Faculty member elected president of International Communication Association

October 22, 2019

A respected Penn State faculty member has been elected president of an international association with more than 4,500 members in 80 countries.

Mary Beth Oliver, the Donald P. Bellisario Professor of Media Studies, was elected president of the International Communication Association (ICA). She will serve as president-elect beginning on May 25, 2020 — the last day of the association’s annual conference in Australia — and will move into the position of president a year later,  continuing until the end of its 2022 conference in France.

“I am deeply honored to be elected. ICA has been my academic home since my days in graduate school, and I am grateful and proud to serve this organization that showcases our research throughout the world,” Oliver said.

Oliver is a Fulbright Scholar, ICA Fellow, recipient of ICA’s B. Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award, and a co-primary investigator on a multi-year grant from the Templeton Foundation to study inspiring media messages.

Oliver specializes in media and psychology, focusing on both the psychological effects of media and on viewers' attraction to or enjoyment of media content. Her work focuses on media and social cognition, and on media and emotion. Her research interests include media entertainment, media and stereotyping, and positive media psychology.

Oliver is co-editor with Arthur A. Raney and Jennings Bryant on the fourth edition of "Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research," with Arthur A. Raney on "Media and Social Life," with Leonard Reinecke on “The Routledge Handbook of Media Use and Well-Being,” and with Robin Nabi on "Media Processing and Effects." Her work has appeared in such journals as the Journal of Communication, the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic MediaCommunication ResearchHuman Communication Research, and Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, among others.

She is co-director of the internationally respected Media Effects Research Laboratory, housed in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State.

Several other Penn State faculty members and graduate students were elected to ICA leadership roles as well. They were:

  • Bingjie Liu, student and early career representative to the Communication & Technology Division;
  • Wunpini Mohammed, student and early career representative, Ethnicity & Race in Communication Division;
  • Chris Skurka, student and early career representative, Information Systems Division; and
  • Peter Cullen Bryan, secretary, Intercultural Communication Division.

ICA aims to advance the scholarly study of human communication by encouraging and facilitating excellence in academic research worldwide. ICA began more than 50 years ago as a small association of U.S. researchers and has grown to more than 4,500 members in 80 countries. Since 2003, ICA has been officially associated with the United Nations as a nongovernmental association.

Last Updated October 22, 2019