Caleb T. Carr, Ph.D.

Professor of Communication

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April, 2022 Communication Theory

New scholarship led by PhD candidate Adam J. Mason looks at how we study and understand relational maintenance in new channels. The process of staying friends is old; but how we do that has changed alongside the rise of social media and other digital tools. Mason and Carr (2022) looks at how we can use and tweak established theories of offline relational maintance to effectively theorize and study the process even in new channels. Rather than inventing new theories, sometimes small tweaks to extant ideas can take us a long way!

 

April, 2022 Journal of Popular Culture Studies

Comics are increasingly known by their crossovers and team-ups. But what makes for effective team players in a universe of Celestials and Omega-mutants? This social network analysis of team structures in the Marvel Comic Universe reveals some interesting insights into the thousands of collaborations that have occurred in its panels, and identifies (and explains) some of the unlikely superheros (and supervillians) who have teamed up the most. Make mine Marvel!

 

November, 2021 Journal of Media Psychology

We finally have a theory of identity shift! This amazing, multi-institutional collaboration with Yeweon Kim, Jacob Valov, Dr. Judith Rosenbaum, Dr. Benjamin Johnson, Dr. Jeff Hancock, and Dr. Amy Gonzales explicates a theory of a construct I've liked working with since Amy and Jeff put it forward:identity shift. Our newly-articulated theory draws on empirical findings to create a theory of how mediated selective self-presentation results in self-transformation.

 

Summer, 2021 CMC Textbook

A long while in the making, you can now pre-order Computer-mediated communication, my new textbook for undergraduate scholars, is now available. The book focuses on both theories and applications of mediated communication, presenting classic theories in contemporary environments. Chapters address interpersonal, group, organizational, and political communication online, as well as social media, CMC for education and persuasion, and other contemporary topics. Instructor supplements forthcoming, including test bank and sample assignments.

 
 

Overview

 

Having received an education along US-27 in Michigan (including Alma College, Central Michigan University, and Michigan State University), I emigrated from Michigan to Illinois by way of Oklahoma. A Professor of communication, I best-enjoy teaching courses in computer-mediated and organizational communication, and work with diverse undergraduate and graduate students to delve deep into the way communication and communicative technologies change the way individuals learn about and interact with each other. I count myself lucky I have a career to which I look forward to every morning and that supports my other pursuits, including travel.

At both the scholarly and personal levels, I love what I do, and try to dive into each new activity fully. From researching the ways that individuals use technologies to augment and enhance decision making in work groups to sushing the slopes of Colorado's back bowls, I try to find the joy of each experience. Always willing to try new things (from qualitative research to luging), I find much of my life guided by a dogma common among my friends, "Always do, never don't." At ease conducting social network analyses and discussing theoretical implications of research articles as well as touring vineyards and watching Phineas & Ferb with my nephews & niece, colleagues and friends often describe me as eclectic, so I've tried to articulate a bit of me below.

 

Professional

 

I have taught courses in Communication and Business to a variety of students: residential, nontraditional, and continuing education at several institutions. I have had the opportunity to teach courses in Mediated Communication, Group Communication, Public Speaking, Organizational Communication, Social and Economic Impacts of Telecommunication, Introduction to Media, and International Business; as well as online courses in Interpersonal and Group Communication.

As a researcher, I have a variety of research interests, including the use of technology for communication and decision-making within organizations (my primary focus) and online identity construction and presentation. Trained in a variety of methodologies, I have a preference towards experimental and survey research, especially in online contexts.

 

Educational

 

Ph.D., Media and Information Studies; Michigan State University

M.A., Interpersonal Communication; Central Michigan University

B.S., International Business Administration; Central Michigan University

 

Personal

 
I was born and raised just outside of Flint, Michigan. For those of you who have seen Roger and Me, those scenes (both geographical and political) were the daily stage upon which my youth was played out. My family comes from both sides of the union aisle (blue and white collar, almost 50/50), which is probably what drew me to business and communication in the first place.

Though I was born in Michigan, soon into high school I began to take advantage of my new-found passion for travel and did so frequently. Many of my travels brought me to the East Coast, specifically the Garden State, which I consider my second--and real--home. Many of my friends live in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, and it's not uncommon for me to come up missing on a Saturday morning, only to be eating a Gino's cheesesteak ("with") by evening.

Beyond my studies and travels, I am also a ravenous thespian, an avid alpine skier, and enjoy lazing away an afternoon with a good book on the shore of a nearby lake. I have a propensity towards books as escapism, and was happy that the release of the final Harry Potter was during a time when losing a day to reading it didn't detract from anything else. Alongside these more pedantic pursuits, I've also had the privileged to perform in a West End (London) theatrical production, water ski in alligator-infested waters, sing in a Parisian cathedral, hit a deer with an airplane, and enjoy combative watertubing.

 
 
 
 
 
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