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Dr. Elizabeth Cohen

Assistant Professor
Research Associate, Media and Interaction Lab

Contact Information

Department of Communication Studies Armstrong Hall, Room 108 P.O. Box 6293 Morgantown, WV 26506

Office Phone: (304) 293-3905

Research Areas

Specializations: Media Psychology, Entertainment Education, New Media, Health & Risk Communication

I study the “the bright side” of media uses and effects, or the prosocial impact of involvement with different media (e.g., television, social network sites, and digital games) on people’s social lives. One my primary areas of study focuses on how can people develop feelings of attachment to others they come to know through the media, such as celebrities, politicians, or even fictional characters. My research is animated by questions about how these parasocial relationships evolve, and how they can improve people’s health, civic engagement, and well-being. I also study how people are influenced by media messages when they get psychologically transported into the fictional worlds of entertainment media, like novels or television dramas. Finally, I have a growing research program on social contexts of media use. I am particularly interested in the social and emotional benefits of shared media experiences, like live Tweeting​ and television co-viewing between friends, fans, or family. Topics of some of my current research projects include narrative persuasion, parasocial interaction on social network sites, social TV, and fandom.


PHD, Georgia State University

Seelio: Sharing Student Work

Students enrolled in COMM courses are asked to study the theory and process of human communication so that they can apply this knowledge to understanding real-world issues. As part of this process, COMM students have adopted the Seelio platform – a social media platform that allows students to create an online portfolio of their coursework that is easily accessible to the public. Sharing these portfolios shows the importance of the COMM degree while also giving prospective employees a clear, accurate look at the academic work our students are doing.

Seelio Student Coursework Showcase


Academic Advising

Academic advising appointments are available from October 5 until November 13. No appointments will be held during Fall Break (October 12-13).

The COMM academic advisors are:

Dr. Andrea Weber –
Nikki Loy –
Dr. John Shibley –

Advising Appointments


Request a Mountaineer Intern

Professional Field Experience (PFE) is a key element in the undergraduate COMM curriculum that allows students to gain experience in applying their classroom knowledge to a variety of corporate and organizational environments. Organizations looking for students with an in-depth understanding of communication areas that include (but are not limited to) communication theory, data analysis, health communication, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, and social media/communication technology now have the opportunity to request an intern from the Department of Communication Studies at WVU. Use the form below to read up on our PFE program, and to request a Mountaineer intern today.

Organization Intern Application