2017 INSTRUCTORS

Amara Aguilar
Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Digital Journalism, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
Erik Nisbet
Associate Professor, School of Communication, The Ohio State University
Kjerstin Thorson
Associate Professor, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Michigan State Unviersity
Jay Wang
CPD Director; Associate Professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism


FACULTY BIOGRAPHIES


Amara Aguilar
Professor of Professional Practice, Digital Journalism
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Amara Aguilar is an associate professor of professional practice in digital journalism at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. At USC, she developed and teaches journalism for mobile and emerging platforms, and interactive media design for publishing, among other courses. In 2015, Amara was named an Apple Distinguished Educator for her academic leadership focusing on application design, multimedia journalism and innovation in education. She previously was the journalism department chair and an assistant professor of journalism at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif. Amara was also an assistant professor at Pierce College and taught multimedia storytelling, video journalism, podcasting, online journalism, media design and development. Before teaching at Pierce, she taught online journalism and design classes at Cal State Long Beach. In addition to teaching, she continues to freelance as a writer and a designer (for print and web) and is currently working on independent multimedia and consulting projects. She has written for the Los Angeles Times and Daily Pilot . Amara has her master's degree in communications from Cal State Fullerton. Her research in graduate school focused on blogging in journalism. Amara is a member of the Society of Newspaper Design, Online News Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists.


Erik Nisbet
Associate Professor, School of Communication, The Ohio State University

Erik Nisbet is an assistant professor in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. Broadly, his research interests focus on three substantive areas: public diplomacy and foreign policy, mostly in terms of American-Islamic relations; comparative democratization, primarily in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia; science, health, and environmental communication, focusing on barriers to effective communication. His research agenda centers around three sets of theoretical questions exploring a) how contextual and individual factors interact to influence communication and processes of opinion formation and b) the relationship between social identity and/or value orientations, processes of communication, and consequences for public opinion c) framing effects and individual differences. He employs a range of quantitative methodologies, including survey research, experimental designs, content analysis, and secondary data analysis.


Kjerstin Thorson
Associate Professor, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Michigan State University

Kjerstin Thorson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Advertising + Public Relations and the School of Journalism. Her research explores the role of digital and social media in promoting—or hindering—political engagement. This includes a focus on two interrelated areas of inquiry concerning (a) how digital and social media are changing existing practices of political participation—and how that participation is mobilized, particularly among youth; and (b) how, why and what kinds of political content spread through social media platforms, and the resulting effects of exposure. Recent research projects have investigated political uses of Facebook, the spread of climate change communication on social media, and the contributions of media use in shifting conceptions of politics among young adults.

 

Jay Wang
Director, USC Center on Public Diplomacy
Associate Professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Dr. Jian (Jay) Wang is Director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and an Associate Professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He previously worked for the international consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he advised clients on matters of communication strategy and implementation across a variety of industries and sectors.

Dr. Wang has led successful partnerships on research and programming with organizations, including the BBC, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the European Union Delegation to the U.S., Global Affairs Canada, Global Ties U.S., the Japan Foundation, NATO, the United Nations Foundation and the U.S. Department of State, on topics ranging from soft power in global affairs, U.S. public diplomacy and national security, to digital advocacy, public diplomacy performance and evaluation. He has been instrumental in developing professional training programs as new essential skills have arisen, including data-driven public diplomacy, storytelling for public diplomacy, and public diplomacy strategy and evaluation.

Dr. Wang has published widely on the role of communication in the contemporary process of globalization, including four books and three dozen research articles in academic and professional journals. His most recent book is Shaping China’s Global Imagination: Nation Branding at the World Expo. His research has been published in academic journals, including Journal of Communication, Journal of Broadcast & Electronic Media, Management Communication Quarterly, Public Relations Review and Place Branding & Public Diplomacy. He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Communication and is a member of the Public Diplomacy Expert Group of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund.

Prior to joining USC, Dr. Wang taught at Purdue University.