By: Michelle Amazeen

As the Fall 2022 semester wraps up, there is an impressive number of new faces and activities at the CRC to reflect on. We welcomed four new faculty research fellows: Dr. Nivea Cannali Bona, Lecturer, Media Science; Dr. Katy Coduto, Assistant Professor, Media Science; Dr. Pablo Miño, Assistant Professor, Public Relations, and Dr. Emily Saidel, Lecturer, Television Studies. We also welcomed 3 new PhD student fellows: Nicole Hash, Dongpeng Huang, and Yihan “Danny” Jia.

Given the University’s commitment to involving students in research, the CRC once again had a busy semester in facilitating fellows’ efforts to recruit students as research participants via our SONA research participant management system. The SONA pool gives students an opportunity to become involved with various research activities across COM while earning course credit for doing so. This semester, 17 studies were conducted, recruiting students from 26 different COM courses to participate in 24 research opportunities.

Our fellows have also been using the CRC’s biometric technology which includes devices for measuring heart rate, sweat levels in the skin, and eye movements. Our Lab and Research Manager, Lindsy Goldberg, has been certified by iMotions on use of this technology and has hosted numerous classes and individual students for demonstrations of our iMotions equipment. She has offered workshops on biometrics in media effects research with specific modules on galvanic skin response, facial expression analysis, and eye tracking. A quick primer on demystifying biometrics is available here.

With the assistance of Master Lecturer Anne Danehy, the CRC continued its Media and Technology Survey highlighting the expertise of several of our fellows. The questions were administered by Ipsos, the market research company, using their eNation Omnibus, a nationally representative online survey that measures attitudes and opinions of 1,000 adults across the United States. We fielded one survey about artificial intelligence in the workplace, led by Dr. James E. Katz along with two PhD students, Ekaterina “Katya” Novozhilova and Dongpeng Huang. The other survey involved public perceptions of climate change, led by Dr. Arunima Krishna and Dr. Chris Wells.

The CRC hosted numerous events this fall. Our Colloquium Series, which originated in 2009, consists of monthly research presentations that highlight current and original research of faculty in COM. Our Fall Colloquium Speakers were Dr. Patrice Oppliger (September) and Dr. Charlotte Howell (October). Every semester, the CRC also invites a distinguished scholar from outside the university to share their outstanding scholarship, expertise, and experience with the BU community. Our Fall 2022 DeFleur Distinguished Lecturer was Dr. Sarah Banet-Weiser (University of Pennsylvania).  The CRC also co-sponsored a panel with COM’s Career Services on Careers in Communication Research. The panel included COM alumni discussing their current research jobs and offered tips to students about how to enter the burgeoning field of communication research.

I am incredibly grateful for the commitment and hard work of our staff this fall. Lindsy has been nothing short of outstanding in managing the CRC. She has been involved in every aspect of upkeeping the center, offering workshops on our technologies, overseeing technology and facility reservations, promoting the news and accomplishments of the CRC research fellows and our lecture series, overseeing the creation of this fall’s newsletter, and much more. Sadly, we are saying goodbye to our longtime graduate assistant, Jenna Vigre as she completes her MS in Advertising this semester. She has been a tremendous asset to the CRC with her creative design skills and assistance in promoting and administering our events. We wish you the best, Jenna, as you embark upon your professional career!

Finally, I will be on a much-anticipated research sabbatical in the Spring 2023 semester. The CRC will be in the very capable hands of Interim Director, Dr. Michael Elasmar, with Lindsy continuing as Lab and Research Manager. I will return as CRC Director in the fall of 2023.

I wish you all a joyous and restful holiday season.