Page Center supports research, teaching on ethical communication

The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State has awarded 15 grants and named 20 communication researchers and teachers from around the world as recipients for 2013-14 as they focus on research and teaching related to ethical communication. The awards total $79,343.

Ten of the grants are for research projects and five are for the development of teaching modules designed to help students take advantage of the wealth of materials about ethical communication available through the center’s website. The lesson plans and guides from the teaching modules will be available for use by teachers. 

“The Page Center, since its inception, has established itself as a world leader in research into communication ethics,” said Marie Hardin, director of the Page Center, a research unit housed in the College of Communications. “We are delighted with the proposals we received this year and look forward to seeing the outcomes of these scholarly efforts.
“In the last two years we have added awards for the design of teaching modules on communications ethics issues. “These are available for use by college professors anywhere.”

The Page and Johnson Legacy Scholars who received grants and the titles for their 2013-14 research projects are:
-- Jennifer Barlett (Queensland University of Technology, Australia) “Successful Communications About Diversity: An Investigation Into Best Practices and Future Trends”; 
-- Kati Berg (Marquette University), “Communicating the Social Impact of CSR Programs: Analyzing Corporate Discourse in Social Impact”;
-- Sora Kim and Mary Ann Ferguson (University of Florida) “Predictors to Evaluate Effective CSR Communication”;
-- Richard Waters (University of San Francisco), “Communicating the Social Responsibility of Cross-Sector Collaborations: Experimental Analysis of Message Strategies and Credibility”;
-- Denise Bortree (Penn State), “Communicating Sustainability: The Impact of Corporate Environmental Activities on Key Publics”;
-- Marcia DiStaso (Penn State), and Tina McCorkindale (Appalachian State University), “Does Ethics Matter?  An Analysis of How Corporate Social Responsibility Efforts on Facebook Affect Stakeholder Perceptions and Intended Behavior”;
-- Melissa Dodd (SUNY-Oswego) and Dustin Supa (Boston University), “Corporate Social Responsibility Re-examined: Measuring the Influence of ‘Corporate Social Advocacy’ Communication of Consumer Purchase Intention”;
-- Ram Kesavan, Oswald Mascarenhas, and Michael Bernacchi (University of Detroit Mercy), “Effective Global Public Relations Using United Nations’ MDGs: A Research Proposal”;
-- Jenna Stites (Penn State), “Seeking Laurels: Building Reputations for Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility”;
-- Tom Watson (Bournemouth, UK), “Employees as CSR Ambassadors: The Role of Skepticism.”

The scholars who were awarded grants to develop teaching models are termed Page Legacy Educators. They are:
-- Lucinda Austin (Elon University), “Ethical Communications Through Social Media”;
-- Janice Xu (Holy Family University), “Media Relations During Crisis Management”;
-- Christie Kleinmann (Lee University), “Corporate Social Responsibility, Leadership, Corporate Management”;
-- Giselle Auger (Duquesne University), “Transparency”; and
-- Laura Papish (SUNY-Oswego), “Unethical Decisions: Why Do they Happen and What Can We Do?”

“Each teaching module will include a set of instructions for guiding college and university students toward clearly articulated and realistic learning objectives,” Hardin said.

This marked the ninth year of grant proposals awarded by the Page Center. Since its founding, The Page Center has funded more than 100 scholars and awarded more than $478,000 in grants.
The Page Center was created in 2004 through a leadership gift by Lawrence G. Foster, a distinguished Penn State alumnus and retired corporate vice president for public relations at Johnson & Johnson. 

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also supports the center through a major grant awarded in 2006 to establish and endow a research and education program in ethical leadership — including support for the legacy scholar program. The Robert Wood Johnson 1962 Charitable Trust, a private philanthropy of Johnson’s heirs, also has made a significant contribution to support the center’s work in ethics in public communication and the role of public relations in advancing corporate responsibility.

Arthur W. Page, the longtime vice president for public relations at AT&T, is often regarded as the founder of the modern practice of corporate public relations. He also was a noted educator, publisher and adviser to U.S. presidents. Page was the first person in a public relations position to serve as an officer and director of a major corporation and, in that capacity, was widely known for management according to the “Page Principles,” his guidelines for ethical and effective communication with the public and for responsible corporate behavior.

The center seeks to foster a modern understanding and application of the Page Principles and Robert Wood Johnson’s business philosophy by supporting innovative research, educational or public service projects in a wide variety of academic disciplines and professional fields. For further information on the center and the Page or Johnson Legacy Scholar Grants, visit online.


Last Updated June 13, 2013