About the College

Centers, Institutes and Labs


Brechner Center for the Advancement of the First Amendment

The Brechner Center for the Advancement of the First Amendment incorporates the Brechner Freedom of Information Project  and the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project.

The Brechner Freedom of Information Project, led by Director David Cuillier, exists to advance understanding, appreciation and support for freedom of information in the state of Florida, the nation and the world. Through education and promotion of freedom of information laws and policies, the Project seeks to foster open government and a participatory democracy.

The Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project, led by Brechner Eminent Scholar Jane Bambauer, is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to current and contemporary issues affecting the First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, thought, assembly and petition.

Center for Public Interest Communications

Director:  Ann Christiano, Public Relations clinical professor

The Center for Public Interest Communications, the first of its kind in the nation, is designed to study, test and apply the science of strategic communication for social change. The Center assists organizations, wanting to create change, discover how behavioral, cognitive and social science can show them how people think, make decisions and behave. Through use of science, systems thinking and human-centered design, the Center helps organizations create and implement powerful communication strategies.

In support of science-based communication, the Center provides training to government agencies, universities, foundations, public interest communications agencies and nonprofits. The Center develops workshops to share research with social change leaders and scientists to help them develop better communication strategies, and it houses frank: an annual conference dedicated to public interest communications.

STEM Translational Communication Center

Interim Director: Dr. Benjamin Johnson, Advertising associate professor

The STEM Translational Communication Center helps to make findings from basic science useful for practical application to enhance human wellbeing in science areas. Properly translated and communicated to various audiences, complex science can inform decisions about any number of areas, including the environment, technology, engineering, health, and policy.

The Center aims to make the public and communication and science/health investigators partners in research. Communication is vital to the STEM disciplines for translation and dissemination of consequential science and health knowledge to individuals and stakeholder groups. Communications research about these areas is necessary to generate understanding of how people come to know science and health and its associated benefits and risks and how people make informed decisions about science and technology areas that affect their health, security, and the environment.


METL – Media, Effects and Technology Lab

Director: Dr. Sri Kalyanaraman, Journalism Professor

The Media Effects and Technology Lab (METL) is  dedicated to investigating human-technology interactions across multiple platforms. The METL serves as a collaborative space for interdisciplinary teams of faculty, students, and industry professionals to design, disseminate, and evaluate the effects media content, while also producing socially impactful insights.

Projects and Institutes

Consortium on Trust in Media and Technology

Managing Director:  Janet Coats

The Consortium is built to look across all communication fields, with an emphasis on better understanding how technology influences the way we interact with information. The program fosters a diverse community of scholars and thought leaders to study ways to build trust and apply what it learns, drawing scholars and practitioners from across disciplines to bring their best thinking to the task.

The Institute for Public Relations™

President and CEO: Tina McCorkindale

The Institute for Public Relations™ is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1956 and dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations™. It  exists to expand and document research-based knowledge in public relations, and to make this knowledge available and useful to practitioners, educators, researchers, and the clients they serve.

Everything the Institute publishes is available free on its www.instituteforpr.org.