Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies Melissa Aronczyk will serve as the Director of the Ph.D. Program in Communication, Information, and Media at the School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, effective July 1, 2023. She succeeds Professor of Communication Jennifer Theiss, who has directed the program since 2017.
“I am happy to share that Melissa Aronczyk was voted unanimously by the Ph.D. faculty to serve as SC&I’s new Ph.D. Program Director. Congratulations to Melissa – we are looking forward to her leadership sustaining the strength of our Ph.D. Program and moving it forward through the challenges of the coming years!” Interim Dean and Distinguished Professor of Journalism and Media Studies Dafna Lemish said in an announcement to the school community.
Aronczyk’s research and teaching address issues related to media and political communication; media theory; critical methodologies; promotional cultures; and writing as craft and as profession.
Her new book, co-authored with Maria I. Espinoza, is “A Strategic Nature: Public Relations and the Politics of American Environmentalism” (Oxford, 2022). It critically examines public relations as a social and political force that shapes both our understanding of the environmental crises we now face and our responses to them.
She is the recipient of a Climate Social Science Network grant (2021-2023) to critically inquire into the mobilization of industrial influence resources and their bearing on collective decision-making around climate change action in the United States. This two-year project will combine theoretical perspectives on elite political and communication networks and the nature of influence with empirical research on interorganizational dynamics and public promotional/advocacy activities among corporate, government and non-governmental actors.
Aronczyk currently serves as co-chair of the Digital Ethnography Working Group; afiliated Faculty at the Rutgers Climate Institute; and affiliated graduate faculty at the Rutgers Department of Sociology.
The Ph.D. Program in Communication, Information and Media provides doctoral training in theoretical and research skills for scholarly and professional leadership in the fields of communication, library and information science, and journalism and media studies.
The strategic combination of these areas helps prepare students to address key questions facing our society in the 21st century. The program focuses on the nature and function of communication, information, and media institutions, policies, processes, and systems, examining their impact on individuals and social, organizational, national, and international affairs.
Learn more about Associate Professor Melissa Aronczyk and the Ph.D. Program in Communication, Information, and Media on the Rutgers School of Communication and Information website.