Dr. Sean Rintel, leader in social communication technology research and UQ alumnus has joined the School of Journalism and Communication (SJC) as a lecturer in strategic communication.
“As a communication researcher and teacher, my interest is in finding and solving communication problems, and explaining those issues to others. I specialise in investigating how communication technologies affect social action. My goal is to help people make social sense of, and with, technology,” says Dr Sean.
Dr Sean moved from the UQ School of English, Media Studies and Art History (EMSAH), where he taught Communication, Media and Cultural Studies.
“I am very pleased to join the SJC. The School is an emerging leader in communication research in Australia, and internationally, and I am excited to be a part of that,” says Dr Sean.
“SJC is focused on teaching and research that speaks to both industry and academia, which I find really interesting. There is also a growing critical mass of academics engaged in communication technology research, which will lead to some very exciting work,” he adds.
Dr Sean undertook a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and Masters in English (Computer-Mediated Communication) at UQ. He completed his PhD, which focused on video conferencing in long-distance relationships, at the University at Albany, State University of New York, USA. He began his teaching career in the USA, followed by two years at EMSAH.
Dr Sean will teach at both undergraduate and post-graduate students and his goal is “to embed communication technology in all the courses I teach, but underpin it with classic communication theory.
“I want to empower students to become creative and adaptive communication professionals.
“The only certainty is change, and simply having communication skills is now not enough.
“If you go into your career with the broader vision and theories, as well as the tools, you will be able to adapt to, and even lead this change.
“I am the guy to give you the strategic communication toolbox”, laughs Dr Sean.
Dr Sean's primary research area is investigating how the affordances and constraints of communication technologies affect language, social action, and culture. His most recent area of focus is telerehabilitation--applications of videochat for e-health.
“I am currently working on several projects: the use of videochat in speech therapy with the UQ Telerehabilitation Research Unit, mediatisation of politics with Dr Richard Fitzgerald, Audiology training with Dr Wayne Wilson and Dr Dan Angus is in the pipeline.
As well as academic research, Dr Sean writes on social media and other communication technology issues for online news and trade sites. He has written about Why we are not using Google+, the Facebook Like button , and online reputation management, among other issues, for The Conversation and about Fail Pets in error messages for UX magazine.
Dr Sean also is fascinated by communication technology trends such as Internet memes, and his most recent paper “Crisis Memes: Templatability and the Evolution of Internet Culture” has been accepted by the Australasian Journal of Popular Culture.
“And yes, I am a geek”, laughs Dr Sean.
14 February 2012