Dr. Mark Aakhus, Professor in the School of Communication & Information (SC&I) at Rutgers University, earned a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Communication with an emphasis in Management Information Systems and an M.A. from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University.
Dr. Aakhus's research investigates the uses of language, argumentation, and social interaction in professional practice, organizational processes, and information systems. This research articulates the competence and creativity involved in managing complex situations through communication and design. By examining the relationship between communication and design, this research advances knowledge about augmenting human interaction and reasoning through technological and organizational interventions and innovations. This research informs professional education, promotes organizational and technological innovation, and inspires forms of engagement for deliberation and creative problem solving.
Dr. Aakhus’s research appears in international publications on communication, organizations, new media and information systems, discourse, argumentation, and disputing processes. Funding for his research has been received from the Kellogg Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Sun Micro-Systems, Rutgers Academic Excellence Fund, and Rutgers Office of the Vice President for Research. He has given keynote addresses and special invited presentations at a variety of places including Uppsala University, University of Montreal, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Amsterdam, Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, George Mason University, Penn State University, University of Italian Speaking Switzerland, and the New University of Lisbon as well as the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement.
Dr. Aakhus has held several leadership positions in international research societies. He was Chair of the International Communication Association’s (ICA) Language and Social Interaction Division. He served on the Research Board for the National Communication Association (NCA), was a co-founding chair of NCA’s Human Communication and Technology Division, and was a founding executive committee member of the Association for Information Systems (AIS) Special Interest Group on Pragmatist Information Systems Research. He has served on the editorial boards of Communication Theory, Communication Monographs, Argument & Advocacy, and Argumentation in Context and was an associate editor for the inauguration of Communication Measures and Methods.
Over the years, Dr. Aakhus has been engaged with his local communities through community service as dispute mediator and volunteer in local community justice programs in Iowa and Arizona and as an elected school board member and held an appointment as an environmental commissioner in his local community in New Jersey.
Current research, teaching, and doctoral projects emphasize the following themes:
The aim in these streams of research is to improve understanding of the intentional, and emergent, design of institutions for communication and the consequences for the co-creation of health, wellness, and democracy.