Dr. Peter Francia & Dr. Jonathan Morris: Research on Perceptions of “Fake” News

Dr. Peter Francia, along with Dr. Jonathan Morris, also recently completed and co-authored a study on fake news entitled, “A Fake News Inoculation? Fact Checkers, Partisan Identification, and the Power of Misinformation,” which, using an experimental design, found that fact-checking efforts to correct public misperceptions driven by fake news stories appear to have little impact. Instead, the results show individuals are more likely to accept or reject misinformation based on whether or not it is consistent with their pre-existing partisan and ideological beliefs.

Dr. Armin Krishnan to Participate in the Spring 2018 Chancellor’s Leadership Academy

Armin Krishnan will be participating in the Chancellor’s Leadership Academy (CLA) in Spring 2018. The CLA was established in 2004 with the intention of expanding the leadership capabilities of high-potential members of the university and to enhance their contribution to the institution by teaching them leadership skills. Every year ten individuals are selected for the CLA. The program consists of ten sessions that cover key aspects of leadership in higher education. Participants are also expected to work on and complete a community project during the Spring term.

Dr. Peter Francia at the Northeastern Political Science Association’s Annual Conference (November 9-11)

Dr. Peter Francia served as chair and discussant on the roundtable panel, “Partisanship in the Age of Trump: New Era or More of the Same,” at the Northeastern Political Science Association’s annual conference (November 9-11). Francia discussed results from a nationwide survey done by ECU’s Center for Survey Research, which showed that the public’s ability to answer questions correctly about recent current events is heavily influenced by their feelings toward President Trump. Large and statistically significant differences existed on nearly all items ranging from topic areas covering the 2016 election, the stock market and the economy, crime, health care, and science.

New Article in Social Science Computer Review: Dr. Peter Francia, “Free Media and Twitter in the 2016 Presidential Election: The Unconventional Campaign of Donald Trump”

Dr. Peter Francia has published an article titled “Free Media and Twitter in the 2016 Presidential Election: The Unconventional Campaign of Donald Trump” in Social Science Computer Review.


The article “examines the surprising outcome of the 2016 presidential election, which saw Donald Trump defy nearly all of the conventional wisdom to become the 45th president of the United States. Political commentators and experts offered several immediate postelection explanations for Trump’s victory, one of which focused on how Trump was able to generate considerable unpaid or free media for himself, often directly through Twitter. This article explains the theory and rationale underlying the free media thesis (FMT) and then examines whether there is any preliminary empirical support for it. Using media tracking data and public opinion surveys, the results reveal that Trump indeed dominated the unpaid media market. Although the findings in this article cannot make causal claims about whether Trump’s advantages in free media are the primary reason for his upset victory, the results, nonetheless, suggest that some of the basic conditions necessary for the FMT were present in the 2016 election and that the FMT offers a plausible avenue for further analysis and future research.”


See https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439317730302

Call for Papers: “Building a Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure for Long-Term Economic Growth,” by Dr. Olga Smirnova

Chapter proposals are being accepted for inclusion in the book “Building a Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure for Long-Term Economic Growth”, edited by Olga Smirnova and scheduled to be published by IGI Global.

The book will examine contemporary transportation issues through the lens of various modes of transportation (aviation and airports, inland and short sea shipping, public transit and more) while also focusing on the importance of sustainability, urban planning, and funding. All chapters will provide managerial and policy focus to contemporary transportation issues. Possible topics might include sustainability and climate change, public management and planning, financing of transportation infrastructure, and revenue and spending issues facing modern transportation infrastructure in the US for a wide variety of modes.

See https://www.igi-global.com/publish/call-for-papers/call-details/3043 for details.

Proposals and other inquiries should be sent to Olga Smirnova, at smirnovao@ecu.edu. The deadline for submission is November 30th, 2017.

ECU’s Model United Nations Club in Washington DC

ECU’s Model United Nations Club competed in their first national competition in Washington DC serving as delegates from Poland. Students Mariama Abubakri, Haley Creef (MUN Club President), Dylan Fulp, Zachary Hollopeter, Andrew McLeer (MUN Club Vice President), Gabriela Morales, Aji Njie, Kaitlyn Rose, Sorrell Saunders, and Braxton Smallwood engaged in debate and competition with over 60 other universities, including delegations from Nigeria, Italy, Japan, China, and France, representing a total of 87 countries. ECU MUN students earned a conference-wide delegation award after three days of tackling diverse and complex global problems ranging from the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons to improving housing and food security for urban refugees.

Dr. Casey Fleming to Present Paper at the annual Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action

Casey Fleming is presenting current research at the annual Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action later this month in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Using survey experiments, this project investigates the effects of nonprofits’ engagement in specific activities on potential donors’ willingness to volunteer or contribute financially. These activities include highly commercial “business-like” revenue strategies (in contrast to traditional, highly donative approaches) and advocacy-based missions (rather than direct service traditionally associated with charities). This work tests competing theories, including “crowding out”—which suggests donors reward nonprofits they view as more entrepreneurial or sustainable—and “crowding in”—which holds that donors give to nonprofits perceived to “need it more.” Findings provide insight into how nonprofit leaders can more effectively communicate their activities and missions in their appeals for support.

Dr. Giurcanu at the southern chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research conference

Dr. Giurcanu participated in the last SAPOR conference, which is the southern chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), in Raleigh, NC (Oct 5-6, 2017), where she delivered a paper titled:”Europe under Duress: Assessing Uncertainty in Vote Choice in European Parliament Elections as an Entropy Measure”.

Her “paper examines voting behavior in the 2009 European Parliament elections in 27 member states of the European Union. The project joins the debate of when and how do attitudes towards the European integration affect vote choice from a methodological perspective by introducing an entropy measure of voters’ uncertainty when evaluating party positions on EU integration and the left-right ideological dimensions. The project shows that parties display larger uncertainties on the EU dimension than on the LR dimension. Furthermore, there is a significant regional difference within the EU: parties in the post-communist countries (East) display larger uncertainties on both dimensions compared to parties in the western countries (West). However, a party’s ambiguous position is not necessarily detrimental to the party since our analyses show that voters prefer clear position on the left-right dimension in both East and Western states, but do not punish parties that are vague on the European integration dimension in the Western states only. The paper points to the importance of bringing back discussions of parties’ vague messages when utilizing spatial models across heterogeneous contexts.”

ECU students to participate in National Model UN

Ten East Carolina University students are participating in the National Model United Nations competition in Washington, D.C. this Nov. 3-5. ECU’s Model UN Club attended two conferences last year in Atlanta and Charlotte, where the group won delegation awards, sparking their interest in attending this year’s national competition.


ECU’s team of eight undergraduate and two graduate students from the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences will represent the country of Poland. Two students are assigned to one of five committees, where they debate issues amongst other teams representing various countries. The overall goal is to create feasible solutions to real-world issues.

To read more, visit the full United Nations competition article.

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