School of Journalism and Communication advertising professor Kim Sheehan was selected as a Society for New Communications Research Fellow for 2013.

The Society for New Communications Research is a global nonprofit research and education foundation and think tank focused on the advanced study of new and emerging communications tools and technologies and their effect on business, culture, and society.

The research study Sheehan proposed — examining whether online social capital can stop the spiral of silence — arose from discussions Sheehan had with students in Honors Theory and Research, the inaugural course in the School’s new Honors Program.

“In the class, we talked about applying theory to real life problems, and this particular discussion was whether online social capital can change the world,” Sheehan said. “Now I’m fortunate to have the ability to examine that question.”

Sheehan, director of the Master’s Program in Strategic Communication at the SOJC’s George S. Turbull Center in Portland, is the first Oregon scholar to be selected.

“Kim’s record of excellence in both scholarship and teaching deserves recognition,” said Edwin L. Artzt Dean Tim Gleason. “Her work exemplifies what we hold as our main objective here: Immerse students in theory and practice so they are prepared not simply to excel in their fields but to be innovators and leaders.”

Gleason noted that Sheehan’s work with SOJC Alum Steve O’Leary ’69 is another example of how she brings her scholarship into the world. O’Leary and Sheehan have co-authored books on social media, including “Small Business Smarts: Building Buzz with Social Media.”

Sheehan, who is the president of the American Academy of Advertising, held leadership positions at advertising agencies in Boston, Chicago and St. Louis prior to joining the SOJC faculty in 1998. Her research involves culture and new technology, and she has published extensively about social media, online privacy, green advertising, advertising ethics, and Direct-to-Consumer prescription drug advertising.

More recently, Sheehan has been involved in the Greenwashing Index, an industry/academic initiative to draw attention to issues with environmental messages. She currently is on the leadership team of the Green Product Design Network, one of the UO’s ‘Big Ideas’. As part of that team, she has started a series of research studies on consumer interpretation of sacred values in persuasive messages.