Core Faculty

Sol Hart: Sol Hart is an Associate Professor in Communication Studies and the Program in the Environment, and Faculty Associate at the Institute for Social Research. He specializes in risk communication related to environmental, science, and risk issues. Professor Hart’s research investigates the psychological processes underlying effective risk communication. This research area includes understanding the role of the media in motivating and engaging the public around a variety of issues and how to create effective messages that can cross ideological divides and resonate with broad sections of the public.

Ariel Hasell: Ariel Hasell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies. Her research focuses on digital media, public opinion, and public engagement with politics and science. She uses quantitative methodologies to examine how news media content influences various attitudes and behaviorsrelated to science and the environment—including information evaluation, motivations to process and share information, and the formation of policy preferences.

Nojin Kwak: Nojin Kwak is the Chair of the Department of Communication Studies. In addition to his appointment in Communication Studies, he serves as the Director of the Nam Center for Korean Studies at the University of Michigan. Kwak’s  research centers on the role of communication media in civic and political engagement. His recent studies analyze the impact of internet and mobile communication technologies on community involvement, deliberative openness, and political participation.

Josh Pasek: Josh Pasek is Associate Professor of Communication Studies. His research explores how new media and psychological processes shape political attitudes, public opinion, and political behaviors. Josh also examines issues in the measurement of public opinion including techniques for reducing measurement error and improving survey design. Current research explores how political information might influence public opinion and voter decision-making, evaluates whether the use of online social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter might be changing the political information environment, and assesses the differences between survey results obtained from Internet volunteers as opposed to traditional samples.

Muniba Saleem: Muniba Saleem is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and a Faculty Associate at the Institute for Social Research. Dr. Saleem’s research explores the role of media in interpersonal and intergroup conflicts. Dr. Saleem has explored how media violence can influence aggression and reduce prosocial behaviors; the role of media stereotypes in influencing aggressive perception and aggressive behaviors towards depicted groups; how media influences immigrants’ ethnic and national identities, acculturation, trust and interest in American government, and relations with majority members; as well as social psychological factors that can reduce interpersonal and intergroup conflict.

Stuart Soroka: Stuart Soroka is Michael W. Traugott Collegiate Professor of Communication Studies and Political Science, and Faculty Associate in the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research. His research focuses on political communication, on the sources and/or structure of public preferences for policy, and on the relationships between public policy, public opinion, and mass media. Current projects include work on negativity in politics, on the role of mass media in representative democracy, and on support for social welfare and immigration policy.

Brian Weeks: Brian Weeks is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and a Faculty Associate in the Center for Political Studies.  His primary research areas include political misinformation and misperceptions, news sharing on social media, and online political expression. Brian received his Ph.D. in Communication from Ohio State University and was a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna.

Supporting Faculty

Ted Brader: Ted Brader is a professor in the Department of Political Science and a faculty associate at the Center for Political Studies in the Institute for Social Research. Professor Brader’s research and teaching interests include political psychology, political communication, public opinion and voting behavior, campaigns and elections, and political parties. Although his primary expertise is in American politics, his general concern with questions of political psychology and communication leads to research in comparative politics as well.

Michael Traugott: Professor Traugott studies the mass media and their impact on American politics. This includes research on the use of the media by candidates in their campaigns and its impact on voters, as well as the ways that campaigns are covered and the impact of this coverage on candidates. He has a particular interest in the use of surveys and polls and the way news organizations employ them to cover campaigns and elections.

Nicholas Valentino: Professor Valentino is a student of political communication, political psychology, and electoral behavior. His work focuses on political campaigns, racial attitudes, emotions, and social group cues in news and political advertising. His current work examines the intersection between racial attitudes and emotion in predicting political participation and vote choice.