BRONX, NY – Students in the Truman Media Program continued their “virtual guest speaker” series as they completed a unit of study on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.
“Why do people go on it? Why is it such a big deal?” said junior media student Matthew Malave.
“My students use these platforms for many hours every day but they really have no idea just how many careers exist in social media,” said media teacher Mr. David Roush. “I also wanted them to get a sense for just how much academic research is going on around the world into these platforms.”
Roush reached out to his former Penn State classmate and current Penn State Doctoral Candidate Steven Bien-Aimé. Bien-Aimé gave students some insight regarding the types of social media research he has conducted, and other important questions being asked by social scientists.
“Young people should think about social media and the elements regarding communications appeal because they are bombarded with messages all day,” Bien-Aimé said. “It is beneficial for them to know how media companies try to persuade them and how they can be effective communicators.”
“He (Bien-Aimé) gave me more of a larger picture to think about,” Matt Malave said. “He made me think about who uses it and why.”
The students concluded the unit by conducting an experimental project using social media to encourage Truman juniors and seniors to attend a voter registration event at the school on March 19th. The students will examine which social media platforms and posting methods were most effective at driving participants to the event.
Steve Bien-Aimé is a doctoral candidate in the Penn State College of Communications. His research interests include race and gender portrayals in news and sports media. Before entering graduate school, Bien-Aimé worked as a copy editor at both The News Journal in Delaware and The Baltimore Sun, and served in a variety of functions at FOXSports.com in Los Angeles, departing as deputy NFL editor.