Page Center awards grants to focus on ethics, stakeholder engagement

The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State has awarded 13 grants and named 24 communication researchers from the United States and abroad as recipients for 2013-14. The awards total approximately $47,000.

“Ethical stakeholder engagement is the focus of our grants this year,” said Marie Hardin, a professor in the College of Communications who serves as director of the Page Center, a research unit housed in the college. “We anticipate that the findings of these projects will advance knowledge useful to communication researchers, public relations and marketing practitioners and leaders of corporations and non-profits, among others.”

The manuscripts received will be considered for two special calls for papers in professional journals and other possible outreach opportunities. This year’s grant awards are being coordinated by Marcia W. DiStaso, an assistant professor in the Department of Advertising/Public Relations and a Page Center senior research fellow.

Award recipients are termed Page and Johnson Legacy Scholars in honor of public relations pioneer Arthur W. Page and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which endowed the Page Center’s research and education program in ethical leadership with a major gift. The Page and Johnson Legacy Scholars for 2013-14 and their funded projects are:

-- Lucinda L. Austin (Elon University) and Yan Jin (Virginia Commonwealth University), “Crisis Information Generation and Spread: Examining the Influence of Traditional and Social Media in Ethical and Effective Crisis Response and Recovery”;

-- Shannon A. Bowen (University of South Carolina), “Exploring the Role of the Dominant Coalition in Creating an Ethical Culture for Internal Stakeholders”;

-- John Brummette and Lynn M. Zoch (Radford University), “Identifying the Roles that Values Serve in Guiding Stakeholder Expectations of Organizations”;

-- Serena Carpenter (Michigan State University), “Professional Social Media Communicator Roles: An Examination of Perceptions, Conflict and Identity.”;

-- Marcia W. DiStaso (Penn State), Tina McCorkindale (Appalachian State University) and Hilary Fussell Sisco (Quinnipiac University), “Ethically Measuring Social Media Engagement”;

-- Heidi Hatfield Edwards (Florida Institute of Technology), “Corporations, Causes, and Consequences: How Companies View their Relationships with the Causes they Support”;

-- Cheryl Ann Lambert (Boston University), “Fostering Ethical Engagement with Employee Affinity Groups”;

-- Linjuan Rita Men (Southern Methodist University), “Engaging Employees: The Effects of Ethical Leadership and Symmetrical Internal Communication”;

-- Marcus Messner (Virginia Commonwealth University), “Considering Ethics in Visual Storytelling: A Study of Nonprofits on Instagram”;

-- Dean Mundy (Appalachian State University), “From Principle to Policy to Practice? Evaluating Diversity as a Driver of Ethical Internal and External Stakeholder Engagement”;

-- Lan Ni (University of Houston), Qi Wang and Maria De la Flor (Villanova University), and Renato Peñaflor (Communica PR Consulting), “Ethical Community Stakeholder Engagement in the Global Environment: Impact on Relationship Management and Conflict Resolution”;

-- Dustin W. Supa (Boston University) and Melissa D. Dodd (University of Central Florida), “Examining the Impact of Advertising vs. Public Relations in Consumer Engagement”;

-- Jennifer Vardeman-Winter (University of Houston), “Ethics and Health Public Relations”; and

-- Tom Watson, Georgiana Grigore, & Anastasios Theofilou (Bournemouth University), “Ethical Stakeholder Engagement: Exploring the Relationship Between Corporations and NGOs.”

This marks the 10th year of grant proposals awarded by the Page Center. Since its founding, the center has bestowed more than $500,000 in grants.

The Page Center was created in 2004 through a leadership gift by the late Lawrence G. Foster, a distinguished Penn State alumnus and corporate vice president for public relations at Johnson and Johnson.

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

The Page Center seeks to foster a modern understanding and application of the Page Principles. It supports innovative research, and educational or public service projects in a variety of academic disciplines and professional fields. More information about the Page Center or the Legacy Scholar grants may be found at http://thepagecenter.comm.psu.edu/ online.

Last Updated November 25, 2013