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Sri Kalyanaraman to join MSU as Senior Associate Director of Research in August

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) Journalism Professor and Director of the Media Effects and Technology Lab (METL)  Sri Kalyanaraman will be leaving the College to become senior associate director of research at the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Communication Arts and Sciences. His last day at UFCJC will be Aug. 15.

Kalyanaraman’s role at MSU will be to mentor and support faculty, enhance the research infrastructure, foster interdisciplinary research initiatives and grow the portfolio of extramural funding.

Kalyanaraman joined UFCJC in 2014 as part of the University’s preeminent scholar program, an initiative to elevate the national stature of Florida’s public universities by hiring top scholars across the country. His primary research focused on the psychology of new technologies, particularly as they inform persuasion and attitude change in online environments. His research explored the use of immersive media platforms and technologies to create, test and disseminate stories and messages designed to induce empathy and improve the human spirit and condition, with a particular emphasis on climate science, health and well-being and diversity issues.

In 2017, Kalyanaraman launched the Media Effects and Technology Lab, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to investigating human-technology interactions across multiple platforms, with a focus on virtual reality (VR) and other immersive technologies. Since the launch of the lab, Kalyanaraman and his students have created various simulations that span the gamut from climate change/science to healthy eating to pain management. Data collected on several of the studies led to presentations and publications at prestigious venues, for grants and a growing list of partners around the world. He has supervised numerous undergraduate students in his lab as part of the University Scholars Program.

He also co-founded UF’s Virtual Reality for Social Good program with Wertheim College of Engineering Professor Ben Lok. He developed and co-taught a course on applying immersive storytelling using VR for solving social and societal issues.

At UFCJC, Kalyanaraman taught graduate and undergraduate classes in new media and communication technology, media psychology and research methodology. He was also a founding member of UF’s Online Learning Institute.

Prior to joining the College, he was a faculty member and director of the Media Effects Laboratory at the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) Hussman School of Journalism and Media, was affiliated with the school’s Interaction Design Lab, and was a founding member of UNC’s Interdisciplinary Health Communication certificate program.

Kalyanaraman was a former head of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s Communication Technology Division and served on multiple editorial boards, including the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Asian Journal of Communication, and Journalism and Mass Communication Educator. From 2011-2014, he was a co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Media Psychology.

In addition to numerous national and international awards, Kalyanaraman was the recipient of the 2011 AEJMC prestigious Hillier-Krieghbaum Mid-Career Award, which honors members who have shown outstanding achievement and effort in teaching, research and public service. He has received a certificate in intercultural mentoring from UF and was awarded the William R. Jones Outstanding Doctoral Mentor Award for 2017 by the Florida Education Foundation.


Posted: July 1, 2024
Category: AI at CJC News, College News
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