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Ellie Catherine Hudd is a second-year M.A. student in communication at University of Kentucky. Her early work in risk communication focused on the effects of media coverage of mass casualty events on viewers with an eye toward developing a set of best practices for approaching this coverage. She has also worked with Dr. Jeannette Sutton on two projects: one concerning the use of weather warning images by the National Weather Service on Twitter and the other concerning the use of language in wireless emergency alerts by multiple big city emergency management organizations. Her Master's thesis is a content analysis of media coverage of mass shootings to determine whether this coverage follows best practices on both the use of graphic images and the extent to which media outlets depict the shooter. She will continue her studies in the doctoral program at UK, where she will be focusing on the role of communication in counterterrorism through coursework in both the College of Communication and Information and UK's Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. She also has an interest in theoretical synthesis within the social sciences.

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Xianlin Jin is a PhD candidate at the College of Communication at the University of Kentucky. She is also an Integrated Research on Disaster and Risk Young Scientist programme fellow and a health communication research fellow. Xianlin earned the graduate certificate in risk sciences at the Risk and Disaster Communication Center. Xianlin's research primarily focuses on health communication, risk, and crisis communication. She has developed research to explore health issues emerged in risk, communication patterns of various risk stages with qualitative, big data, and qualitative methods, as well as the communication between social robotics and human beings during the risks information seeking process.

Student Profile

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Karlie Lujan is from Chula Vista, CA and moved to Lexington, KY in 2016 when she began college. Karlie attended the University of Kentucky where she double majored in Psychology and Communication. Karlie is a recent UK graduate due to her graduating early in 2019. During her time at UK, Karlie developed an interest in risk and crisis communication. With her drive and passion to pursue a career in this field, this ultimately led to her becoming the Access and Functional Needs Coordinator where she will work out of the Division of Emergency Management office here in Lexington. With this position, she will have the opportunity to conduct research for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Lexington and the 10 surrounding counties. Karlie credits much of where she is now to Dr. Sutton, Dr. Lane, and Dr. Real from the University of Kentucky. Without their advice, help, and truly over the top passion to watch their students succeed, this would not be possible.

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Michele "Micki" Olson currently supports social science research for NOAA Office of Weather and Air Quality. Here, she works to integrate social science research into the weather enterprise and find ways to translate social science findings into meteorological operations. In addition, Olson is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Kentucky. Her research focuses on weather communication, disaster communication, and risk communication on social media. Her research has resulted in over 50 conference presentations at regional, national, and international conferences. Previously, Olson served as a research assistant and fellow at the Risk and Disaster Communication Center at the University of Kentucky, with experience conducting social science research related to health, disasters, and meteorology. Specifically, Olson assisted on grants investigating the use of Twitter for disaster communication and social media engagement strategies used by the National Weather Service. Here, her responsibilities included grant writing, the conceptualization, design, analysis, presentation, and publication of various research projects, as well as project management, supervision, and coordination with collaborators across universities.

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Robert Prestley is an Associate Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Robert’s research focus is Twitter communication during weather disasters. At NCAR, Robert works on interdisciplinary projects seeking to understand how weather communicators like the National Weather Service and television meteorologists use images to present hurricane risk information visually on Twitter. In 2019, Robert graduated with a Master’s degree in Communication and the Risk Sciences Certificate from the University of Kentucky. While there, Robert worked with Dr. Sutton and other colleagues in the Risk and Disaster Communication Center, assisting on projects studying the National Weather Service’s engagement strategies and how these strategies impact message passing on Twitter. Robert also completed his Master’s thesis, which focuses on the language choices broadcast meteorologists made during live broadcasts of Hurricane Harvey. Robert previously received his Bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Penn State in 2017.

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Will Silberman is a PhD student originally from Los Angeles, CA. Will received his B.A. from the University of La Verne in Speech Communications in 2014. He received his his M.A. from San Diego State University in Communication in 2017, where he worked with Drs. Brian Spitzberg, Rachael A. Record, and Lourdes S. Martinez on various mixed-method research projects on anonymous social media (Reddit, Yik Yak) use, strategic persuasive communication strategies, threat assessment, and stalking analyses. His current research interests include persuasive communication, health communication, risk perception, media abuse, and privacy violations. Will is currently conducting research with Dr. Anthony Limperos on privacy violations on social media and surveillance in new media settings (e.g., livestreaming video games).

Student Profile

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Madison Wallace is a first year master’s student at the University of Kentucky and a teaching assistant for the Department of Integrated Strategic Communication. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication from Morehead State University. Her interest in the field of risk and crisis communication was sparked during her time as an undergraduate research fellow. Working alongside Dr. Morgan Getchell, a University of Kentucky alumna, she served as a focus group moderator and simulation supervisor on a study that investigated information seeking behaviors following a livestock disease outbreak. Madison currently serves as a graduate research assistant working under Dr. Jeannette Sutton and Dr. Laura Fischer. In this role, Madison assisted with stimuli design, data collection, and analysis for a NOAA-funded research project that investigates visual risk information processing after viewing a tornado warning message.

Student Profile

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Chelsea Woods is a recent graduate of the University of Kentucky PhD program and now is an assistant professor at Virginia Tech.

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