College Directory

Nathan Carpenter

Director - Social Media Listening Lab

Office: G033 Weimer Email: Connect:


As the inaugural director, Carpenter will be responsible for leading the lab’s operations, insights/analysis, and engagement with key stakeholders. He will be facilitating research, instruction and immersion opportunities, external partnerships around social media listening and engagement, and grant funding. He also will provide thought leadership around social media listening data collection and strategy to academic and professional communities.

Previously, Carpenter was director of Convergent Media for the School of Communication at Illinois State University, where he created and directs the University’s Social Media Analytics Command Center. He currently coordinates a team of student analysts who analyze trends and conduct research using data from social media platforms.

Carpenter redesigned and teaches a course on emerging communication technologies that includes social media analytics as a major course objective, and regularly guest lectures on social media analytics and listening techniques for public relations, mass media, journalism, and general communication studies courses. He also manages a social media analytics internship and independent studies program which contracts student-driven social media listening and strategy projects for organizations such as the Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois State University Athletics, the United Way of McLean County, OmniSeq Immuno-Oncology, and Univision Chicago.

Prior to joining Illinois State in 2013, he was a graduate teaching instructor at Michigan Technological University, where he earned a Ph.D. in 2017 and a Master of Science in Rhetoric and Technical Communication in 2007.

Since beginning his university-level teaching career, Carpenter has taught more than 50 courses in topics such as multimodal composition, popular culture, media studies, leadership studies, speech communication, technology studies, and social media strategy. Recent studies involving his analytics work have appeared in journals including Cultural Studies, Equality Diversity & Inclusion, Self & Identity, and the e-Journal of Public Affairs, and he regularly presents papers and workshops at the National Communication Association, Central States Communication Association, and Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement conferences.

Outside the classroom, he remains highly involved in campus activities including planning for Adobe Creative Jam sessions, providing technical direction for the Extending Empathy Project, facilitating analytics workshops for students and faculty, and leading the University’s Social Media Analysis and Response Team during crisis events. In 2019, 2021, and 2022, he traveled to the Republic of Georgia to deliver social media analytics workshops and media literacy consultations for universities as part of the Media Education Program sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi.

Areas of Expertise

Social Media


M.S. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Michigan Technological University 2007
Ph.D., Michigan Technological University, 2017