Students

Sarah Bachleda [Communication Studies] Sarah’s research interests include studying the causes of political dissatisfaction, new technological modes of political communication as it influences civic engagement, and unpacking the construction of being politically informed. She received her B.A. from Denison University in Communication and Spanish where she focused on the impact of political rhetoric on cultural and social movements. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Sarah worked in marketing and branding.

Sedona Chinn [Communication Studies] Sedona is interested in the motivational power of identity in attitude formation and behavior, focusing on how identity-appealing issue frames can lead to changes in how people view and treat the environment. Sedona completed her B.A. (honors) in International Relations at Saint Anselm College, during which she spent a year studying at Lady Sri Ram College for Women in Delhi, India. After graduating, she taught in Beijing, China.

Stewart Coles [Communication Studies] Stewart’s research examines the way media depictions evoke prejudice and stereotypes, shape and activate identity, and influence political behavior. He studies how images and coded language affect our perception of social issues, and is interested in how individual biases and media production practices shape mass media content production, and how mass media content creators can be educated about the effects of their work.

Dan Hiaeshutter-Rice [Communication Studies] Dan’s research interests center around political information markets. He is primarily interested mediated political campaign communication and the effects of platform norms on political information. His work includes big social data, message characteristic effects, new versus traditional media, and opinion leadership.

Hakeem Jefferson [Political Science] Taking a group-centric, identity-based view of politics, Hakeem’s work wrestles with the complexities and nuances of identity to better understand political attitudes and behaviors among members of salient social groups. In particular, his dissertation considers the political and social consequences of respectability politics for Black Americans.

Julia Kamin [Political Science] Julia is broadly interested in how citizens find, process and share political information. In her research, she focuses on how social media reduces – or perhaps increases – access to diverse political information and what the mechanisms are that determine information sorting, both at the micro-level (looking at motivations for sharing political information on social media) and the macro (how information diffuses through complex networks).

Ozan Kuru [Communication Studies] I study communication of public opinion and its psychological underpinnings by looking at public perceptions of and reactions to the media coverage of public opinion. I explore how these communicative processes influence perceptions of public opinion, trust in journalism, and political polarization at large. In a second and related line of research, I investigate conceptualization and measurement issues in measuring individuals’ social media use and political engagement.

Fabian Neuner [Political Science] Fabian Neuner is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan. He studies political psychology, political behavior and public opinion, both in the U.S. and in comparative contexts.

Lauren Potts [Communication Studies] Lauren is a doctoral student in political communication at the University of Michigan. Her work focuses on information, power, and influence in online spaces.

Jessica Roden [Communication Studies] Prior to becoming a Ph.D. student in Communication Studies, Jessica received her B.A. in Cognitive Science and a minor in History from Vassar College, where she researched how attitudes and emotions are affected by the awareness of identity incongruent values in regularly watched TV shows and videos. She is interested in understanding the relationship between media, especially television, and the representations of marginalized identities.