UND scholars present at international mass communication conference in India


Kate Menzies

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Arts & Sciences


Karin Becker and Richard Shafer, of the UND Communication Program, organized and recently presented a workshop on economical and efficient research methods for scholars from developing countries at the International Association of Mass Communication Scholars annual conference in Hyderabad, India in July.

The International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), which puts on the conference, is the pre-eminent worldwide professional organization in the field of media and communication research.

Its members promote global inclusiveness and excellence within the best traditions of critical scholarship in the field.

IAMCR aims to support and develop media and communication research throughout the world. It particularly encourages the participation of emerging scholars, women and those from economically disadvantaged regions.

Becker is a community researcher at the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS). Through her work, she connects with rural communities by conducting interviews, facilitating focus groups and presenting health data specific to a community. She also analyzes the information from individual communities as a whole, in order to identify trends and changes in health needs across North Dakota. Becker encourages community collaboration and resource sharing through the development of an interactive website on community health needs.

Prior to joining the CRH, Becker worked at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., as a faculty member in the writing program. She also has experience as a journalist for the Durango Herald, and is currently working as an instructor in the communication program at UND, while pursuing her doctoral degree.

Shafer teaches graduate and undergraduate mass media and communication courses at UND. He is a veteran newspaper reporter and editor. In 1987, he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri, focusing on the role of the press as an agent of social change and development. He has lectured and conducted journalism seminars and courses in more than 20 countries under sponsorship of the Soros Open Society Foundations, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), The U.S. State Department, the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) and other agencies and foundations engaged in international press development of free press systems.

In additional to many other opportunities to teach abroad, Shafer has had six Fulbright-fellowship supported teaching missions overseas.