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SC&I Welcomes New Faculty Members at the New Faculty Colloquium
SC&I Welcomes New Faculty Members at the New Faculty Colloquium

On Wednesday, October 4, 2017, SC&I faculty and staff joined together for the New Faculty Colloquium, where the newest SC&I faculty members, Chenjerai Kumanyika, Clifton Lacy, Matthew Matsaganis, and Caitlin Petre, gave presentations about their research. Following their presentations, they participated in Q&A sessions with other SC&I faculty and staff who attended. The event concludes with a wonderful lunch.

Assistant Professor of Journalism and Media Studies Chenjerai Kumanyika, completed his undergraduate degree from Clemson University and his graduate degree from Pennsylvania University. Today, he is a researcher, a journalist, a musician, and an artist. He is also a co-producer of “Uncivil”, a podcast on how the civil war and American history connect to current political struggles. Dr. Kumanyika's research focuses on the ways that media can be used for social change. His presentation and his latest research focused on the philanthropy of hip-hop artists. Kumanyika examines how corporate stakeholders and use hip-hop brands use philanthropy to tell deceptive stories about the role of the private sector in producing and addressing social inequality.

Distinguished Professor of Professional Practice Clifton Lacy’s research presentation followed with a series of projects he has worked on in the past few years. Lacey began his career as a cardiologist, later moved on to run a hospital, and now he is a distinguished professor of professional practice at Rutgers SC&I. Some of his studies have included Aim of the Blast Practice, RTLS, a Full-Scale Mass Casualty Experiment, Breaking the Cycle of Violence and Recidivism. He is continuing to work on many health related research projects to improve the response time of health facilities. Lacey said, “People keep making the same mistakes again and again, so my goal is to instil “best practices” so that people in hospitals and doctors offices can save more people and treat the most amount of people they possibly can.”

Associate Professor of Communication Matthew Matsaganis presented a slice of his next research. His work focuses on the question of how the places we live in impact our health, the role of communication in the creation of health disparities, but, perhaps more interestingly, its role in interventions designed to eliminate health inequalities. He is particularly interested in health and well-being in urban communities around the world.  He has led or co-led research projects in Los Angeles, California, Hudson (New York), New York City. In Spring 2018, Professor Matsaganis will be launching a new project, this time in Athens, Greece, where he will be traveling to as a Fulbright Scholar. He will be investigating communication strategies employed by individuals and families in disadvantaged communities of Athens to weather the ongoing economic crisis and its health-related effects.

Lastly, new Assistant Professor of Journalism and Media Studies, Caitlin Petre, spoke about her research on data analytics in the journalism field. Using ethnographic and interview methods, Petre studied how two different newsrooms used a program called Chartbeat, which allows journalists to see how many people are clicking on their stories, how long a person stays reading a story, and other measures. Petre explained how journalists find metrics quite addictive, even though they are often unsure of how to interpret the numbers. She discussed various ways that metrics can influence the organizational culture of the newsrooms in which they are implemented.

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