Communication and Media Studies Doctoral Program Student Research

Our doctoral candidates work with internationally renowned SOJC faculty experts to do groundbreaking research on today’s most pressing communication and media realities.

Snap AR Scholars, a student-led agency made up of designers and researchers, created an augmented reality storytelling experience to promote the nonprofit Hope for Haiti while building job skills.
In the SOJC’s Esports and Games Research Lab, students explore the psychology, culture, and industry surrounding gaming—including its effectiveness as a learning tool and its integration into everyday life.
Can virtual reality help solve environmental issues? Can an online chat make it easier to quit smoking? With the help of grants secured through the Center for Science Communication Research, SOJC PhD students tackle these questions and more.
Waseq Rahman researches how gameplay generates thought-provoking experiences leading to greater insights about purpose and personal growth.
PhD students collaborated across disciplines to study how the COVID-19 pandemic affected high school students studying science.
For their dissertation, a PhD student who studies rural transgender media activism documented LGBTQ+ pride celebrations in small-town America.
Lifelong besties Kay Chansiri and Ping Thipkanok study neuroscience and health communication, respectively. Together they work with faculty associates in the SOJC’s Center for Science Communication Research to investigate Instagram use among female students and its impact on body image.
Hadil Abuhmaid researches cinema as a powerful storytelling medium and investigates how it has formed and represented national identities in her native Palestine.
Now an assistant professor of communication at the University of Wisconsin–LaCrosse, Irene Awino researches how media coverage, or lack thereof, of political issues in her native Kenya has led to further unrest and violence.