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FMU hosts symposium on social media

FLORENCE – The social media revolution has completely and forever changed the way the world communicates. 

As a result, social media has become of vital importance for the political arena and anyone who has a message to communicate. With this in mind, FMU’s Robert E. McNair Center for History and Government and the Department of Mass Communications will present the “Impact of Social Media” symposium on Oct. 5 and 6 on the FMU campus. 

The symposium will be held in Cauthen Educational Media Center’s Lowrimore Auditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 3:45 p.m. with the showing of the movie, The Social Network. A second showing will take place at 7 p.m. following an hour-long roundtable discussion of FMU faculty and students to begin at 5:45 p.m. Assistant Professor of English Shaun Smolen-Morton, Ph.D. will serve as moderator for the discussion. 

Panelists include Christopher Kennedy, Ph.D., associate professor of history; Maria Lundberg, associate professor in the Department of Mass Communication; Matthew Nelson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of English; Cierra Buckman, a junior majoring in English; Brittany Parker, a senior majoring in mass communication; and Staci Poston, a senior majoring in English and managing editor of the university’s newspaper, The Patriot

Events on Thursday, Oct. 6 will begin with a panel discussion on social media and national and international politics. It will be held in McNair Science Building’s Chapman Auditorium at 4:15 p.m. and moderated by FMU Associate Professor of History and Co-Director of the McNair Center Scott Kaufman, Ph.D. 

Academic panelists for this discussion include: 

  • Jon Acuff

The newest member of FMU’s Department of Political Science and Geography, Dr. Acuff has served in the U.S. Army Reserve, worked as a military analyst at the National Bureau of Asian Research in Seattle, and, prior to his arrival at FMU, was a professor at St. Anselm College. His research interests include security studies, international relations theory, ethnicity and nationalism, and Middle East politics. 

  • Sid Bedingfield

A visiting professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina, Bedingfield has a long career in newspapers and television journalism, including 20 years at CNN. His research focuses on the historical and contemporary intersection of media and politics. 

  • Cori Dauber

A professor in the University of North Carolina’s Department of Communication Studies, Dr. Dauber’s research focuses on how the “new media” and the internet can be used by terrorists to spread their message and by those seeking to combat terrorism. She is currently the Visiting Research Scholar at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. 

Also on Oct. 6, a second panel discussion on social media and South Carolina politics will be held in at 6 p.m. moderated by John Sweeney, a 2009 graduate of FMU who is currently a multimedia journalist and political writer for the Morning News, News Channel 13, and

Blogger panelists for this discussion include:

  • Nancy Mace

The first woman to graduate from The Citadel (1999), Mace has been one of the key figures in the development of FITSNews. She lives in Atlanta, where she is the head of the consulting firm Mace Group. 

  • Laurin Manning

Manning worked on the campaign staff for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and then served as media director for the South Carolina’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Vincent Sheheen. She formerly authored two South Carolina political blogs, SC Soapbox and Laurinline. She is currently a digital media strategist and community manager at Salsa, Labs, Inc. 

  • Brad Warthen

A self-proclaimed hater of “all political parties that actually exist,” Warthen has been affiliated with print media for decades, including 22 years at The State newspaper, where he was the editor of the editorial pages. He is currently director of communications and public relations for ADCO, a marketing and advertising company in Columbia. 

For more information about the symposium, contact Alissa Warters, Ph.D., associate professor in FMU’s Department of Political Science and Geography and co-director of the McNair Center at (843) 661-1616. 


Last Published: October 3, 2011 10:51 AM
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