Michael Beam Joins School of Communication Studies Faculty

The School of Communication Studies welcomes Michael Beam, Ph.D., to its faculty as an assistant professor this fall.

Beam will teach Communication and Influence, Media Use and Effects and Communication Technology and Human Interaction at Kent State.

He received his bachelor’s degree from the School of Telecommunications at Ohio University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the School of Communication at The Ohio State University.

“The Kent State program fits well with what I study,” Beam said. “The people here seem really great, and I think I have something to contribute with my background and research in communication technology.”

Beam has received four top-paper awards from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has also been involved in non-profit organizations dealing with policy issues regarding technology and communication and community media training.

His research focuses on how algorithmic personalization technologies, such as those on Facebook and Google News, deliver customized messages, which may influence our attitudes and behaviors in both political and health contexts. His work has helped expose how people use new media to bypass traditional gatekeepers.

Most recently, Beam worked as an assistant professor with the Washington State University Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. He also spent 12 years working as a computer system administrator and network technologist.

Beam has produced a weekly radio show, The Beat Oracle, highlighting experimental and electronic music for the past 15 years. The show’s podcast can be found online at beatoracle.net or iTunes.

Beam provided the following advice for his students: “Be ready to engage in the material. I see teaching as a two-way street, and I want to take the students where they want to go.”