Communication Department Faculty Present at International Conference

Contact: Dr. Emily Kinsky, 806-651-2412, [email protected]

Canyon, Texas— Three professors from West Texas A&M University shared research on the Chinese state media’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, experience on how to best teach podcasting, and guidance to other scholars at a recent international conference.

The WT professors from the Department of Communication presented research, shared teaching recommendations, served in advisory positions and attended training sessions at a recent conference for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, which met virtually this year due to the ongoing pandemic.

Dr. Li Chen’s research presented at AEJMC, which was conducted in collaboration with three scholars from the University of Iowa, analyzed content published by Chinese state media outlets from the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. Dr. Chen serves as an assistant professor of media communication at WT.

“The major research finding was that state media outlets used social media during a pandemic for two major purposes: disseminating public health information to help the public cope with the crisis and building a political narrative to reinforce nationalist ideologies,” Chen said. “Multiple papers on COVID were presented this year, and I was excited to have our project be one of them.”

Additionally, Dr. Chen represented WT’s Department of Communication as a discussant for the “Multifaceted Approach to Correcting Misinformation and Disinformation” session under the Mass Communication and Society Division.

Dr. Mary Liz Brooks, assistant professor of media communication, presented her lesson plans for teaching multi-host podcasting, which was selected as an AEJMC Great Idea For Teaching.

“The GIFT allowed for scaffolding of learning—how to research and write about a topic, record and edit challenging types of podcasts and understand how advertising and sponsorships play a role in podcasting,” Brooks said. “It’s always nice to have work that you deem important to be recognized at a major academic conference within your discipline.”

Brooks also attended a pre-conference on diversity and inclusion led by the AEJMC Advertising Division and attended a session about teaching online produced by the Small Programs Interest Group.

Dr. Emily Kinsky, associate professor of media communication at WT, attended a pre-conference session on student-run agencies, as well as numerous panels related to public relations. Kinsky served as a discussant for the Public Relations Division and attended editorial board meetings for the Journal of Public Relations Research, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, and the Journal of Public Relations Education, which she led as editor-in-chief.

These faculty members’ dedication and success in scholarship reflect WT’s commitment toward supporting research, which is reflected in WT’s generational plan WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

The WTAMU Department of Communication houses two undergraduate programs: Communication Studies and Media Communication, with three areas of emphasis in each program as well as the option to seek teacher certification in speech or journalism. The Master’s program offers two areas of emphasis: one in Communication and one in Media Management. Both can be completed online. For more information on the department, please visit