Yearbook 2020 | Academic Excellence



Academic Excellence




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Quarantine erected new barriers to faculty and student research, teaching, and collaboration. Yet, in true Ducks fashion, they continued to innovate, conduct, and publish award-winning research from a distance. With the help of Zoom, SOJC faculty guided students through the virtual unknown and encouraged them to take an active role in covering protests and wildfires and researching COVID-19 communication.

Support faculty research


new faculty hires
faculty awards and recognitions
in faculty grants and fellowships
faculty articles published
faculty books and chapters published
major faculty creative works produced

Bridging the Science Communication Gap

The Center for Science and Communication Research (SCR) aims to enhance the conversations between scientists and society and make research accessible and engaging to the public. SCR faculty associates led coronavirus communication and research at the UO and helped us understand the safest way to live through a pandemic.

Explore the SCR

Welcome, New Faculty!

Mitchell Block

Mitchell Block: Making Films to Understand Our Lives

The executive producer of HBO's Oscar-winning Big Mama, Emmy-winning PBS documentary Carrier, and Oscar-nominated Poster Girl, Mitchell Block joined the SOJC faculty as Jon Anderson Chair and Professor of Documentary and Film Studies. Block wants to help students use film to understand how we move through the world.

Get to Know Mitchell

Danny Pimentel

Danny Pimentel: Researching VR’s Power to Influence

Walt Disney World was Danny Pimentel’s introduction to immersive media. Since flying through the Agrabah’s virtual world, and after taking a VR for Social Good course, Pimentel decided to use this medium as a tool for social innovation. Now he researches how immersive media can influence our decisions.

Dig into Danny's Research

Breaking Ground in Game and Gender Studies

Women are abandoning digital gaming spaces for tabletop classics like Dungeons & Dragons. Gamer and assistant professor Amanda Cote is on a quest to find out why. Her recent book, Gaming Sexism, explores the misogyny embedded in video game culture, while her research has helped shape the SOJC’s cutting-edge game studies curriculum.

From Hands-On to Remote Learning

Physical distancing didn’t stop senior instructor Sung Park from giving spring term his all. In a video blog, journalism student Sarah Miller ’21 interviews Park and fellow journalism student Andrew Brion ’21 about their experiences teaching and learning hands-on storytelling in a virtual environment.

Seth Lewis
How to Deal with Misinformation and Disinformation

Misinformation and disinformation play a crucial role in the story of American life in 2020. Professor and Shirley Papé Chair in Emerging Media Seth Lewis offers insights into how these growing phenomena affected public perceptions of the presidential election and COVID-19 and how journalists can face the challenge head-on.

Get to the Truth

Beck Banks
PhD Research Explores How Rural Life Impacts Trans Individuals

At the intersections of geography, history, and lived experience, you’ll find Beck Banks’ research and documentary on the many ways living in a rural location impacts the lives of trans individuals. The communication and media studies doctoral student’s research is based on personal experience growing up as a gender nonconforming child in Appalachia.

Read Their Research

Autumn Shafer
Doing Good Through Public Relations

Public relations associate professor Autumn Shafer’s mission to mentor her students is deeply embedded in her teaching style. She strives to foster an environment where students can work collaboratively to celebrate and create success for each other. As the lead communication strategist for the Healthy Oregon Project, she helps Oregonians better understand their risks for cancer and chronic diseases by researching the effectiveness of health messages.

See Shafer's Star Power


SOJC Community »  |  Experiential Learning »  |  Academic Excellence  |  We Love Our Alumni »  |  SOJC Events »

SOJC Community »
Experiential Learning »
Academic Excellence
We Love Our Alumni »
SOJC Events »