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Network Science Researcher Katherine Ognyanova Promoted to Associate Professor of Communication
Ognyanova’s research examines the impact of technology and social connections on human behavior. Her publicly engaged work helps policymakers make better decisions about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ognyanova’s research examines the impact of technology and social connections on human behavior. Her publicly engaged work helps policymakers make better decisions about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Katherine Ognyanova is a faculty member in the Communication Department at the School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University. Her research spans the areas of network science, computational social science, social technology, digital media, and political communication. Ognyanova has been promoted to Associate Professor effective July 1, 2021. The Rutgers University Board of Governors announced her promotion on April 14, 2021.

Ognyanova said, “I was thrilled to learn that my tenure and promotion to Associate Professor have been approved. I am especially grateful for the support and encouragement offered by the amazing colleagues in my department and the School of Communication and Information. It has also been a privilege to work with the diverse, independent, and intellectually curious students at Rutgers University.”

Ognyanova’s recent work examines the mechanisms which drive the spread of knowledge through social networks. Her published research explores the social forces shaping our trust in the mainstream media. Related publications also evaluate the predictors and outcomes of fake news consumption, as well as the role of networks in the spread of information and misinformation.

Ognyanova is currently a lead researcher on the NSF-supported COVID States Project, one of the most significant data collection efforts in the U.S. revealing American attitudes towards COVID-19. The initiative is a collaboration among four universities: Rutgers University, Northeastern University, Harvard University, and Northwestern University.  As of April 2021, the project has released 47 reports and its research has been covered by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street JournalUSA TodayWIRED MagazineFiveThirtyEight, and many other sources.

Speaking of Ognyanova’s promotion, Lea Stewart, Professor and chair of the Communication Department, said “I feel confident that I can speak on behalf of the entire Communication Department faculty when I say that we are extremely pleased that Katya Ognyanova has been granted tenure and promotion to Associate Professor. She is an amazing colleague and a vital part of our department. Her contributions across teaching, research, and service have been stellar. She uses a variety of teaching strategies to keep her students engaged and is an active contributor at all levels of our curriculum. Her innovative research examines the ways emerging technologies and networks transform how people communicate, seek, and evaluate information, and mobilize into collective action. Her most recent research on the COVID States Project has received notable media attention. And, through her service contributions including serving as the long-time faculty advisor for student groups like Lamda Pi Eta, she has mentored countless students. We are fortunate to have Dr. Ognyanova in our department and look forward to her continued contributions as an Associate Professor.”

More information about Ognyanova’s research is on the SC&I website in the following articles:

New National And State Data: Economic Hardships Confronting Americans

New National Poll: Voters Care Most About COVID-19, Racism, Economy

Majority Of Public Prefers Direct Cash Support In A New COVID-19 Relief Package, National Survey Says

Learn more about the Communication Department at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information is on the website.


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