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Kushin, Yamamoto receive Stubblefield Institute grant to study incivility and social media

ISSUED: 5 March 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communication has awarded Dr. Matthew Kushin, Shepherd associate professor of communication, and Dr. Masahiro Yamamoto, University at Albany associate professor of communication, a grant for research they are conducting that will explore incivility and social media.

“We’re thrilled to have this generous support from the Stubblefield Institute to conduct this research,” Kushin said. “The institute is passionate about addressing issues of incivility in America today and their support of this research clearly demonstrates that.”

The research will look at the steps the public could take to reduce tendencies to engage in uncivil political discussion on social media platforms and will explore possible ways individuals can self-regulate how civil they are when engaging in political discussions. Kushin and Yamamoto will use the grant to fund data collection in online settings. They hope to present their findings at scholarly conferences and in academic journals.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Stubblefield Institute for this grant,” Yamamoto said. “Incivility is a persistent and prevalent problem in political discourse, and we hope to develop a way to address this issue through our research.”

Kushin is an award-winning educator and scholar and coordinator of the strategic communication concentration in Shepherd’s Department of Communication. His research focuses on social media, politics, and civic life. Yamamoto is director of graduate studies communication at the University of Albany and his research interests include political communication, digital media, media effects, and civic and political engagement.

About the Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications at Shepherd University

The Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications officially opened its doors on July 1, 2019, with offices in the Frank Center on the campus of Shepherd University. Drs. Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield funded the Institute through the Shepherd University Foundation. Its mission is to offer students and the public an advanced platform for the study of political discourse by addressing the role communications plays in our divided national culture and contribute to a more positive dialogue and exchange of political differences.

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