Dr. Ronald Yaros, the Director of Ph.D. Studies at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism, has been named an Affiliate Associate Professor at the UMD College of Information Studies (iSchool).
Yaros will also serve as chair of the iSchool dissertation committees.
Dr. Keith Marzullo, Dean of the iSchool, said Yaros’ research makes him a natural fit for the appointment, as he focuses on the cognitive aspects of what makes multimedia engaging and how news consumers seek, select and share multimedia information online and via mobile devices.
“This aligns with the research interests of the iSchool both in information-seeking behavior and in the social risks of the information age,” Marzullo said. “He has been collaborating with iSchool Professor Dr. Jen Golbeck, an affiliate of Merrill College, and have been jointly advising an iSchool Ph.D. student.
“We see this affiliated appointment as another part of the bridge between Journalism and the iSchool in terms of digital audiences, social media and societal good.”
Affiliate faculty positions are used to recognize the affiliation of a faculty member whose primary appointment is with a different academic unit within the university. Yaros is an Associate Professor at Merrill College.
Affiliate faculty at the iSchool can supervise students, but are not members of the College Assembly and are not eligible to vote on any committees other than student dissertation or thesis committees. Affiliate appointments are for a three-year term and may be renewed.
“The synthesis of research overlapping journalism with information sciences continues to grow as digital technologies affect how audiences seek, select and share information,” Yaros said. “Given that my research and teaching focus on audience behavior, I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the renowned scholars in Maryland’s iSchool.”
Two other Merrill College faculty members — Susan Moeller and Sarah Oates — are affiliated with other departments at the university. Moeller, a Professor of Media and International Affairs at Merrill College, is an affiliated faculty member at the School of Public Policy. Oates, a Professor and Senior Scholar at Merrill College, is an affiliate in the UMD Department of Communication. Dr. Naeemul Hassan is a tenure-track faculty member jointly appointed at Merrill College and the iSchool.
In addition to directing Merrill College’s Ph.D. program, Yaros is a Tow-Knight Disruptive Educator for Journalism Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and an Apple Distinguished Educator.
Earlier this month, Yaros received funding to conduct a national longitudinal survey study to measure the effects of the COVID-19 virus on media coverage, the public’s trust in government and its risk perceptions from the virus.
Before completing his doctorate degree, Yaros was as an Emmy Award-winning radio/TV reporter/anchor for nearly 20 years. He then served for 10 years as president of a national educational software corporation that distributed teaching materials and software to more than 1 million middle school classrooms through 105 commercial television newsrooms.