The College of Journalism and Mass Communications welcomes six new faculty to the team this fall. Joining us are Assistant Professors of Advertising and Public Relations, Kelli Boling and Ciera Kirkpatrick, Visiting Professor of Photojournalism, Shoun Hill, Assistant Professors of Sports Media and Communication, Brian Petrotta and Jason Stamm and Assistant Professor of Practice in Advertising and Public Relations, Brian Hubbard.
After 12 years as a marketing and advertising executive in North and South Carolina, Boling received her Ph.D. at the University of South Carolina in Mass Communication.
Her research focuses on the audience reception of media, specifically media depiction and reception by traditionally marginalized audiences based on race and gender. She has had studies published in the Journal of Radio and Audio Media, Feminist Media Studies, and Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media. Her research on women in podcast audiences has also been cited by traditional media outlets such as TIME magazine.
Boling earned a Bachelor of Science in Business and Marketing from Winthrop University and a Master’s in integrated marketing communication from the University of South Carolina. While working on her Ph.D. she also earned a certificate in Women and Gender Studies.
In addition to her love of research and teaching, she can often be found with her dogs, reading something completely untethered to reality, playing her ukulele, learning a foreign language, or repainting whatever room in the house she’s tired of seeing. She’s also an avid Disney fan, and hosts a weekly Disney podcast and YouTube channel with her husband (who loves Disney even more than she does)!
This fall Ciera Kirkpatrick will teach undergraduate and graduate courses, including Strategic Writing and Advertising Issues & Strategies. She enjoys helping students become stronger writers and loves the challenge of convincing students that research can be fun!
Kirkpatrick’s own research is focused on how messaging in the media (e.g., advertising, news, social media content) affects individuals’ mental and physical health and how strategic communicators can effectively design messages to improve individuals’ health outcomes through the promotion of healthy behaviors and the prevention of unhealthy behaviors. She uses a social scientific experimental approach that involves both online and laboratory experiments. With her experimental designs, Kirkpatrick investigates how message features (e.g., the content and structure of the message) interact with characteristics of the audience (e.g., their prior attitudes and risk perception) to influence the cognitive and emotional processing of messages and, in turn, outcomes like message perception, attitudes, and behavior change.
Most recently, Kirkpatrick’s research has examined topics such as how communication can be designed to increase enrollment of minority populations in clinical trials and how idealized portrayals of motherhood on Instagram influence the mental health and well-being of new mothers.
Kirkpatrick has worked on research funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has presented her research at national and international conferences such as the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference, the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC) and the International Communication Association (ICA) conference. Her research is published in Health Communication, Communication Reports, and Review of General Psychology.
Prior to coming to Nebraska, Kirkpatrick taught as a Teaching Fellow at the Missouri School of Journalism and as a graduate student at Wichita State University’s Elliott School of Communication, where she had the opportunity to develop and teach an integrated marketing course for the Communication Upward Bound (CUB) program, a program to help first-generation students with limited income prepare for college.
Kirkpatrick has professional experience in digital marketing, having worked as a copywriter and social media consultant at Ascential Marketing in Wichita, KS.
Kirkpatrick graduated from Wichita State University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in communication, with an emphasis on integrated marketing. She earned a Ph.D. in journalism, with an emphasis on strategic communication, from the University of Missouri.
I’ve been a photographer for more than 15 years, having worked at newspapers in Louisville, K.Y., Minneapolis, Jackson, Tenn., Memphis and Orlando before landing at The Associated Press in New York. I have worked on numerous long-term projects during that time.
Before starting my newspaper career, I enlisted in the Army. My intention was to get experience and clips in order to find a general reporting job at a newspaper. But Army journalism required not only writing stories, but shooting photographs as well. As much as I liked writing, I realized I enjoyed the freedom and creativity of photography even more.
While in the Army, I won awards for both my writing and photographs. Upon my discharge, I realized I had to choose between the two. Writing came easier to me, but I loved the challenge of photography. As a writer, your work can be edited, which can take your essence out. With a photograph, it can be cropped, but the essence of the photo is still there.
One of my first projects was created in Memphis, were I spent three months documenting the rivalries among schools and top basketball players. It ran as a Sunday A1 centerpiece with a double-truck inside.
In Orlando, two projects stand out. The first was started in 2001, a year before the 30th anniversary of Title IX, the federal law that has helped open more academic and sports opportunities for women and girls. I also photographed a girl on a boys baseball team, females on a high school wrestling team and a girls basketball team that beat a boys team.
The second project involved Iraq War veterans who lost limbs and were learning to use their artificial ones at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
I’ve covered the 2001 presidential election in Florida, Harold Ford, Jr. of Tennessee in his first year in Congress, the Super Bowl, NBA playoffs and NCAA basketball games.
As a way to expand my creative fires, I have shot and edited a documentary film about the plight of African-American farmers that won the Peoples Choice Award at the Denton Black Film Festival, as well as being Award Winner’s in Docs Without Borders Film Festival and The Impact DOCS Awards.
I’m currently a photo editor on the national photo desk in New York City. I’ve edited national and international news photos for AP. I’ve also shot and edited photos for the travel, fashion and food sections of the AP Lifestyles department.
Brian Petrotta is a 15-year sports PR and broadcasting veteran with considerable teaching experience and is an emerging scholar with a clear focus on an important social and media issue, legalized sports betting. Petrotta received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
A rich practical background paired with strong academic training enables Petrotta to teach diverse subjects: sports media, advertising/public relations, broadcast journalism, and media law. Petrotta taught Sports Information Systems (a sports public relations class) for two years at Oklahoma State University. As a graduate teaching assistant at Oklahoma, Petrotta taught Public Relations Research, assisted and lectured in broadcast news reporting, mentored contributors to the student-run nightly television news broadcast, assisted with Dr. Meta Carstarphen’s Race, Gender, Class and the Media online-only course, and assisted Dr. Robert Kerr with his Media Law course.
Petrotta earned the top student paper award from the 2019 AEJMC Sports Communication Interest Group and a top ten presentation award from the 2019 International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC). His first publication as a lead author, titled “A shaky bet: Legalized sports gambling in the U.S.,” will be published in the Journal of Sports Media (a University of Nebraska Press publication) late in 2021. Petrotta co-authored a historical advertising research article with Dr. Fred Beard titled “Advertising and marketing archives at the Harvard Library: Discovery and opportunity” for the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing. He has also presented eight conference papers over the past three years. His research interests include the nexus of legalized sports betting and the media, public relations in sport, esports on college campuses, historical research, and the rich relationship between sport, society, and policy.
Petrotta currently serves as Chair of the Awards Committee for the Communication and Sport Division of the National Communication Association (NCA). Previously, Petrotta served as Graduate Student Liaison for the AEJMC Sports Communication Interest Group. He also spent three years as a representative on the University of Oklahoma Libraries Student Advisory Council.
Petrotta spent 15 years working in sports media as a play-by-play broadcaster and Sports Information Director. He began his career performing play-by-play for minor league baseball teams in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Ogden, Utah, Battle Creek, Michigan, and Vero Beach, Florida. While in Vero Beach, he assisted with public relations efforts for the Los Angeles Dodgers during Spring Training. In 2006 he broadcast several Dodgers games as lead play-by-play broadcaster on the Los Angeles Dodgers Radio Network. Following the 2006 baseball season, Petrotta became the Sports Information Director at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, where he oversaw publicity efforts for future MLB Cy Young winner Corey Kluber’s All-America campaign. Petrotta later transitioned to Wichita State University, where he served as an assistant SID and play-by-play broadcaster for women’s basketball. He also called select volleyball matches and baseball games (TV) while serving as a fill-in television studio host for the weekly Shocker Sports Report.
Jason recently wrapped up his Ph.D. at The University of Tennessee-Knoxville in Communication and Information. His dissertation employed the uses and gratifications approach to explore audience needs and how they perceive credibility in terms of how they value college sports recruiting websites. Jason completed his M.S. from Radford University in Corporate and Professional Communication, and his B.A. in News/Editorial Journalism from Western Kentucky University.
Much of Jason's research examines sports journalism practice, sports media audiences, and college sports recruiting websites. He recently had articles published in Communication and Sport and the International Journal of Sport Communication.
Prior to re-entering academia, Jason was a publisher and journalist covering Virginia Tech athletics for Rivals.com and Scout.com, sports editor of a weekly newspaper, The Oldham Era, just outside of Louisville, Kentucky, the editor of The Sporting Times, a monthly prep sports magazine in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and launched the Rivals.com site covering Western Kentucky University athletics, InsideHilltopperSports.com. Jason also has on-air experience in television, radio, and podcasting.
A Kentucky native, Jason loves just about any sport and played baseball in high school. He loves to play softball, go to the Zoo with his two young children, and watch The Blacklist with his wife of eight years, Jenny.
Brian Hubbard began his career at Y&R in New York as an account executive and then worked as a copywriter in major agencies in Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle until 1990, when he moved to Mexico to run the Latin American Procter & Gamble business at Leo Burnett.
Hubbard became vice president of J. Walter Thompson Mexico in 1992, responsible for the Unilever business in twelve Latin countries and in 1995, was named president of Wunderman Mexico, where he grew the company from eight people and one client to over 80 people and 12 clients in just three years, turning it into the largest marketing communications agency in the country.
In 1998, Hubbard founded ATTO Mexico and it quickly became one of the most awarded and recognized integrated marketing agencies in Latin America, winning major clients including American Express, Ford, Citibank, and Jose Cuervo. He moved to Asia in 2011 to open ATTO Singapore, where he has worked with clients ranging from the government of Brunei’s tourism account to the digital insurance startup Singapore Life. The agency’s client portfolio spans the region from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to Japan, Hong Kong and Korea.
Hubbard has judged major creative award shows in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, London and Singapore, including the Circulo Creativo, Latin America Effie Awards, London International Advertising Awards and SPIKES Asia. He has also led strategy workshops and integrated marketing communications discussion groups at leading advertising industry conferences and events. His areas of expertise include international advertising, integrated marketing and brand strategy.