Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Supporting Scholarship, Broom Center Awards Grants to National Researchers

The Glen M. Broom Center for Professional Development in Public Relations funds scholars to advance PR research.

Supporting Scholarship, Broom Center Awards Grants to National Researchers

by Baylee Akins

April 8, 2020

Almost all scholarly research ends with a cry that “more research must be done.” For untenured professors, this call to action is bittersweet when faced with the reality of a lack of funding for social science research.

As an investment in public relations scholarship, the Glen M. Broom Center for Professional Development in Public Relations awarded seed grants to:

Dr. David E. Clementson from the University of Georgia, whose experiment will test the effectiveness of narrative appeals used by PR spokespeople.

Dr. Holly Overton and Dr. Anli Xiao from the University of South Carolina, whose study is an early look at the emerging area of corporate social advocacy.

The Broom Center previously funded faculty research, but this was the first national call for proposals.

“These studies advance PR theory in ways that will be immediately helpful for practitioners,” said Broom Center director Dr. Kaye Sweetser, APR+M, Fellow PRSA. “In the spirit of the rich research legacy of Glen Broom, these scholars are driven to push the boundaries of how we practice PR and look to improve the practice through the knowledge they create.”

Clementon noted that his research would not have been possible without support from the Broom Center.

“I hope that my research will further the strong legacy of Glen Broom as I advance theory, explicate concepts for public relations and advance the practical applications of crisis communication and strategy through my empirical scholarship,” he added.

Overton echoed those sentiments as she prepared her study with Xiao.

“We are grateful to the Broom Center for investing in our research,” said Overton. “We are inspired by Glen Broom’s vision and tireless commitment to supporting people and the public relations profession. The profession continues to evolve, and we are excited to offer new research contributions that will aid in pushing the practice forward.”

Clementson is an assistant professor of public relations at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication. He earned his doctorate in communication in 2017 from Ohio State University and is an alumnus of University of Miami and James Madison University. He has more than a dozen scholarly journal articles, which focuses on political public relations and issues of speaker credibility. He is currently on the leadership board for the Public Relations division for the National Communication Association.

Both Overton and Xiao are assistant professors at the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications. They separately earned their doctorate degrees from Pennsylvania State University, with Overton in 2016 and Xiao in 2018.

Overton is an alumna of Shippensburg University, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She has more than 20 scholarly journal articles and focuses on corporate social responsibility and prosocial behaviors. Overton serves as the master of mass communication program coordinator in her school.

Xiao’s research focuses on CSR and stewardship. She is an alumna of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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