Faculty & Staff

Nicole Dahmen

Nicole Dahmen

Assistant Professor

234 Allen Hall

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Nicole Smith Dahmen is an assistant professor of visual communication. She has authored four book chapters and 15 published or forthcoming peer-reviewed journal articles. She has presented more than 30 conference papers and has participated in a number of invited panels. Dahmen also has extensive professional design experience, ranging from the development of content to design and production for multiple platforms. She has been working with desktop publishing software since the mid-1990s and has developed and executed extensive print and multimedia materials. Her design experience also crosses into research, writing, and content development with public relations and strategic communication.

Dahmen spent seven years at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University as an assistant and later as an associate professor prior to joining the faculty at the SOJC. She blogs about visual communication in the digital age at nicoledahmen.wordpress.com.


  • PhD, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007
  • MMC, Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University, 2001

Areas of Expertise

  • Visual communication
  • Graphic design
  • News design
  • Publication design
  • Visual ethics
  • Visual identity
  • Visual framing
  • Photojournalism
  • Iconic photographs
  • Media technology
  • Social media
  • Commemorative journalism
  • Eye-tracking


Dahmen’s research focuses on ethical and technological issues in visual communication, with an emphasis on photojournalism in the digital age. Her visual ethics research centers on the moral responsibilities of visual communicators. With regard to technology, her research examines the visual presentation of mass-mediated information and associated technologies, both from a content and effects perspective. Dahmen’s research is published in such leading journals as American Behavioral Scientist, Digital Journalism, Newspaper Research Journal, and Journalism Studies. She is on the editorial board of Visual Communication Quarterly.

Recent Citations, Publications, and Professional Work

Dahmen, N. S. (forthcoming). Images of resilience: The case for visual restorative narrative. Visual Communication Quarterly.

Dahmen, N. S., & McLain, H. (2016). Kennedy anniversary photos tell story of beloved leader. Newspaper Research Journal. DOI 10.1177/0739532916648950

Dahmen, N. S. (2016). Obama and Romney photos receive equal treatment. Newspaper Research Journal, 37(1), 21-33.

Dahmen, N. S., & Morrison, D. D. (2015). Place, space, time: Media gatekeeping and iconic imagery in the digital and social media age. Digital Journalism. DOI 10.1080/21670811.2015.1081073

Dahmen, N. S. (2015). Picturing the Senate candidates: Image-building in the Twitterverse. In John Allen Hendricks and Dan Schill (Eds.), Communication and Midterm Elections: Media, Message, and Mobilization (pp. 169-190). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dahmen, N. S. (2015). Watchdog, voyeur, or censure? An eye-tracking research study of graphic photographs in the news media. Journalism Practice, 9(3), 418-432.

Dahmen, N. S. (2014). Photojournalism in the digital age. In Andrea Miller and Amy Reynolds (Eds.), News Evolution or Revolution? The New Orleans’ Times-Picayune and the Future of the Newspaper Industry (pp. 179-192). New York: Peter Lang Publishing Group.

Dahmen, N. S., & Christensen, B. (2013). 10th anniversary photos of 9/11 framed as collective remembrance. Newspaper Research Journal, 34(2), 106-116.

Dahmen, N. S., & Miller, A. (2012). Redefining iconicity: A 5-year study of visual themes of Hurricane Katrina. Visual Communication Quarterly, 19(1), 4-19.

Dahmen, N. S. (2012). Photographic framing in the stem cell debate: Integrating eye tracking for a new dimension of media effects research. American Behavioral Scientist, 56(2), 189-203.

Honors and Awards

  • Faculty Research Award, UO (2016-2017)
  • Top Paper Award, Faculty Paper Competition, Newspaper and Online News Division, AEJMC (2016)
  • American Copy Editors Society Award, Faculty Paper Competition, Newspaper and Online News Division, AEJMC (2016)
  • Top Paper Award, Faculty Paper Competition, Visual Communication Studies Division, ICA (2016)
  • Faculty Seed Grant, UO (2015-2016)
  • Agora Journalism Center Faculty Fellowship, UO (2015-2016)
  • Bank One/John H. Bateman Professorship, LSU (2009-2013)
  • Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award, LSU (2011)
  • Ranked number 11 for AEJMC top paper productivity, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator (2010)
  • Service-Learning Faculty Scholars Award, LSU (2009)
  • Doris Westmoreland Darden Professorship, LSU (2008-2009)
  • Summer Research Stipend, LSU (2008)
  • Eason Prize, Top Student Paper, SCIG, AEJMC (2007)
  • Roy H. Park Doctoral Fellowship, UNC-Chapel Hill (2004-2007)
  • Margaret Blanchard Dissertation Support Award, UNC-Chapel Hill (2007)
  • Top Student Paper Award, GLBT Interest Group, AEJMC (2006)
  • William Francis Clingman Jr. Ethics Award, UNC-Chapel Hill (2006)
  • John S. Clogston Award, Top Student Paper, MDIG, AEJMC (2005)


  • Design
  • Ethics