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Benjamin Broome, professor, is an intercultural communication scholar whose work centers on the theory and practice of sustainable dialogue and its role in peacebuilding. His research is focused on finding ways to help groups, organizations, and communities respond to conflict through dialogue rather than violence. To do this, he and his colleagues have developed consensus-based processes that allow groups in conflict to move beyond the differences that divide them. By helping them envision a collective future, they are able to work together in realizing joint goals.
Professor Broome has facilitated dozens of workshops in North America, Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, and Australasia. Educational institutions, government agencies, professional organizations, large corporations, and Native American Tribes have sought his assistance. Much of his work over the past two decades has focused on peacebuilding efforts in Cyprus, where he was initially a U.S. Fulbright scholar and later worked with the United Nations Development Program and several diplomatic missions.
Pauline Hope Cheong, professor, studies the complex interactions between communication technologies and different cultural communities around the world. She believes that invisible yet powerful cultural and communicative forces make up how we interact and organize with digital media, to impact participation and power in society.
Her recent projects related to changing authority and leadership practices examine how clergy and teachers maintain the interest of their students and congregations when the use of mobile and social media is so prevalent. Another of her interests concerns how religious groups use technology to interact and form both local and global spiritual communities. She has investigated how communication technologies facilitate and constrain relations within cyber-vigilante groups and rumor-mongers. She has also documented how underserved and youth populations experience multiple digital divides.
Professor Cheong has published more than 60 articles and books and has received several research awards by the National and International Communication Associations. She is often invited to teach and speak in Asia, North America and Europe.
Olga Idriss Davis, professor, is passionate about enhancing communication to improve the health and wellbeing of underserved populations. She helped establish a health coalition for Refugee women in Maricopa County and was appointed by Governor Napolitano to serve on the State Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health. In addition, Professor Davis is intricately involved in promoting health among the African American community in Arizona. She works with the Phoenix-based Coalition of Blacks Against Breast Cancer and has created a narrative play, The Journey: Living Cancer Out Loud, based on interviews of the experience of African American survivors and caregivers of breast cancer which has been performed in various community and hospital venues in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Raising awareness in Black barbershops, Professor Davis addresses knowledge of cardiovascular disease among African American men in Phoenix, Arizona.
Amira de La Garza, associate professor, wondesr why you or someone you know just didn’t speak up when it seemed vitally important? That’s the everyday issue that drives her to study communication while spending time immersed in groups and settings where this is happening. She first started by asking why patients wouldn’t ask their doctors’ name in a clinic, as well as learning how doctors responded to their first patient who died. After spending a year in Mexico as a Fulbright Scholar, her experiences with the everyday talk and life around her led her to develop methods to integrate the arts, spirituality, and personal reflection into the study of culture. She works with many border-related projects, and has had students from around the world travel with her to many places to learn the methods she teaches.
Professor de la Garza reports her research using creative writing, poetry, fiction, and has often shared her research through staged performances. She’s currently working on a novel and several collections of poetry, as well as leading a faculty research group on the topic of “mindful heresy,” which is something her interests have led her to write about.
Uttaran Durra, assistant professor, studies creative ways to address development, health and social disparity issues. His research focuses on sustainable development and social change in marginalized communities, analyzing the importance of culture, communication, design and innovation in transforming the lives of people who are socially, politically and economically poor. In all his work, local participants are the key forces in identifying and developing cost-effective solutions using local resources. For example, in one project, he is developing a computer application for illiterate people in rural India to access useful information regarding local weather, employment, education, and other basic services such as healthcare. In another project, he collaborated with local people to construct a mini-hospital, library-cum-museum and a protection-wall to save sacred environmental resources in remote indigenous villages in eastern India.
Additionally, he researches the folk-culture and indigenous knowledge of the underserved to document and understand alternate ways of viewing the world.
The primary line of research for YoungJu Shin, assistant professor, focuses on immigrant families and health. She has investigated the effects of role reversal between parent and child in Mexican immigrant families as well as differential characteristics of acculturation typologies of Mexican immigrants and their health information seeking behavior. In addition to understanding the role of communication in immigrant families, she is also interested in public health intervention in multicultural communities. She has conducted a series of studies that examined differential roles of family, media, and culture for youth substance use prevention.
Robert Shuter, research professor, studies ways to improve interaction between people from different ethnic groups, races, and countries. He is particularly interested in how employees and managers in global corporations can become more successful intercultural communicators. His newest research focuses on the potential of new media to bridge intercultural and international divides. For example, he examined text messaging in India and the US and discovered that these countries have different social rules for texting in public and private settings, which he called textiquettes. In a recently published article on cell phone activity in US and Denmark, he found that Danes are more apt than Americans to use their cell phones at work and in front of their managers, who they generally view as equals not superiors.
A thought leader in intercultural communication studies, Professor Shuter has published more than 80 articles, books, and essays in leading research journals and periodicals including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Huffington Post. Professor Shuter founded and directs the Center for Intercultural New Media Research, a network of more than 315 scholars from 46 countries that focuses on the impact of new media on human communication across cultures, nations, and world regions.
Judith Martin, professor emeritus, studies how individuals’ cultural backgrounds influence their communication with and attitudes toward others. She has published more than 70 research articles, essays, and books and received several awards for her research.
Professor Martin investigates what it means to be an effective communicator when interacting with individuals from different cultural groups, in both online and face to face contexts. Her research projects have investigated language and cultural challenges encountered by individuals living in and adapting to new cultural contexts (e.g. business personnel working overseas, international workers/students in the U. S., and U. S. American students studying abroad).
Her more recent work addresses how individuals’ ethnic/racial identities influence their relationships and communication with others. One recent study investigated how the diversity of young people's friendships influenced their views toward racial categorization and also their tendency to enter into intercultural romantic relationships. She is also interested in the impact of online communication on intercultural relationships in various contexts (education, business, health care).