University News

WIU Social Media Lab Attend Central States Communication Conference

April 10, 2024

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MACOMB, IL - -Western Illinois University's Department of Communication students, in conjunction with the WIU Social Media Lab and Professor Josh Averbeck, presented their research on various projects at the Central States Communication Association Conference, the fourth largest communication conference in the world.

During this conference, five competitively selected research reports and one-panel discussion were selected for presentation. Two of Averbeck's papers were recognized as Top Papers in Communication Theory and the Argumentation division. WIU graduate student Shahed Rahman's paper was recognized as the Top Student Paper in Communication and Technology interest group.

"The research presented showcases the breadth of expertise in our department. We discussed research on irony, arguing, responding to emotional appeals and social media. We showed the country that our program is top-notch" Averbeck said.

Three graduate students, Rahman, Victoria Emereonye, Zaynab Yusuf, and Averbeck led a panel discussion about running a social media lab.

"I receive a lot of requests about how to replicate our success elsewhere. This panel was a great way to share our experiences and improve the student experience," Averbeck said.

For more information on WIU's Social Media Lab, contact Averbeck at For information on WIU's Communication Department, visit

Posted By: Kelsey Brown (
Office of University Communications & Marketing