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’s research explores how media (news, online) discusses science and how lay people’s attitudes about scientific topics are formed. She is particularly interested in scientific uncertainty, information competition, and trust in science. 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.

Soo Bin Choi [Communication Studies] Soo bin’s research interests broadly include the relationship of pro-social behavior, risk issues, perception of efficacy, and the media. Her current line of research focuses on the construction of climate change risk perception, and she is particularly interested in the process of how collective efficacy is developed and established.

Stewart Coles [Communication Studies] Stewart’s research examines how people develop their understanding of social issues related to identity. In particular, he studies the way media depictions of social issues and marginalized groups evoke prejudice and stereotypes, shape and activate identity, and influence public opinion and political behavior. He is especially interested in the political effects of entertainment media and how audience attributes affect whether people consider entertainment media to be politically relevant.

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.

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).

Gavin Ploger [Communication Studies] Gavin’s research examines the language authoritarian leaders use to influence their followers as well as how perceptions of political polarization drive political behavior. Gavin received his B.A. in Psychology at University of Montana where he studied the effect of accountability on cognitive complexity.

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.

Past members

Hakeem Jefferson (Stanford)

Ozan Kuru (Penn)

Fabian Neuner (ASU)