The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Murrow faculty member selected for three-year term on research committee for national organization

Worked with organization for over a decade, to be head of one group next year
Headshot of Jessica Willoughby

After being involved in science communication with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Murrow College of Communication associate professor will be on the research committee. 

Jessica Willoughby, Murrow Center for Media and Health Promotion Research member, said AEJMC is one of the largest journalism organizations that works nationally and internationally and oversees journalism and mass communication at universities. 

Willoughby said she became involved with AEJMC when she was a graduate student over 10 years ago.

She was recently nominated for a position in the research committee and was put on the ballot for other organization members to vote on who they want to represent each committee; she is now one of four on the research committee, she said. 

AEJMC executive director Amanda Caldwell said the organization was founded in 1912 in Chicago with the mission to promote the highest possible standards of journalism and mass communication education. 

Caldwell said there are multiple committees within the organization and some of the most important ones are the standing committees, which includes the standing committee on research. 

The research committee, alongside other standing committees, are important because they are the foundation of the organization; she considers AEJMC a three-legged stool with different components, including the research side where papers are submitted for publication and presentations at conferences. 

Research committee chief Gregory Perreault said there were eight people who ran for a position on the committee and Willoughby was in the top four, so she was elected to serve a three-year term on the research committee. 

While Perreault has not met Willoughby and only knows of her based on her work and reputation, he thinks she will do well in the position because she has a phenomenal work ethic and character. 

“You have to have a reputation as a person in some character because you’re being trusted with the heart and soul of a conference and by people who are very invested in the research of our field,” he said. “I think this is a tribute to her [and] her work.”

In her position on the committee, Willoughby and the other three members will work to provide initiatives to help move research communication forward within different organizations, as well as help with a research competition and conference with award selections.

Willoughby said she has been involved with AEJMC’s group helping science communication for a number of years and will be stepping into the head of the division for this group next year, and being involved in the science communication group has given her more insight into what members are looking for. 

She has also been involved in overseeing a research competition, which involves seeing what is happening in the mass communication field and trying to move research forward, she said. 

“I think that gives me more insight into what is being done in that specific area and how to also find out about things that are being done in other areas to help members really feel heard and get the resources they need to feel supported in doing their research,” she said. 

Willoughby said she is looking forward to being involved with the research committee because it will give her a new view on what AEJMC does and roles she can be involved in within the organization. 

She loves research and she loves the work she gets to do while doing research. She said her work at WSU focuses on health communication and how media impacts attitudes and behaviors related to health among adolescents and young adults.

“There’s so much going on right now in research and communication with misinformation,” she said. “So I’m really excited about the opportunity to broaden my understanding of the different research that’s being done at AEJMC and within the divisions and then contributing to that at the broader level.”

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About the Contributor
Alexandria started working for the Evergreen in October 2020 as a news reporter and eventually hopped around to the roots/life, opinion and culture sections. She was a copy editor for three semesters beginning in January 2021 and was the Life editor in fall 2022. She was the copy chief for the summer and fall 2023 semesters, and is currently the editor-in-chief for the spring 2024 semester. She is from Tri-Cities, WA, and is always writing in her free time.