Center for Strategic Communication



Steve CormanSteven R. Corman, professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, studies the relationship of talk and written communication to organizational networks and activity systems. His "reticulation theory" holds that communication network links are “switched on” by shared activity, resulting in talk (or written communication) that restructures the system for future shared activity. This theory has a broad range of practical applications in areas like counter-terrorism and knowledge management. Professor Corman has served as a consultant and science panel member for the Department of Defense in the counter-terrorism arena, and directs the Center for Strategic Communication in the school.

Corman is co-author of Master Narratives of Islamist Extremism (2011, Palgrave Macmillan) and co-editor of Weapons of Mass Persuasion: Strategic Communication to Combat Violent Extremism (2008, Peter Lang). Over his career Corman has published over 50 articles, books, book chapters, and white papers, and holds two patents.

Since 2001 Corman has served as an invited participant or featured speaker at numerous national and international workshops and symposia on counterterrorism, strategic communication and public diplomacy.  In 2011-2012 he served as a Senior Consortium Fellow for the Army Research Institute, and in 2011 he was Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Excellence in National Security at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.  In 2005-2006 he served on the Scientist Panel for the Strategic Operations Working Group at U.S. Special Operations Command as an expert on terrorist networks and ideology.  He has been an invited speaker at international conferences in Germany, Italy, Singapore, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Scott rustonScott Ruston , who earned his PhD at University of Southern California, is an assistant research professor with Arizona State University's Center for Strategic Communication (CSC), where he specializes in narrative theory and media studies. He has applied this expertise in a variety of strategic communication research contexts, including new methods and tools for analysis of extremist narratives; strategies for counter or alternative narratives; and the neurobiology of narrative comprehension.  Co-author of “Mediated Martyrs of the Arab Spring” (Journal of Communication, April 2013), his work frequently addresses the impact of narrative in new media venues.  He is also co-author of Narrative Landmines: Rumors, Islamist Extremism and the Struggle for Strategic Influence (Rutgers University Press, 2012), which examines rumors as narrative phenomena and their impact on strategic communication campaigns. Ruston has authored numerous articles on the narrative potential of new media technologies and has presented widely on topics intersecting media, narrative/counter-narrative and terrorism to military, academic and non-governmental organization audiences.

In addition, Ruston is a 23-year veteran of active and reserve service in the US Navy, currently serving as commanding officer of a US Naval Forces Europe/Africa/Sixth Fleet reserve support unit. In 2014, he was mobilized to Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, serving as the Deputy Director for Effects (J39), Military Coordination Cell (Mogadishu) OIC and Deputy Director for Theater Security Cooperation. Dr. Ruston brings this experience to the study of real world problems of strategic communication in public diplomacy and defense contexts.

Affiliated Faculty

Bradley AdameBradley Adame, assistant professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, studies how people respond to communication campaigns designed to promote disaster preparedness in areas of the country that suffer high rates of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods and tornados. His goal is to give guidelines for producing the most effective type of messages so that people will pay attention and take steps to protect their families and property. Prepared citizens are better able help themselves and their neighbors, in turn building stronger organizations and communities.

Anthony RobertoAnthony Roberto is an associate professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. research and teaching interests focus primarily on persuasion and social influence and health communication campaigns. His research is largely quantitative and relies heavily on survey and experimental methods (though he is also versed in some qualitative research methods such as focus groups and in-depth interviews). His research involves the design, implementation, or evaluation of various health behavior change communication programs. He has developed or tested messages to improve health-related behaviors in a wide variety of areas, including adolescent sexual health (i.e., HPV, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, STD, and pregnancy prevention), cyberbullying, kidney disease, gun safety, etc.

Professor Roberto currently serves as the director of the Hugh Downs School doctoral program.  He has received numerous awards for his research and teaching, and has published 27 peer-reviewed research articles in a variety of journals and has also authored four book chapters.

Xiaoli Liu is a visiting scholar for spring 2016. Liu is a section chief of the International Office, Wuhan University, China. She will be conducting research on the topic of America perception of China’s image. She will also be visiting several functional offices to achieve a better understanding on how American state universities balance scale with quality, and the running model such as budget, university ranking system, online learning, communication, and alumni. The results of her research will be published as an English paper in international journals and as a Chinese paper publication. Liu Curriculum Vita