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Doctoral Students and Graduate Assistant Directory

Doctoral Students

Megan Cox has lived in Edmond, Oklahoma, for the past eight years. Oklahoma is the seventh state she’s called home, but she’s proud to now be an “Okie.”

Megan earned her BA in Mass Communication from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (2002), and her MA in Mass Communication and Journalism from the University of Oklahoma (2007). She has worked in many media-related jobs, including several years in Washington DC as a public affairs specialist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. While there, she joined an international task force to report on best practices for communicating statistics to the media and the public. Locally, she has written articles for the Edmond Sun and the Daily Oklahoman. Megan is currently on staff teaching strategic and digital communication for the University of Central Oklahoma.

Megan has a passion for health communication, especially in regard to digital and social media strategy. Her research interests lie in exploring new digital and social media platforms, especially those gaining global popularity, in order to better reach and engage specific populations.

Megan has been married to her college sweetheart for 17 years, and they have two children. When Megan isn’t chauffeuring them to school, gymnastics, hockey, music lessons, and church, she enjoys training for long-distance races, traveling, and writing novels for children.

Ajia Meux is a proud Oakland, California native and social worker turned communications professional. Her area of focus is critical and cultural studies and she studies visual representations of race.

She holds an MA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Oklahoma, an MSW from Howard University, and a BS from California State University, Fresno.

She serves as Project Development Manager for the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies at OU, where she works to expand programs that focus on social justice and equity domestically and internationally.

Ajia is on the board of directors of The Women’s Resource Center in Norman, OK, where she works to increase the number of women of color in board development and giving. Her work has been featured in Dallas Morning News, Territory OKC, OU Daily, and Renovator Magazine.

For twenty-five years David Waterman served as a Public Affairs Officer in the United States Navy. Prior to joining the Navy, Waterman earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts (University of Idaho). During his Navy career, he received a Master of Arts in Communication (San Diego State University) and a Master of Science in National Security Strategy (National War College). Following his second deployment as senior communication advisor to the Afghanistan Minister of Interior, Captain Waterman

His career highlights include assignments as executive communication advisor to the Assistant Secretary General of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as well as the Deputy Commander, Allied Command Transformation, and the Afghanistan-minister of Interior and Minister of Defense Spokespersons.

Waterman’s accomplishments include introducing NATO to effects-based communication. He also developed and executed a comprehensive communication effort that paved the way for the first nuclear aircraft carrier to be forward deployed in Japan. In addition, he guest lectured on strategic communication at the NATO School in
Oberammergau, Germany.

As a Doctoral student, Waterman intends to research a concept called the Decision Environment, a new crisis communication variable. This concept seeks to explicate and categorize stakeholder’s ability to rationally process a single course of action while, immersed in long-term crisis or combat environment.

Aside from an enduring passion for exploring new boundaries in communication, Waterman is an avid cyclist, enjoys a good cigar, and motorcycling. He has lived abroad most of his life, including Belgium, England, Germany, Iran, Italy, and Japan.

Casey is from small town, Willis, Texas. She received her B.A. in mass communication from Stephen F. Austin State University in May 2015 before completing her M.A. in digital media at Sam Houston State University in December 2018. Her master’s thesis explored the differences in binge watching by yourself versus in a group using the uses and gratification approach. My research emphasis is in journalism with interests in new media, television, and streaming.

While at Sam Houston, Casey taught as a graduate student before becoming an adjunct professor after graduation. She has taught Audio Production, Writing for Mass Media, and Media Literacy in person as well as several sections of Media Literacy online.

Outside of academia, Casey is a huge baseball fan and enjoy watching Houston Astros baseball and traveling. Her dad and she are trying to see the Astros play in all 30 major league baseball parks. Eight down, 22 to go!

Ahmed Shatil Alam worked as a reporter for eight years at the daily New Age in Bangladesh and covered different beats, including health, education, politics, social justice and crime. He also worked as a stringer for the Washington Post, Al Jazeera and the Human Rights Watch.

Ahmed earned his master’s degree at the University of Mississippi’s Journalism and New Media school in 2020. He has continued his research works on journalism and misinformation. Public Relations and Health Communications are two other research areas he is immensely interested in. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree with majors in journalism, print media and public relations from the Department of Journalism of Stamford University Bangladesh. In 2017, he graduated with a Master’s degree in Governance and Development Studies from Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh.

Ahmed’s world is incomplete without his parents and his two siblings – a younger brother
and a sister. At his leisure time, he loves to watch documentaries, films and drama series. He is a massive soccer and cricket fan and also plays both sports himself. He loves to travel and is always ready with his backpack every time there is a vacation around the corner.

Strategic Communications Ph.D. student Nate Fisher is currently the Director of Communications at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, responsible for digital/social media content and strategy, media relations, publication management, campaign planning and digital/print advertising, among other duties.

Prior to that, he served as Senior Marketing Manager working on economic development and retail recruitment marketing for the Chamber, and was a Project Manager at CHS & Associates, a political/marketing research firm, among other marketing-related positions.

He received a B.B.A. in Marketing with an Advertising Concentration as well as a B.A. in Film & Video Studies from OU before returning to complete an M.A. in Strategic Communications at Gaylord in 2015. His research interests include digital/social media, media/creative management and organizational behavior, cultural differences and podcasting.

He lives in downtown Oklahoma City, enjoys local craft beer, traveling and probably runs too much for his own good.

Glenn Flansburg comes to us from right here at the University of Oklahoma, where he has been employed by the Human Resources Department for the past eight years.

Glenn first got his “ears” in the US Navy as a sonar man. After the Navy Glenn spent the following 25 years as a computer programmer, musician, and sound engineer, with three albums and a digital single published. In addition, Glenn owned and ran a recording studio and live audio production unit; he also toured across the United States with his band, Angelical Tears.

Glenn received an associate degree in Audio Engineering from Rose State College in Midwest City, OK, and a bachelor’s degree in Creative Media Production, as well as a master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, from the University of Oklahoma. He has taught the Audio Production and Advanced Audio Production classes at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication since 2019.

Glenn’s research interests include, but are not limited to, media effects, health communication, women and women’s issues in media, race and race issues in media, media ethics, pop culture and the media, and new technology and the media.

Glenn has three children, aged 6, 12, and 19. While not buried in his research, Glenn enjoys spending time playing video games with his kids, sailing on Lake Thunderbird, writing and recording new music, singing bad 80s karaoke, and shooting and editing small films with his brother.

Hyelim Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea. She received her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication at Yonsei University in 2010 and a master’s degree in Communication at Seoul National University in 2013.

She continued her studies as doctoral student at Seoul National University, completed course work, and was an ABD student. Her research field at SNU was Political Communication. She participated in various kinds of governmental projects related to the Korea voters’ behaviors and politicians’ ideological positions during her doctoral program at SNU. She also has tremendous interest in gender issues, so that she has worked for governmental projects about gender equality policy-making for about six years at Korea Women’s Development Institute.

About two years ago, she decided to expand her research interest to public relations to apply her methodological skills to in-depth studies on the “public.” Luckily she got a great chance to start her new journey to deeply understand PR research in Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Based on her diverse experiences, she expects to publish many research papers and join the prestigious international conferences during her OU program.
She has a super-happy family. They love outdoors, camping on the weekends. Also, she loves books, papers, and stationaries. Her dream is to open her stationery shop or second-hand bookstore someday. She also loves to meet new people and explore the world. She backpacked alone in many countries over five or six years. She has lived in Sweden and Berlin, Germany.

Xiao comes from a city in the south of China, a city as warm as Norman. She likes to get along with the world by writing down what she saw, heard, and thought.

She has worked as a reporting intern at a Chinese traffic radio and an online publication named Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, an editing intern at a Chinese new media company, and a storytelling intern at a documentary film crew in China.

She studied accounting in China as an undergraduate and came to Marquette University for the master's program of communication, digital media track, completing the program in spring 2020. Xiao is pursuing her Ph.D. in the direction of News and Information as a graduate assistant. Her research interests, for now, are related to media, race and gender, and media credibility.

When she is not doing her job, you may find her hiking in the woods, reading novels, or cooking authentic Chinese foods.

Salyer has a Master of Fine Arts in Film from the University of Central Arkansas and a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication/TV and Film from Southeast Missouri State University.

At Southeast, Salyer was involved in sports media, working live productions that streamed on the OVC Digital Network, while working on live cultural art productions and creating television broadcasts that aired on the 82nd DMA. Salyer has also worked in radio, with live sports broadcasts and as an on-air personality. She has worked on numerous films sets from Arkansas to Nebraska, and her own films have screened in various film festivals across the country.

She was an adjunct instructor for the University of Central Arkansas in 2019 and 2020. Her research interests are in Media Arts.

Salyer’s hobbies and personal interests include music from the 1950s and 1960s, old comedy films and sitcoms, and spending time outdoors.

Jinhee is from South Korea, where she worked as a human resource (selection and evaluation) expert for about five years after achieving her master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology. She developed tools that help select suitable candidates for the company and educate the interviewer; she also as managed several projects regarding human resource management and development.

Her research interests are the motivation and characteristics of utilizing social media and cognition and emotional advertising effects pertaining to social media. She is also interested in examining the interaction and relationship between influencers and users on social media regarding advertising effects.

She seems to be very shy and introverted at first, but once getting closer to her, you will see the opposite side of her. From the background of growing up in Asian culture, she sometimes looks very serious and does not smile often (misunderstood by many); however, deep inside she has a sense of humor, so please do not get her wrong!

Luis is a second year Ph.D. student and a part-time Marketing and Communications Specialist for the Energy Institute of the Americas at the University of Oklahoma. He is from Colombia, where he graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Advertising from the Fundación Universitaria San Martin in Colombia. He has a Specialization in Marketing from the EAFIT university in Colombia as well. Luis graduated in 2018 with an MA in Strategic Communication from Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma.

Luis is a Senior Marketing Director with over 10 years of experience in marketing & communications and advertising, working as a leader for a diverse variety of organizations and clients. He has expertise in advertising campaigns, marketing publications, digital marketing, data analysis, and brand consulting. I was part of the U.S. team working on the Global Capability Framework for Public Relations and Communications Management research project supported by the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management.

He is the founder of Branders Magazine, a digital publication focused on branding, strategy, innovation and design. Luis is the author of the concept "The 4i's of Branding" published in the book Welcome to the New Jungle by Alex Aldas.

His research interest includes understanding the necessary capabilities a professional in public relations and communications need to be successful in the profession.

Luis is a family guy; happily married and has two beautiful daughters. During his free time, he likes to create content about branding. He created a podcast where he talks with branders around the world about different topics related to branding. Luis loves sports, especially basketball which he plays a few times per week.

Elizabeth Cox grew up in small-town Nebraska before attending undergrad at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Then she attended Boston University for her master’s in Public Relations. Her research interest areas include public relations and health communication, specifically surrounding mental health and stigma in entertainment and mass media.

Elizabeth has spent the last four years as a publicist with entertainment PR agency MPRM Communications in Los Angeles. Since starting with MPRM, Elizabeth has been involved in a wide range of publicity campaigns, including documentary projects with Showtime, TV One, and Netflix, including The Social Dilemma and Our Planet. She has also worked with Netflix on their slate of comedy stand-up specials, handling press campaigns for Tiffany Haddish, Katherine Ryan, and more. She has also worked with NBC on a wide range of their competition shows, including The Voice, World of Dance, Songland, and Making It. Outside of television, Elizabeth has worked with an array of clients within publishing, podcast and audio entertainment, and more.

Outside of work, Elizabeth enjoys hiking and boxing, as well as baking cakes for any occasion.

Alex is from Norman, Oklahoma. He worked as a journalist for several organizations, produced a documentary that toured the country, content creation and branding for an e-commerce company, and have published a novel.

Alex obtained double master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and in Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma. His research interests include ethics, narrative in digital communication, and television/streaming.

He has been married for the past seven years and has an amazing family with a four-year and two-year-old children. They made him appreciate working in an office while they lived through a pandemic.

When Alex manages to get some free time, he likes to go to shows, skateboard, play guitar, and watch all his favorite professional sports teams be perennial losers.

Vishala J. Persad is from Trinidad and Tobago, and grew up in Austin, Texas. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Science in Accounting from The University of Massachusetts. She studied both business and creative media production at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Her past experiences include working as a financial consultant at Deloitte & Touche and as an analyst and policy researcher in the energy sector. Her research interests are in strategic communication and public relations, with specific interest in the intersection of financial stakeholder publics, corporate activism, and big data analysis. She is passionate about studying the role media can play in shaping the future and seeks to scrutinize and decipher new forms of communication and media realities.

She enjoys baking, short filmmaking, and exploring new places.

SunHa Yeo comes from Seoul, South Korea. From 2005 through 2016, she worked as a public diplomacy practitioner at the Korea Foundation, which is an affiliated organization of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She continued her work and studies to find theoretical approaches offering a standard for the evaluation of public diplomacy. She received her master’s in Public Policy and Ph.D. degree in Communication at Ewha Womans University in 2012 and 2019, respectively. Upon realizing her limited knowledge of new issues emerging in the field of public diplomacy (e.g.: digital diplomacy, diaspora, racial minorities, and gender), she decided to take on a new challenge of starting a new Ph.D. program at OU, which would enrich her understanding of public diplomacy. Her current research interests focus on strategic communication, digital media, racial minorities, and gender.

She is a mom of two adorable children and loves listening to world music.

Graduate Assistants

Imaculada Adolfo 
Umer Bilal
Nicole Colque Romero
Elizabeth Cox
Julia Dolmatova
Harley Hendrick
Hannah Herron
Blake Honaker