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First journalism and communications preeminence position goes to psychology of new technologies expert

Sriram “Sri” Kalyanaraman

An expert on the psychology of technology will join the team being assembled to make the University of Florida a leader in online teaching and learning, College of Journalism and Communications Dean Diane McFarlin announced today.

Sriram “Sri” Kalyanaraman is the college’s first hire in one of the 26 research areas where UF is bringing on new faculty to increase or reinforce its national preeminence. He will join the College as Professor of Journalism.

The Online Learning Institute, which will explore how personalized learning systems use technology to respond to an individual’s learning style and mental state to provide adaptive learning assistance, is being developed by a consortium led by the College of Education. In addition to the College of Journalism and Communications, the Institute also includes the Colleges of Engineering and Fine Arts, and Digital Worlds Institute.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that Sri is joining our faculty. Based on his research record and national reputation, he is sure to inspire discovery at our College and UF,” said McFarlin. “He prides himself on being highly collaborative, which will make him a strong contributor to the Online Learning Institute team.”

Hires under UF Rising, the university’s push to become a top-10 public research university, are funded by state money earmarked for elevating the university’s national research preeminence and matched with existing university funds. Kalyanaraman is among the first of what are expected to be as many as 130 hires.

Kalyanaraman comes to the College from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he directs the Media Effects Laboratory and is affiliated with the Interaction Design Lab. He is also is a member of UNC’s Interdisciplinary Health Communication (IHC) certificate program.

Kalyanaraman’s primary research focuses on the psychology of new technologies, particularly as they inform persuasion and attitude change in online environments. He also studies information processing of persuasive health messages, and social and marketing effects of sexual and violent content.

His research has been funded by both government (e.g., National Institutes of Health) and industry (e.g., Janssen Pharmaceutica). He has been published in journals such as Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Media Psychology, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journal of Advertising, Health Psychology, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Health Communication, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Journal of Consumer Behavior, among others, with a book on personalization technologies scheduled to be published in 2014.

Kalyanaraman’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Mysore University in India and an interdisciplinary doctorate in mass communication, with a focus on technology, marketing, psychology and statistics, from Penn State University.

Kalyanaraman has taught graduate and undergraduate classes in new media and communication technology, media psychology, and research methodology at UNC. He is currently co-editor of the journal, Media Psychology, besides serving on several other editorial advisory boards.

Posted: May 13, 2014
Category: College News
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