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New CCI Faculty, Staff for 2019-20

The start of a new school year means new faces inside the Communications Building. CCI added five faculty members and a staff member, plus a staff member in a new role for the 2019-20 academic year.

In addition to these new appointments, Professor Virginia Kupritz began serving as CCI’s Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Director of Graduate Studies in July, and Professor Sally McMillan is leading the School of Advertising and Public Relations as Interim Director.

Below are the new CCI faculty and staff members:

New Assistant Professors

Quinten Bernhold (Communication Studies) has a PhD in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara (2019). The title of his dissertation is: “Accommodation and Nonaccommodation as Predictors of Instrumental Caregiving Intentions and Expectations in Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships: Introducing the Accommodative Model of Grandchild Caregiving.” His primary area of specialization is interpersonal communication with specific research interests in health communication, communication and aging, family communication and quantitative research methods.

Brian Dobreski (Information Sciences) holds a PhD in Information Science and Technology from Syracuse University. His research critically examines knowledge organization practices with a particular emphasis on the social and ethical implications of knowledge organizing systems and standards. He is a recipient of the Eugene Garfield Doctoral Fellowship for his dissertation, “Values in Knowledge Organization Standards: A Value Analysis of Resource Description and Access (RDA).” The dissertation recently received an honorable mention for the ProQuest Best Dissertation Award during the ASIS&T awards banquet.

Derrick Holland (Advertising and Public Relations) has a PhD in Media and Communication from Texas Tech University (2019). The title of his dissertation is: “Water as a Social Resource: An Examination of Water Conservation Behaviors Under the Umbrella of the Integrated Model of Behavioral Prediction.” His primary area of specialization is public relations with specific research interests focused on the impact of public relations strategies on environmental conservation, the influence of message features on organizational transparency, and quantitative research methods.

Joy Jenkins (Journalism and Electronic Media) has a PhD in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia (2017). The title of her dissertation is: “Brand Believers: Reconciling Journalistic Identity and Organizational Identity in a City Magazine.” Her research uses a sociological approach to examine changing organizational identities and practices in newsrooms, with a particular focus on local media. She also studies the experiences of women journalists and the functions news organizations play in spurring public discourse about feminism and gender roles. Jenkins comes to CCI from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, where she spent the last two years as a post-doctoral research fellow in digital news.

Matthew Pittman (Advertising and Public Relations) has a PhD in Communication from the University of Oregon (2017). His dissertation is: “Phoneliness: An Examination of the Relationships between Mobile Social Media, Personality and Loneliness.” His primary area of specialization is advertising with specific research interests in brand authenticity & sustainability, social media marketing, and prosocial appeals. Pittman comes to CCI from Rowan University where he spent the last two years as an assistant professor of public relations and advertising in the College of Communication and Creative Arts.


New Full-Time Staff

Karen Jones-Zach is the accounting specialist for the Center for Information and Communication Studies (CICS). She has a BS in Accounting from the University of Minnesota-Crookston (UMC) and a Bachelor of Music from Dominican University of California. She also holds an Accounting and Tax Certificate from UMC. Most recently Jones-Zach was an outreach specialist in the College of Professional Studies Continuing Education Office at the University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point (UWSP) where she handled financial matters, including budgets, payroll and annual reports. She also served as interim program manager for the business degree program for place-bound students while at UWSP.

Yana Truman has a BA in Geography from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She joins JEM as an administrative specialist after serving for two years as the CICS accounting coordinator. Prior to her work with CICS, she was an assistant store manager at Kroger; managed The Children’s Place, a retail store; and worked as an administrative assistant at the UT Municipal Technical Advisory Service.