New Faculty: Lu Zheng
As Assistant Professor of Advertising Lu Zheng was finishing her doctorate degree at the University of Alabama last summer, she had a decision to make about where to begin her higher education career. A call from the College’s Associate Professor Lisa Duke Cornell, who had served on the search committee for the position, sealed Zheng’s decision to join UF’s Department of Advertising’s faculty and she started in August.
“Dr. Lisa Duke called me and invited me for a campus visit,” said Zheng. “I truly enjoyed my interview and visit. I met all the professors and discovered not only a faculty of very intelligent people, but also people who are very friendly and warm.”
Zheng has spent the past nine months teaching media planning to the College’s advertising students and continuing her research on narrative advertising and persuasion model building.
- Favorite getaway?
Lake Tahoe. The water of Tahoe is pristine, partly crystal blue and partly emerald green. The lake is surrounded by magnificent mountains. My husband and I did kayaking and hiking and also took a hot air balloon ride over the lake.
- Favorite food?
Seafood and spicy food in general.
- Favorite movies:
“Sissi,” “Le Fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain,” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”
- Beach or mountains?
Beach, I enjoy the unobstructed view of the blue horizon, the sea breeze, and the sound of waves.
- What publications do you read?
I read all the advertising and media psychology related publications, both hard copies and online version. I also enjoy reading fashion, food, and travel magazines and I read the Wall Street Journal and BBC online every day.
“I really enjoy teaching media planning,” she said. “I like helping the students learn to analyze research data and calculate media costs. About 80 percent of the advertising budget goes into media costs, so it’s very important for the students to be able to correctly analyze and understand the data.”
Zheng’s research into the use of narrative in advertising is also drawing national recognition. “Narrative advertising uses stories to persuade in lieu of arguments,” said Zheng. “I’m employing a relatively new persuasion model, Transportation-Imagery Model, to examine narrative advertising across modality.
“The transportation theory has been used primarily in the field of psychology, and not in advertising. However, past research has shown consistently that when you are mentally transported into the narrative world, you tend to exhibit positive attitudes towards the story characters and also display story-consonant beliefs. As such, this theory can help us construe how narrative-based advertising persuades people and this theory is starting to be recognized among advertising scholars.”
In fact, Zheng’s dissertation on this research was recognized by the American Academy of Advertising for one of its two 2010 Doctoral Dissertation Grants, the most prestigious award the Academy awards to doctoral students nationwide every year.
“As we continue to develop our teaching and research to meet the needs of global marketing communications, Lu Zheng brings a unique blend of teaching and research to our efforts,” said Advertising Department Chair John Sutherland. “She is in the process of evaluating the media planning content of our courses to identify strategies that will help us better prepare our students for meeting today’s media challenges. Lu is already a rising star in advertising research.”
For Zheng, the transition to UF has been positive. “I really enjoy my life here, really love our advertising department and College,” said Zheng. “Both Dr. Sutherland and Dean John Wright are really supportive. They try their best to help me in many aspects. The Dean also sent several of us to the Poynter Institute workshop on multimedia journalism. I feel that our College is very supportive of its junior faculty.”
- The Fab Four: Gator grads launch new all-sports format on WRUF-AM
- Gator grads head The Miami Herald newsroom
- John Spence: one of nation’s top 100 thought leaders
- Mike Neumeier: The Power of PR
- Melissa Lyttle named to association board
- Three College graduates honored at the Florida Heritage Awards
- 21st Century News Laboratory opens
- College plans digital communication laboratory
- Finding love at the CJC
Coming & going
- Christiano named to Karel Endowed Chair
- Wanta is new Journalism chair
- College welcomes three new faculty members
- New staff
- Harry Guscott retires after 39 years
- Advertising students receive national recognition
- Public Relations team wins international competition
- College restructures media properties
- College and UAA enter into partnership
- College broadcasts local high school game
- Jerry Davis
- Marion B. Brechner
- Mickie Newbill Edwardson