Ph.D. In Communication & Information | Kent State University

Ph.D. In Communication & Information

The doctoral program in the College of Communication and Information prepares students for careers as scholars in the disciplines of communication and information.

While students have a primary academic “home” in one of these six areas described below, we encourage CCI doctoral students to engage across disciplines, exploring the depth of knowledge that is derived from interdisciplinary reflection and scholarship. Areas include:

Media, Technology, and Society

The study of mediated and mass communication examines a wide range of media uses and effects, including the use of media for mass, interpersonal, organizational, and group communication. This specialization addresses various communication tactics used by individuals, organizations, political actors, and governments to reach and influence the public. Students working in this area will develop expertise in theory and practice related to persuasive communication and the analysis of media processes, uses, and effects.

Core Faculty:

Kendra Albright (Information)

Michael Beam (Communication Studies)

Jeffrey T. Child (Communication Studies)

Danielle Sarver Coombs (Communication and Information, Journalism and Mass Communication)

Gretchen Dworznik (Journalism and Mass Communication)

Catherine Goodall (Communication Studies)

Christine Hudak (Information)

Yesim Kaptan (Communication Studies)

Jihyun Kim (Communication Studies)

Marianne Martens (Information)

Amy Reynolds (Communication and Information)

Chance York (Journalism and Mass Communication)

 

Global Communication

The study of global communication features areas of emphasis which allow students to examine both traditional and emerging media systems and organizations, intercultural interactions, and message and information flows across the world. Students in this specialization employ post-positivist, interpretive, and/or critical approaches to explore a range of issues, including traditional and emerging media systems; alternative and transnational organizing processes; intercultural identities and interactions; and message and information flows across the world.

Core Faculty:

Kendra Albright (Information)

Ginger Bihn-Coss (Communication Studies, Tuscarawas)

Danielle Sarver Coombs (Communication and Information, Journalism and Mass Communication)

Paul Haridakis (Communication Studies)

Mei-Chen Lin (Communication Studies)

Amy Reynolds (Communication and Information)

Paul Sommer (Communication Studies, Stark)

Teddy Workneh (Communication Studies)

 

Interpersonal Communication

Students specializing in interpersonal communication will be prepared to conduct research and teach in an academic institution and/or as a communication specialist in an organizational setting. Faculty conduct research on such topics as privacy management, family communication, communication via social media, social cognition, learning from regretted messages, social support, communication in health settings, and intercultural communication.

Core Faculty:

Ginger Bihn-Coss (Communication Studies, Tuscarawas)

Jeffrey T. Child (Communication Studies)

Nichole L. Egbert (Communication Studies)

Elizabeth Graham (Communication Studies)

Christine Hudak (Information)

Janet Meyer (Communication Studies)

Paul Sommer (Communication Studies, Stark)

 

Human Information Behavior

Human information behavior (HIB) is a broad, interdisciplinary, and foundational area in the field of information science. It brings diverse theoretical approaches to applications across domains, from empirical work on system design and behavior, to phenomenological and ethnographic approaches to understanding the information-seeking experience. Work in this area often involves mixed methods, with many researchers and scholars trained in several methods. The work focuses on interaction with technology, but people are central to the research questions addressed; thus, human-to-human behavior is an essential component of the discipline.

Core Faculty:

Kendra Albright (Information)

Belinda Boon (Information)

Christine Hudak (Information)

Emad Khazraee (Information)

Marianne Martens (Information)

Rebecca Meehan (Information)

Athena Salaba (Information)

Catherine L. Smith (Information)

Paul Sommer (Communication Studies, Stark)

Yin Zhang (Information)

 

Cultural Heritage Informatics

Cultural heritage informatics (CHI) is an emerging field of interdisciplinary research and practice concerned with the role of information and computing technologies (ICTs) to support the creation, capture, organization, and pluralization of culture, in whatever form, as heritage. While there is a focus on existing data, datasets, and metadata and ways to link them, CHI also necessarily includes identification and exploration into appraisal, data capture, preservation, data processing, curation, forensics and reconstruction, visualization, documentation, access and discoverability, as well as development of innovative technologies to empower and support engagement with ICTs as tools for communication and remembering of culture. The outcomes of this work include identification, exploration, and extension of systems and frameworks (including standards, policy, technology, legal, and organizational requirements) across multiple stakeholders, including researchers, cultural heritage institutions, professional communities, and creators.

Core Faculty:

Belinda Boon (Information)

Karen Gracy (Information)

Emad Khazraee (Information)

Marianne Martens (Information)

Miriam Matteson (Information)

Amy Reynolds (Communication and Information)

Marcia Zeng (Information)

 

Knowledge Organization

This specialization focuses on all aspects of knowledge organization in different environments, including conceptual modeling, information organization, cataloging and classification, archival description, metadata, knowledge organization systems, indexing and abstracting, semantic analysis, ontologies and semantic technologies, Linked Data, and user research in knowledge organization. Students are introduced to relevant cognitive, representation, and categorization theories.

Core Faculty:

Karen Gracy (Information)

Christine Hudak (Information)

Emad Khazraee (Information)

Athena Salaba (Information)

Paul Sommer (Communication Studies, Stark)

Marcia Zeng (Information)

Applicants must indicate which of these specializations are of interest to them in their statement of purpose. Learn more about admissions.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is research-oriented. The goal of the Ph.D. program in Communication and Information is to develop a doctoral scholar's ability to generate knowledge by conducting and publishing research in their area of expertise.

View the CCI Ph.D. Handbook online or download a PDF copy.
2014-2015 CCI Ph.D. Handbook

For more information, please contact Danielle Sarver Coombs, Ph.D., Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research
Kent State University
314 Library, P.O. Box 5190, Kent, OH 44242-0001
P: 330-672-8876
F: 330-672-2952
E: dcoombs@kent.edu