Sarah Bachleda [Communication and Media] 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 and Media] 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 and Media] 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.

Erin Cikanek [Political Science]

Stewart Coles [Communication and Media] 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 and Media] 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.

Guadalupe Madrigal [Communication and Media] Guadalupe’s research examines the relationship between news media and political discourses about immigration. More specifically, she explores how fear appeals about immigrants impact general public opinion. Guadalupe Madrigal received her B.A. in Communication Studies and Chicana/o Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Gavin Ploger [Communication and Media] 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 and Media] 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 Media] 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.

Kirill Zhirkov [Political Science] Kirill studies how people form mental images of political categories and the role media might play in construction of these images. His work currently focuses on the nature and political consequences of stereotypes about immigration and immigrants. Kirill holds a Bachelor’s in Economics from St Petersburg State University (Russia) and Master’s in Social Psychology from Utrecht University (Netherlands).

Past members

Hakeem Jefferson (Stanford)

Ozan Kuru (Penn)

Fabian Neuner (ASU)

Julia Kamin (CivilServant)