Social Media Research Projects

My current research interests and projects resolve around the intersection of leadership and social media.  Below are the studies I am currently conducting on this topic.

Exploring the Social Media Utilization of Senior Level Student Affairs Leaders

December 2013-August 2014

This project will address and contribute to the discovery of new knowledge within the field of student affairs through showcasing how senior level student affairs leaders are utilizing social media.  Through this innovative qualitative case study research, the connection of research to practice will be paramount.  By answering the research questions, a bridge will be established for all levels of leadership within student affairs.  Usage patterns will provide clear data for the field, with applicable best practices and insight through such platforms as Twitter, Facebook, and blogs.

Uncovering usage by senior level Student Affairs leaders gives weight and legitimacy to the professional usage of social media.  Equipped with this information, all levels of student affairs practioners, from graduate students up to the Senior Vice President, can apply this knowledge and empowerment into their professional work.

The research questions that guides this study is:

  1. In what ways do senior level student affairs officers utilize and participate in social media in their leadership roles?
  2. What leadership characteristics are shared by senior level student affairs officers who participate in social media?

Developing Digital Student Leaders: A Mixed Methods Study of Student Leadership, Identity and Decision Making on Social Media.

June 2014-May 2015

The study aims to inform leadership education in a digital age, providing educators, administrators and student leaders themselves with the tools to transform leaders in person and online.

The purpose of the study is to understand the perceptions and experiences of student leaders’ use of social media and the meaning they make of digital technologies in their college experience.   Using a mixed methods sequential exploratory design, this study will seek to understand and explain how junior and senior college student leaders use social media through identity meaning making, digital decisions and online leadership behavior.

Three research questions drive the need for a mixed-methodology approach:

1.  What role does social media play in the identity and experiences of college student leaders?
2. What patterns of behavior exist for social media activity of college student leaders in how leadership, identity and decision-making are portrayed online?
3. Do the self-reported experiences of college student leaders represent their documented actual behavior documented on social media?

Tweeting at the Top: University Presidents on Twitter

Anticipated: November 2014-July 2015