Experts in the Field of Social Media

Faculty at the College of Journalism and Mass Communication are nationally recognized experts on how to use social media platforms to improve reporting and reach a wide audience.


Ciera Kirkpatrick is an Assistant Professor of Advertising and Public Relations in the College of Journalism and Mass Communication. She researches 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.

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.


(Bryan) Ming Wang teaches courses in public relations, social media and campaign strategy development. Prior to his graduate studies in the United States, Wang worked in journalism and strategic communication in China. His research interests include the effects of social and mobile media on citizen engagement in the political, social and commercial realms.


Jemalyn Griffin is an integrated marketing communications industry expert and Advertising and Public Relations Assistant Professor of Practice for the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Griffin teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses in social media theory and practice, digital communications, strategy development, strategic writing and digital branding. She currently serves as the Director of Jacht Advertising Agency.

Griffin’s work in public relations for a few of the largest non-profit organizations in San Diego and New York City, including Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and New-York Historical Society, gives her dynamic perspective on social media, brand management, marketing production services, and digital storytelling.

Griffin graduated with her B.A. in Public Relations from San Diego State University and her M.A. in Integrated Media Communications from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.