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College of Information and Communications


Symposium to highlight CIC diversity research

Posted April 2, 2019
By Hannah Miller, communications intern


The College of Information and Communications will host its second annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Research Symposium on April 18 to highlight the latest diversity-related research from CIC faculty.

The symposium was created to build awareness of the diversity research being done by the CIC’s faculty and spotlight research collaborations between the college’s two schools. This year’s event will focus on social justice and youth education, civil rights history, gender and race in sports, race, class, and sexuality in media and team sports, personality biases in the workplace, and information access and social inclusion.

Andrew C. Billings, Ronald Reagan Chair of Broadcasting at the University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences, will keynote the event. Billings is the author of more than 170 journal articles/book chapters and 18 books, including “Media and the Coming Out of Gay Male Athletes in American Team Sports” (with Leigh Moscowitz, Peter Lang, 2018) and “Mascot Nation: The Controversy Over Native American Representations in Sports” (with Jason Black, U of Illinois Press, 2018).

The event will also feature a panel moderated by Dr. Laura Smith, Hearst Lecturer of Journalism at the SJMC. Smith’s research focuses on journalism and electronic media in the 21st century with an emphasis on multi-platform practices, diversity and localism in television news, and convergence/media ownership consolidation. Panelists include:

  • Dr. Karen Gavigan, a professor in SLIS whose research interests include the use of graphic novels in schools and the ways in which school library resources contribute to student learning. A highlight of her research is a collaboration on the project, Social Justice in Young Adult Graphic Novels: A Global Perspective, with Dr. Kasey Garrison at Charles Sturt University in Australia.
  • Patrice Green, a graduate student in SLIS whose research focus is museum studies and archives/preservation management. She currently serves as a graduate assistant for the Center for Civil Rights History and Research and is a Kaleidoscope Diversity Scholar for the Association of Research Libraries.
  • Dr. Kevin Hull, an assistant professor in the SJMC. His research focuses on sports journalism and the sports media, including coverage of gender and race in a variety of sports media outlets such as national sports magazines, social media and local television sportscasts.
  • Dr. Leigh Moscowitz, an associate professor in the SJMC. Her research examines inequities surrounding race, class, gender and sexuality in media representations. Among her many publications are her recent book “Media and the Coming Out of Gay Male Athletes in American Team Sports” with keynote speaker Andrew C. Billings and Peter Lang.
  • Rose Needle, a senior marketing student in the Darla Moore School of Business who has worked with SJMC Associate Professor Karen Mallia. Rose’s research focus is an awareness of personality biases and diversity of personality in creative workplaces. She recently presented at the American Academy of Advertising national conference.
  • Dr. Kim Thompson, an associate professor in SLIS. Her research has a principal focus on the relationship between information access and social inclusion. Her most recent work includes analysis of inclusive/exclusive language in library job ads; women’s adoption, use, and enjoyment of emerging digital technologies; and exploration of refugee information practices when adapting to their culture. 

Last year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Nicole Cooke from the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will return as a special guest to introduce Billings. Watch last year's keynote address»

“The CIC DEI research symposium is a collaboration between the SJMC and SLIS that promotes faculty and student research based on how we define diversity and inclusion issues in the college as represented by the panelists,” says Dr. Shirley Staples Carter, the CIC’s dean of diversity, equity and inclusion. “The symposium also invites the perspective of national scholars such as our keynote speaker Dr. Andrew Billings, who examines diversity and inclusion at the intersection of sports, social media and issues of identity.” 

The symposium is from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, room 318. It is open to the public. Lunch will be provided, but registration is required as space is limited.

Register here»