Professional Development Series teaches students about faculty research

Staff photo: Kyle Lease

This semester the Communications Department has decided to kick off a new series where professors get an opportunity to discuss and share the research they do when they are not teaching classes.

On Sept. 18, Professor Imran Mazid showcased his research on how networked publics leverage social media to exercise power and promote social change.

Mazid said he researched the connection between user empowerment and posting behavior through the #Burkini discussion on Twitter.

In his presentation, students learned that through the content analysis of 760 Twitter posts, most users use Twitter for personal commenting and criticism.

Ultimately, said Mazid, social media is a good place to mine for public opinion and identifying key players in policy discussions.

He said it is easier than ever today to start a movement, and one does not even have to make a sign and stand outside anywhere.

“You can start your movement in your robe on your couch,” said Mazid.

Mazid’s research suggests that policymakers and communication professionals can tap into the communicative potentials of empowered users to build a sustainable relationship and develop online communities, he said.

The next addition to this series is expected to be held around Oct. 27 with an alumni guest from KOAT coming to speak about his experiences at ENMU and in the field.

“The idea behind this series is to give you an indication of what professors are doing outside of the classroom. We hope to have professionals and alumni visiting, and we hope to carry this series into the spring,” said Department Chair Patricia Dobson. “If you have the time to check out any installations of this series, I would highly recommend it. Our professors at ENMU are working hard, and it is refreshing to see them talking about the research that they are passionate about.”

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