Political Communication Expert Discusses Millennials, Social Media at 2016 COMM Week Closing Event

Published: April 07, 2016

Political Communication Expert Discusses Millennials, Social Media at 2016 COMM Week Closing Event

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A keynote address by a political communication expert gave audience members a chance to learn about the role Millennials and social media play in presidential elections as COMM Week 2016 came to an end.

This year’s COMM Week, held from Tuesday, March 29, through Thursday, March 31, at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, offered three days of events that provided students and community members with the opportunity to hear from various professionals and discuss issues, trends and careers in communication.

“COMM Week is beneficial to students because the activities that are offered, help them to become more connected to, confident, and reassured in their major,” said Maricruz Alvarado, COMM Club President. “The attraction to COMM Week has grown over the years. This year, a lot of communication students are more aware of the events happening and we have had a good turn-out.”

Students and community members attended the free keynote address, sponsored by the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority, from highly-regarded political communication scholar, Dr. Mitchell McKinney, Chair of the Department of Communication at Missouri University and Director of the Political Communication Institute, on March 31.

McKinney presented his address “New Media for New Voters” and spoke on Millennials, politics, and the media—specifically social media—and what influences this generation’s voting, views and party affiliation. McKinney also compared Millennials to previous generations and discussed how political influences have shifted throughout the years.

McKinney’s research interests include presidential debates, political campaigns, civic engagement, media and politics, and presidential rhetoric. McKinney has combined practical political experience with his training as a political communication scholar. He has served as a staff member in the U.S. Senate and at the White House, and as an advisor for the South Korean government working with election officials in Seoul to plan the televised Korean presidential debates. McKinney provides regular expert political commentary for many national media such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, CNN and NPR.

His awards and recognitions include being named a Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute Research Fellow for 2012-2013, the University of Missouri’s Graduate Faculty Mentor Award in 2011, and the Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009. He also holds a courtesy faculty appointment with the Missouri School of Journalism.

Other COMM Week 2016 events included a career night networking mixer at the House of Rock, a movie night sponsored by COMM Club and a distinguished alumni panel with professionals from the community. COMM Week 2016 was sponsored by Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority, H-E-B, MDR Advertising, Pearson Higher Education and House of Rock.