SOJC to welcome five new faculty members in September

Story by Eric Schucht

The School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) has recently made five strategic faculty hires to advance its goal of academic excellence. Each of the new hires, who will arrive at the UO in September for the start of the 2018-19 academic year, has expertise that will help ensure our students are prepared for future careers in the creative and media economy.

“We are proud to  welcome these faculty who are doing amazing research on such a diverse array of subjects,” said Juan-Carlos Molleda, Edwin L. Artzt Dean and professor. “We hope to continue expanding our faculty to add to the great work we do at this school and the impact we have on students and the industries we serve.”

The SOJC’s five new faculty members include:

Dayna Chatman, Assistant Professor of Media and Intersectionality

Hometown: Richmond, California

Primary research interest: Gender, race and media

Favorite quote: "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can change until it is faced." — James Baldwin

Say “hello!”: Follow Chatman @DaynaC_PhD.

Dayna Chatman comes from University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. She earned her Ph.D. in communication from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2016.

“What really pushed me to make my decision to join the SOJC were my talks with the faculty members and graduate students during my trip,” Chatman said. “Another draw for me was the possibility of incorporating different communication areas into class and tailoring projects that are built off of a broader knowledge base of the student body.”

Chatman is a feminist media scholar whose areas of research include the contemporary television industry as well as audience and fan studies. Her research focuses on the ways racial, gender and cultural politics are navigated and deployed within decision-making and production practices in the television industry, specifically among network executives, showrunners, producers, writers and talent agencies. She is also interested in examining social media spaces where black viewers and fans consume, discuss and interact with postnetwork-era (mid 2000s to the present) television programs driven by black female protagonists. 

Amanda Cote, Assistant Professor of Media Studies with a focus on Game Studies

Hometown: Burlington, Connecticut

Primary research interests: Identity, representation, video games

Favorite quote: “Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” — Ginny Weasley, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

Say “hello!”: Follow Cote on Twitter @accote.

Amanda Cote completed her Ph.D. in communication studies in 2016 at the University of Michigan, where she served as the Howard R. Marsh Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow.

When Cote discovered the SOJC was hiring faculty members for both game studies and intersectionality, she knew this was the place for her.

“The fact they were hiring for two positions I was interested in meant that they were having the types of conversations I wanted to be part of,” Cote said.

Cote’s work focuses on the industry and culture of video games, with a particular emphasis on gender, representation and issues of technological access. She draws on critical explorations of industry texts and practices, as well as interviews with female gamers, to explore gaming’s conflicting trends toward both greater diversity and greater discrimination. Although the spread of casual, social and mobile games has led researchers, journalists and players to believe that video gaming is opening up to previously marginalized audiences — especially women — the past decade has simultaneously seen numerous incidents of game-related racism, sexism and misogyny. Cote’s work explains how these conflicting narratives can co-exist and how women navigate the contradictions while gaming.

Maxwell Foxman, Assistant Professor of Media Studies with a Focus on Game Studies

Hometown: Stony Point, New York

Primary research interest: Play, gamification and immersive media

Favorite bike: Cannondale CAADX

Say “hello!”: Follow Foxman on Twitter @MaxwellFoxman or check out his work at

Maxwell Foxman is completing his Ph.D. in communications at Columbia University this spring and will join the SOJC in the fall. His dissertation analyzed early adopters, developers and content creators of commercial virtual reality and other immersive technologies.

Foxman is looking forward to exploring VR and other immersive media as well as games studies with SOJC students and faculty members who share his academic goals and interests.

“I thought the SOJC was a really good fit in terms of my research interests,” Foxman said. “I like how collaborative it is. I saw a lot of opportunities to work with fellow faculty at the SOJC on projects.”

Beyond his dissertation, Foxman researches the use of games and play in nongame environments, including politics, social media and the news. This has included studying the gamification of public affairs campaigns, exploring the motivations of Foursquare users and scrutinizing how journalists approach issues of games and play in their coverage and daily lives.

Foxman has taught classes in communications theory, media and communications research methods, media history and game studies. He has also produced work for research institutes and consultancies, including Data and Society, the Tow Center for Digital Journalism and SuperData.

David Markowitz, Assistant Professor of Social Media Data Analytics

Hometown: Suffern, New York

Primary research interest: Language and psychological dynamics

Favorite books: “Super Sad True Love Story” by Gary Shteyngart and “Dataclysm” by Christian Rudder

Hobby: Writing and performing music on the saxophone, piano and guitar

Say “hello!”: Follow Markowitz on Twitter @davemarkowitz31 and learn more about him at

David Markowitz completed his Ph.D. at Stanford University in 2017.

“What really attracted me to SOJC was the vibrancy of the faculty and the focus on doing rigorous social scientific research,” ​Markowitz said. “I am excited to build off the fantastic traditions established in this school and to form additional connections across the university.”

Markowitz’s research uses computational approaches to analyze how language is affected by social and psychological dynamics, including deception, persuasion and status. He also evaluates how communication processes that occur on various media — such as mobile phones and immersive VR — can reveal what people are thinking, feeling and experiencing psychologically. For example, his dissertation investigated the psychological and physiological consequences of using, resisting or being without one’s mobile device.

Hollie Smith, Assistant Professor of Science and Environmental Communication

Hometown: Tooele, Utah

Primary research interest: Science communication and media

Influential books: “Nine Stories,” “Canaries on the Rim” and anything by Terry Tempest Williams

Say “hello!”: Find Smith on Facebook and follow her research updates on ResearchGate and Academia.

Hollie Smith comes to the SOJC from the University of Rhode Island. Her research focuses on the intersections of science, policy and media. She is particularly interested in the role of science communication and media effects as they relate to environmental decision-making.

“It feels like a very exciting time within this school,” Smith said. “There’s already a strong foundation for science communication work within the SOJC. With the creation of the Media Center for Science and Technology, I think there is an opportunity for UO to be a national leader in science communication research and practice, and I am excited to be a part of the team that works to make that happen.”

Smith has completed collaborative research with the Forest Service, Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Her doctoral research focused on the role of science communication and media in the transition to renewable energy systems in the northeastern United States. She was recently selected as a recipient of the National Academy of Science’s Sackler Colloquium on Science Communication Early Career Researcher Award.

Eric Schucht recently graduated from the UO with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, a minor in multimedia and a certificate in film studies. This spring, he will be interning at The Inlander, an alt-weekly in Spokane, Wash., and in the summer he will hold a Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism reporting internship at The Roseburg News-Review. He has also written for The Daily Emerald, Around the O, The Cottage Grove Sentinel and The Creswell Chronicle.