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.”

POSTED: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 04:32 PM
UPDATED: Thursday, December 08, 2022 12:43 PM
Dylan Bolino

After decades as a pastor, David Zachrich had a sudden and dramatic reevaluation of his life. A life-threatening heart attack 15 years ago forced him to step back and reconsider his path. Zachrich’s cardiologist challenged him to find something to do that he enjoyed. Zachrich immediately thought of teaching, something he very much wanted to do as a second career, and now he's won an award for it.

Through actively pursuing opportunities to make connections and market herself, Kent State alumna Grace Petitijean, ’21, has found a fulfilling communication-based career she is passionate about. As a Copywriter for FCB Health New York, part of the IPG Health Network, Grace takes high-science medical content and crafts messages that tailor the information to be understood by the general public, ensuring everyone has equal access to health information.

Kent State student Katie Criswell, ’24, is actively engaged in telling the daily stories from Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools classrooms through her communication-focused internship. During the Fall 2023 semester, the Communication Studies major and Honors College student has been to each of the district’s 10 schools, capturing what’s going on and what’s exciting in classrooms. Putting skills she’s learned in her own classes to work, Criswell then takes the content she’s captured and transforms it into social media posts and stories for the district’s Community Connection magazine.