Internationalism and communication scholarship

Posted on: December 25, 2013

I am high above the Bay of Baderas. I see humpback whales and sea kayaks. The temperature is 77. On my veranda I have bougainvillea to my left, damp beach towels to my right. A Pacifico Clara, a few chicharrones. It is Christmas Day. Where am I?

One of the leading media research firms in Mexico City is owned by a graduate of the Department of Communication at Michigan State. Some of the most popular television soap operas, informed by communication and psychological theory and refined over the years, have had the involvement of MSU graduates and faculty members. Some of the world's successes at international development, of female empowerment, and now of environmental stewardship have involved Michigan State researchers in field studies in Mexico.

Today I will meet with Professor Sandi Smith. Sandi is a graduate of the University of Southern California. It is a long ways to come for a meeting but chance meetings far from home with colleagues from Michigan State are not so unusual. Ours is a big campus, one that has graduates and faculty from all over the world who have gone back to repopulate cities and campuses everywhere. Sandi's work in persuasion, health promotion and disease prevention could easily be applied here, especially given her knowledge of Mexico and its cultures. For people of energy and intellect, and who are culturally adept, there is no end to the communication challenges that can be taken up to good effect.

- Jim Dearing

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