Communication Connection

Friends of COM Newsletter

Faculty Profiles

Our Faculty: Research, Research, Research!

Friday, February 21, 2014

By: Hannah Turner

In the UNCW Communication Studies Department, our professors continuously reinforce the fact that research is a major component of our success as students and professionals. Our faculty members exemplify that while research holds a great deal of value as a college student, it continues to add to our success after graduation. Several of our faculty members are currently engaged in research outside of their teaching quarters: Dr. Matt Lapierre, Dr. Jeanne Persuit and Dr. Steve Pullum.

Dr. Lapierre focuses his research mainly on the media’s role in the health and well-being of children in their homes. His dissertation is centered on children’s understanding of advertisements. After years of learning and experiencing Dr. Lapierre found that he felt a special draw to researching the effect that media has on health, and more specifically, children’s health. He is currently working on several different projects that share a goal of discovering how media affects children.

“It occurred to me that people don’t know this and they should. The goal is to always get published.” he said about why he is so dedicated to his research. He aims to discover and spread his findings so that it may benefit others.

Dr. Persuit is equally as enthused about researching her favorite subjects: integrated marketing communication, social media, rhetoric and praxis. If you have ever taken a class with Dr. Persuit, you will immediately find that she loves teaching her students about these topics. Her most recent project is the development of a presentation she completed this past summer on social media and epideictic rhetoric into an article. She is also working on a proposal for an edited book from the two most recent IMC conferences that she attended.

“They're the ideas I've always been interested in - social media, integrated marketing communication, rhetoric, praxis - I love learning about and thinking about those ideas,” Dr. Persuit answered when asked about the reasoning behind her decision to research these specific topics.

 Dr. Steve Pullum is in the process of writing a book that is scheduled to be published next year. The book is tentatively called, “Faith Healing and the Word: What the Bible Really Has to Say.” This is his second book about faith healing. He is very dedicated to this subject of interest, as he has been researching it for 25 years.

“I first became interested in this topic when, as a boy, I would sit in front of the television and watch Oral Roberts, one of the most well-known faith healers of the twentieth century,” Dr. Pullum explained. Besides the fact that he has been researching this topic for 25 years, he has been interested in it for even longer.

One thing that these professors share is their dedicated interest in the topics they are researching. Each professor is eager to put in the maximum amount of time needed to complete their research process.  This process is generally very lengthy, and requires time as well as dedication. However, if you are loading your brain with knowledge about what you love – how can that be bad?

Spreading the knowledge is what our faculty members aim to do, and they do a great job of this every day in classes as well as in their research projects.