for effective practices to spread within the university is to identify notable examples that others may use as models," Grimm's award letter states. It was signed by Thomas Davis, Acting CIO and Director of Information Technology; Brendan Guenther, Director of IT Services, Teaching and Learning; and June Pierce Youatt, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Faculty and staff are nominated for the awards by MSU's campus community or by self-nomination in three categories: online courses, blended courses or any course that enhances students learning via technology.

Awards were presented at an award luncheon on April 24 at the Kellogg Center. Grimm and Brozovic also have been invited to present their course at the Annual Desire2Learn Global users Conference in Nashville July 14-16.

To learn more about JRN 491 or the Faculty-Staff Instructional Technology Award, see the MSU Award Competition in Instructional Technology web page.

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Carter to Share North Pole Adventure at Alumni LENS Event

Posted on: April 1, 2014


Michigan State University's Alumni LENS (Lifelong Enrichment for Spartans) is hosting a Spartan Women Speaker Series, which will include Professor of Journalism Sue Carter. This exciting series, featuring MSU women with compelling stories of breaking through boundaries, is sure to inspire all who attend.

If you missed Carter's recent TEDx Lansing talk, this is another chance to hear her speak on the "Things I Learned While Skiing to the North Pole." The Spartan Women Speaker Series is Wednesday, April 9, between 8 a.m. and noon, at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development at Michigan State University.

In 2001, Carter and 12 other women began the first all-women ski expedition from Russia to the North Pole. Carter said "it started like a lot of big things do, but with something small."

For Carter that small item was a piece of paper cut out of a newsletter that offered her an adventure to the North Pole. An adventure that made her stronger by exposing her weaknesses; an adventure that inspired middle school students to pursue their own dreams and desires; and an adventure that encouraged all to follow their heart.

To hear more on the "Things I Learned While Skiing to the North Pole," register for the event by visiting the Alumni LENS website. Cost is $45 per person.

Carter, a member of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, is recognized not only throughout the state but also nationwide for broadcasting. In 1990, she was named United Press International (UPI) Sports Broadcaster of the Year for reporting on the Detroit Free Press International Marathon while running in it.

She also is a two-time Emmy award winner. She was awarded an Emmy as executive producer of "The Great Experiment," a documentary on the history of the first land-grant college in America. She later received another Emmy for her documentary, "Malawi and Malaria: Fighting to Save the Children."

Carter joined MSU's faculty in 1991 after a 17-year career as a news broadcaster and talk show host at radio and television stations in Michigan, Connecticut and Ontario, Canada. Prior to coming to MSU, she taught journalism at Wayne State University in Detroit.

The Alumni LENS is a program of the Michigan State University Alumni Association. Alumni LENS provides a wide variety of noncredit personal enrichment offerings for MSU alumni and friends and community members in the Lansing area and surrounding region. All adults are welcome; you do not have to be affiliated with MSU to participate in Alumni LENS events.

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Wash Awarded Prestigious NSF CAREER Grant

Posted on: March 11, 2014

Rick Walsh

Assistant Professor Rick Wash has received one of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) most prestigious and competitive awards for junior researchers - a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant.

Wash, who has a joint appointment in the School of Journalism and the Media and Informationdepartment, was awarded a five-year, $489,678 CAREER grant to study online communities - how they are formed, how they shape expectations about the future of the community, how they co-evolve with the community over time, and how they form a critical mass that is essential for successful work and community survival.

"This grant will allow me to continue my work understanding how people make reasoned decisions about their use of technology and will allow me to continue discovering more about how groups function online," Wash said. "It will help me to explore in detail how online groups develop, how people decide whether they should participate in these groups, and whether they should keep participating once they have joined."

CAREER awards recognize promising faculty in the early stages of their career who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.

Wash's research, titled "Mental Models and Critical Mass: Shaping the Success of Online Communities," will help in designing, managing and participating in many kinds of online communities and will contribute to information, cognitive and social sciences education.

"One of the most important and valuable features of the Internet is that people can get together in groups to discuss interesting topics and work together. However, creating and sustaining these online communities is really difficult; most fail to generate much interest and die before they get really interesting," Wash said. "The goal of my research is to understand how people make reasoned decisions about their use of technology. I hope to use this understanding of people's decision-making process to design better tools and techniques for helping people make good decisions and for encouraging participation and support of online groups."

As part of the study, a unique, cross-disciplinary education program will be created to train students to use this research to build special-purpose online communities. A joint class will be offered beginning this fall that links the School of Journalism with the Media and Informationdepartment. The class will form cross-disciplinary teams that will spend a semester creating and growing an online community.

"This will represent a new type of education in journalism that will bring students into new, community-driven methods of doing journalism, based more on curating content and facilitating discussion than on original, unidirectional reporting," Wash said.

Students in the class will be taught to apply social science and computer science research for real-world applications and how to work on collaborative, cross-disciplinary teams that include both technical and creative people as well as topic experts.

"I am hoping that students come away from this class understanding the large variety of different ways that people can talk together and work together on the Internet, understand both the technical and the social challenges of doing so, and be able to address those challenges and build online communities that are sustained and valuable," Wash said.

Wash is one of the primary investigators in the Behavior, Information and Technology (BIT) Lab, a group of social science and technology researchers in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

The grant will support at least one Ph.D. student for five years and a number of undergraduate or master student research assistants. It also will help support the BITLab and the research being produced there.

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