School of Media and Communication Graduate Program Newsletter

School of Media and Communication Graduate Program Newsletter

Greetings from the Director


I welcome you to the School of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University. Located in the Kuhlin Center, the School of Media and Communication provides state-of-the-art media technology.

The School of Media and Communication provides students engaged learning experiences both in the classroom and in the field across all our programs -- including Advertising, Communication, Journalism and Public Relations, Media Production and Studies, Media and Communication, and Strategic Communication. 

In addition to our excellent academic programs, the School of Media and Communication houses Falcon Media, BGSU student media, including the BG News, BG24 TV, WBGU-FM, and Bowling Green Radio Sports Organization. 

I hope to share with you the inspirational stories of our graduates and alumni. Our faculty are highly accomplished and highly respected within their fields of expertise. Please see our website to learn more about the School of Media and Communication. We hope you will join us here at BGSU.

Cheryl Bracken, Ph.D.
Professor and Director


Dr. Rosati will complete his Interim Graduate Coordinator role this December, and Dr. Gajjala will begin her role as Graduate Coordinator starting in the spring semester. If you have any questions, you can contact them.

Alumni Profiles


Yannick Kluch

Yannick Kluch (he/him) graduated with a Ph.D. from the BGSU School of Media and Communication in 2018. He currently serves as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Before starting this position at UIUC this fall, he held assistant professor roles at Virginia Commonwealth University and Rowan University and served as a member of the staff in the Office of Inclusion at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

His research agenda is centered on why and how individuals and organizations utilize sport as a platform to advance equity, inclusion, and social justice. Drawing from interpretive-humanistic and critical epistemological frameworks and using qualitative and critical methods, he looks at the individual factors (e.g., identity, sense of belonging), cultural institutions (e.g., media), and systemic forces (e.g., racism, exclusion) that either prevent or empower individuals and organizations to engage in social justice efforts. Specific areas of research include (1) activism, sport, and social change, (2) inclusive sport policy, governance, and human rights, (3) experiences of minoritized groups in sport, and (4) strategic diversity/equity/inclusion efforts in sport.

In addition to his research, Yannick also works as a consultant to sport organizations on matters related to DEI and social justice. For example, he serves on the DEI Council for USA Diving and was one of the core team members appointed to the inaugural Team USA Council for Racial and Social Justice by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. He is originally from Hamburg, Germany, and is always excited to connect with fellow Falcons!


Michael Ofori

Michael Ofori is a first-year Ph.D. student at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. His passion lies in Political Communication and cutting-edge new media research. His research delves into media effects studies. He specifically focuses on the art of media framing and its profound influence on shaping people’s political attitudes. His research blends both quantitative and qualitative methods to decode the intricate web of media's impact on human perceptions and attitudes.

Currently, Michael is exploring the role of populism on social media and its influence in the growing African military interventions, aiming to shed light on this crucial aspect of global affairs.

Michael obtained his master’s degree in media and communication from Bowling Green State University.


Chinwendu Akalonu

Chinwendu Akalonu is a Ph.D. student of mass communication at the University of South Carolina. Her research centers on social media, content moderation, emerging technologies, health, and international communication. Her four years of experience in digital media strongly influence her research interests. Chinwendu obtained her master’s degree in media and communication from Bowling Green State University.


Felicity Sena Dogbatse

Felicity Sena Dogbatse is currently pursuing a Ph.D. program at the University of Maryland. Her research is feminist studies, social media and advocacy, and gender research. Dogbatse obtained her master’s degree in media and communication from Bowling Green State University.


Blessy McWan

Blessy McWan graduated with a Ph.D. in April 2022. Her dissertation focused on trolling of #MeToo. Toward the end of her third year, she knew she wanted to pursue a non-academic career. She worked as a Market Research Specialist for about 8 months at COACT - a sales and marketing consulting firm in Toledo, Ohio. She is currently a Project Manager at the University of Michigan - Michigan Medicine. Blessy works with a team of physicians/professors, students, and other researchers to understand the care received by patients in ICU. For example, doctor-patient interaction/communication in ICUs is one aspect of her work.

Currently, her group is working on three approved grants. If anyone needs advice regarding pursuing a non-academic career, she welcomes them to contact her at:

Graduate Students


Matt Dorr

Matt Dorr is a former student from the School of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University. He recently completed his dissertation titled "Exploring Non-Activist Alternative Media: Audience and Content" under the supervision of Drs. Joshua Atkinson, Bailey Dick, and Yanqin Lu. He expects to graduate in December of 2023. Matt currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Communication at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, North Carolina.

He also volunteers as a member of the Career and Vocational Services Committee, where he assists with social media management and community outreach. Matt has an interest in media studies research, with an emphasis on alternative media, journalism, and social media. He is currently working on publishing his dissertation as several articles, as well as publishing several articles concerning pedagogy related to strategic communication classroom environments.

Graduate student, Amanda Grace Taylor, shares her experience

In July 2019, I attended the Hope Conference hosted by the National Communication Association (NCA) at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. During this event, I had the opportunity to converse with another participant, Dr. Cody Clemens, who is now an alumnus of BGSU's School of Media and Communication. During our conversation, I expressed that I was thinking of applying to Ph.D. programs. Dr. Clemens encouraged me to consider Bowling Green State University for my doctoral studies, asserting that "I would thrive at BGSU." Subsequently, I followed his advice, and my experience at BGSU has proven him right.


Entering the program in August 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, posed significant challenges for students, faculty, staff, and administration alike. The photograph linked above captures a moment when I was teaching COMM 1020: Introduction to Public Speaking behind a partition while wearing a mask. This period demanded us to navigate issues related to accessibility, mental and physical health, and social support. However, it also provided valuable learning opportunities. I enhanced my proficiency in utilizing mediated communication tools, such as Zoom, and developed a deeper understanding of the importance of empathy and understanding, as we can never truly comprehend the challenges others are facing. I also got to wear my bunny slippers during our Zoom classes!

Currently, I am serving as a Visiting Instructor at Montana Technical University within the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. The skills and knowledge I acquired through the Media and Communication program at BGSU have significantly contributed to my growth as a scholar and instructor, ultimately benefiting my students, who are at the core of my academic pursuits. If I may offer some (perhaps unsolicited) advice to first and second-year Ph.D. students, I urge you to actively engage with faculty members and seek their guidance. They possess valuable expertise and are influential figures in the field. BGSU is a treasure trove of resources, including its administration, staff, and faculty, all working collaboratively toward your success. Also, it is important to remain focused and remember that we are on the same team. Celebrate each other's achievements, as each accomplishment by your peers enhances the reputation of BGSU and can ultimately ease your path in the competitive job market.

I am wholeheartedly cheering on all of you from over here in Montana. Your dedication and accomplishments are truly remarkable. Keep forging ahead with your academic pursuits. Go, Falcons!


Ph.D. student, Faiswal Kasirye, recounts his first-year experience

I was drawn to the Mass Communication program at Bowling Green State University by its strong reputation for fostering both academic excellence and practical skills in the field. Enrolling in this program allowed me to pursue my passion for research in new media, specifically political communication while gaining a comprehensive understanding of the industry. My primary goal is to achieve a deep knowledge of media studies and develop research skills that will enable me to contribute meaningfully to the field.

My most crucial academic learning experience has been engaging in rigorous research projects and collaborating with esteemed faculty members. These experiences, I believe, will not only broaden my horizons but also challenge me to think critically and creatively.

My biggest challenge as a first-year Ph.D. student has been adjusting to the rigorous academic demands while balancing teaching responsibilities and managing time efficiently. To balance work and study, I meticulously plan my schedule, allocate specific time blocks for research, and ensure I set aside time for self-care and relaxation. On weekends, I review coursework assignments, research, and engage in extracurricular activities.

My post-graduation plans include pursuing a career in academia to continue research, teaching, and inspiring the next generation of communication professionals. I also aspire to contribute to industry advancements through consulting and collaboration with media and other research organizations.

As an international student, I have adapted well to life in Bowling Green, thanks to its welcoming community and the support system provided by the University. Engaging in events, networking with peers and seniors, and participating in SMC’s activities have made this transition a positive and enriching experience.

Good News

The Global Social Media Influencer Research Lab has been established

The Global Social Media Influencer Research Lab (GSMI) consists of BGSU School of Media and Communication faculty, alumni of the BGSU graduate program who are either faculty members or doctoral students, and current graduate students who have an interest in research on social media influencer research from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives. The Lab aims to contribute to cross-national comparative research on the persuasive effects of social media influencers in marketing communications, social and political issues, their positive and negative roles in society and international relations, and how social media platform affordances were utilized to achieve their opinion leadership. The lab members come from 13 countries: Bangladesh, China (including Hong Kong), Ghana, India, Iran, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Uganda, and the United States.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Dr. Ha and our students, the BGSU SSCI Journal Publishing Guide has been updated.

SMC alumni placements in the last year:

Madison Pollino, Assistant Professor University of South Florida
Amonia Tolofori, Assistant Professor, University of Southern Mississippi
Matt Dorr, Assistant Professor, St. Andrews University
Yang Yang, Assistant Professor, University of Southern Indiana
Michael Harmon, Assistant Teaching Professor, University of Florida

Ph.D. graduates placements for Fall 2023:

Amanda Taylor (2023 Fall, Ph.D. graduate), is working at Montana Technology University
Enamual Kabir (2023 Fall, Ph.D. graduate), Research Associate of the Social Media Listening Lab at Clemson University

Ohio Communication Association (OCA)

Discussion or Research Paper Panel

Dr. Alberto González, Professor and Acting Director
Department of Communication, School of Media & Communication, Bowling Green State University
Utilizing Research Methods Within and Beyond the Academy

Cody Clemens (Marietta College), Tony E. Adams (Bradley University), Alberto Gonzales (Dr. Cheryl Campanella Bracken, Director, School of Media and Communication, Bowling Green State University), Amber Ferris (University of Akron), and Nancy Jennings (University of Cincinnati)

This paper aims to understand Bangladeshi female jihadists’ evolving socio-demographic backgrounds, organizational roles, and the driving factors that radicalize them. It is found that besides homemakers and students, female jihadists, who are mainly young, come from various professions, including education, health, business, law, and private jobs. The results indicate that women in higher socioeconomic status, who endorse violent tactics and militant objectives, may be more inclined to participate in jihadism actively. During the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of carrying out violent attacks, they used social media to spread their extremist ideologies, recruit new members, and raise funds. The results show that the Internet played a significant role in the radicalization of women during the pandemic, while family and friends played the leading role in the past.

Research Papers

Shudipta Sharma, Bowling Green State University (Current Ph.D. Student)
Sharma, S. (2023). Female Jihadism in the Age of Digital Media and COVID-19: Insights from Bangladesh.


Man Luo, Bowling Green State University (Current Ph.D. Student)
Obesity Health Communication Campaign Plan

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)

Shudipta Sharma, Bowling Green State University (Current Ph.D. Student)
Sharma, S. (2023). Digital Divide to Digital Activism: The Role of Mobile Communication in the Global South’s Social Movements. [Top Paper]
Sharma, S. & Hasan, M. R. (2023). Uncovering the Dynamics of Political Misinformation in South Asia.

National Communication Association (NCA)

Paper Research

Shudipta Sharma, Bowling Green State University (Current Ph.D. Student)
Louisa Ha, Bowling Green State University (SMC Professor)
Sharma, S. & Ha, L. (2023). ChatGPT and Misinformation: A Comparative Study of College Students’ Perception in USA and Bangladesh.

Shudipta Sharma, Bowling Green State University (Current Ph.D. Student)
Sharma, S. (2023). The Emergence of Online Journalism in Bangladesh: A Study on the Factors Driving Rapid Growth. [Top Paper]

Anna J. DeGalan Bowling Green State University (Current Ph.D. Student)
Author: “Are you one of the Avengers?” “No, I am from the Ukraine Post”’ The Use of Memes as Political Satire and [Slack]Activism During the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Presenter: Employing Metaverse in Promoting Spiritual Communication

Conference Sessions

Radhika Gajjala, Bowling Green State University (SMC Professor)
Gajjala, R., Rahut, D., Faniyi, O., & Akbar, Z. S. (2023). Scattered diasporas – Theorizations of violence in and beyond the homeland.

Gajjala, R., Rahut, D., Faniyi, O., & Akbar, Z. S. (2023). Digital Health and Women’s Liberation: Challenges and Opportunities for Freedom.

Paper Presentation

Debipreeta Rahut, Bowling Green State University (Current PhD Student)
Rahut, D. (2023). #COVIDSOS: Health Support During the Second Wave of COVID-19 In India.

Award Winners

BGSU School of Media and Communication award winners at the National Communication Association (NCA) 109th Annual Convention held Nov. 16-19, 2023:

Professor Sandra Faulkner was awarded the Presidential Citation
Professor Radhika Gajjala received the Francine Merritt Award from the NCA women’s caucus
Professor Ellen Gorsevki was the recipient of the Pedagogy Award from the Activism and Social Justice Division
Yang Yang (2022 Ph.D. Graduate) received the Association of Chinese Communication Studies (ACCS) Dissertation Award

A dinner gathering with Dr. Louisa Ha (second from left), Dr. Lisa Hanasono (seventh from left), Dr. Lara Lengel (second from right), and other alumni after the National Communication Association (NCA) Conference.

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Updated: 12/07/2023 02:34PM