COLLEGE PARK -- Christoph Mergerson, who is completing his Ph.D. in Communication, Information and Media at Rutgers University, will join the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism this fall as a visiting assistant professor in race and media, Dean Lucy A. Dalglish announced Friday.
Mergerson is a Washington, D.C., area native whose research interests include race and media, media and democracy, local journalism and media policy. He will teach courses in areas related to his research.
“We were delighted to recruit Christoph to bring his expertise on race and media to Merrill College,” said Merrill College Professor Sarah Oates, who chaired the search committee. “It’s an area of great interest to our students and faculty -- as well as one of the most important issues of our time.”
Mergerson comes to Merrill with ongoing research that examines whether news media in the Southern United States are producing racially inclusive, public-service journalism. His research is supported by a Knight News Innovation Fellowship from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.
He brings award-winning classroom experience from teaching courses at Rutgers, including Communication Law, Global News, and Writing for Media. He has also been a teaching assistant for the Gender, Race, and Class in the Media course.
“I am so happy to work with the students, faculty and staff at Merrill College, and to participate in the University of Maryland community,” Mergerson said. “I share the conviction that the well-being of American democracy depends on a healthy and truly inclusive press.
“I look forward to continuing my research into how commercial and nonprofit news media are serving Black, Hispanic and other communities of color; how we can better establish trust in news media; and how media policy can address inequities in the use of online media.”
Mergerson earned his master’s degree in public affairs from The University of Texas at Austin in 2010. He completed his bachelor’s degree in political science at California State University, Northridge in 2008. In addition, he worked with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., as a research fellow in telecommunications policy.
Merrill College was seeking an active scholar with demonstrated cutting-edge research and innovative teaching interests in the intersection of journalism, race and social media, and Dalglish said Mergerson is a perfect fit.
"Christoph has spent the past several years exploring the role race, technology and journalism play in fostering democracy. Our students need to understand the role all Americans must play in pursuing and reporting truthful information," Dalglish said.
- Merrill College