Updates on AECM Research

In addition to teaching courses, AECM professors, along with some students, are often very busy conducting research. Check out some of the recent projects our awesome faculty and students have completed!


Dr. Rebecca Swenson co-wrote an article called “Outputs or Outcomes? Assessing Public Relations Evaluation Practices In Award-Winning PR Campaigns.” This article was published on June 21, 2017 in the Public Relations Journal.

In the article, Dr. Swenson and her colleagues advance a framework of concepts that assess the measurement and evaluation practices of public relations practitioners in award-winning campaigns. These concepts place a greater emphasis on outcomes than outputs in evaluations of their campaigns. The findings, and recommendations based on the results, provide direction for professional and pedagogical approaches to PR measurement and evaluation.

You can read the full article here.


Graduate student, Emily Wilmes presented her research, “Engaging Dairy Workers with Stockmanship and Safety Messages: Research Findings and Implications for Communication Strategies” in Logan, Utah at the end of June. The research was completed with Dr. Rebecca Swenson and was supported by a grant from the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center.

Farm safety is an important topic, and AECM faculty and students are continuously working on research to identify best communication practices that support the adoption of new safety behaviors. Emily and Dr. Swenson’s goal was to identify knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about farm safety and low-stress animal handling, barriers to implementing practices, and communication strategies for motivating behavior change.


Former graduate student, Laura Perticara, successfully completed her M.Ed in Agricultural Education with a minor in Sustainable Agricultural Systems earlier this summer. Laura’s research and integrating paper topic involved the encouragement of teachers to infuse agriculture into their classroom instruction following a farm tour.

Congratulations, Laura!


Another former graduate student, Tierney Lain, also successfully completed her M.Ed in Agricultural Education earlier this summer. Tierney focused on analyzing quality learning environments through learning situations. She is currently an Ag Ed teacher in Colorado.

Congratulations, Tierney and best of luck in your career as an educator!

Swenson Chicago

On August 10, Dr. Rebecca Swenson presented her research that examines empowerment marketing in children’s food products and television programs at the 100th annual conference for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) in Chicago. She is currently working on a book chapter that summarizes the results of the research.