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SMART Dialogue Series fall presenters announced

Julia Brown | Sep 22, 2017

Elizabeth Tobin, a doctoral student in the School of Communication Studies, presents at a SMART Dialogue Series session in November 2016. Tobin’s research focused on computer-mediated communication, specifically how various communication modalities interact with interpersonal relationships. / Photo by Jorge Castillo Castro

SMART Dialogue Series fall presenters announced

By Julia Brown

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 22, 2017)—For the second year, the Social Media Analytics Research Team (SMART) Lab will hold its Dialogue Series. The series offers an interactive opportunity for Ohio University graduate students, faculty members and other scholars to present their work in social media, and receive feedback from audience members.

According to SMART Lab Director, Laeeq Khan, the lab “is an innovative space that aims to promote interdisciplinary research in the wider communication and analytics field.” The analytics-based research conducted in the Lab has been published in several peer-reviewed conferences.

“The idea [for the series] emerged after I saw that there was a need to build analytics research capacity and bring faculty and graduate students together to showcase their research and thereby inspire future research ideas,” explained Khan.

The series will take place on specific Wednesdays during the semester in the SMART Lab (Scripps Hall 212) from 1-2 p.m.

The first presentation of the semester was Sarah Beach, a first-year doctoral student in the School of Communication Studies. Beach discussed her research on the #brelfie — the breastfeeding selfie — on social media, examining “the online arena of activism and discourse as a medium for both empowerment and taboo.”

“I think this series is a great way for the center to get the word out about the significance of social media research,” Beach said. “I find this kind of thing fascinating and I’m excited to connect with others who have similar interests.”

The series also provides a unique opportunity for collaboration across departments and education levels, with undergraduate students working alongside graduate students and faculty to share their research.

“I’ve enjoyed watching this process of a diverse group of people all thinking about, talking about and trying to answer very interesting and important questions — issues that are not only significant in our field but often for society in general,” said Greg Newton, associate dean for graduate studies, research and creative activity.

“Students and faculty can immensely benefit by knowing what other researchers are doing,” Khan said. “This leads to the creation of collaborative research teams, which is important.”

On Sept. 27, Ika Karlina, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Media Arts & Studies, will be introducing her study, sponsored by the SMART Summer Research Excellence Award (SSREA), that utilizes social network analysis to capture two-way communications in Indonesian ministries daily conversations on Facebook. As the country is struggling to fight the spread of fake news, she found that Indonesia ministries’ conversations on social media are also suffering from fake accounts and spams that distract followers’ attentions on government information, and at the same time jeopardize the government’s reputation.

SMART Lab Dialogue Series Schedule:
September 13 – Sarah Beach, doctoral student, School of Communication Studies
September 27 – Ika Karlina, Ph.D. candidate, School of Media Arts & Studies
October 11 – Dr. Jeremy Saks
October 25 – Elizabeth Jenkins, doctoral student, School of Communication Studies
November 8 – Dr. Laeeq Khan, assistant professor, School of Media Arts & Studies
December 6 – TBA

If you have any questions about the SMART Lab Dialogue Series, please contact Laeeq Khan, director of the SMART Lab, at or Bowen Gao, SMART Lab assistant, at

Visit for more information about the SMART Lab.