CCT '08 Alumna Jessica Vitak Teaching at UMD’s iSchool and Featured on

Posted in News

CCT alumna Jessica Vitak (’08) is currently an assistant professor at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies, or iSchool. Vitak received her PhD from Michigan State University in Media and Information Studies in 2012. recently published an article profiling Vitak and highlighting her timely and noteworthy academic research. Her research focuses on Facebook and other forms of social media and how they impact patterns of communication, access to social and informational resources, and relational quality. This research is available on (, and thus far, Vitak has over 46,000 document views.

In the article, Vitak explains the importance of making her research available to others, in particular journalists, in order to avoid panicked or exaggerated stories on issues such as social media and privacy. She also describes how she sees her research fitting into the larger scope of communication theory and practice:

“A big criticism of academics is that we’re doing research on things that don’t matter, but people who make those criticisms aren’t looking closely enough at the research academics do. Just because I study Facebook and relationships on Facebook doesn’t mean that’s what my research is limited to. I’m looking at how technology is changing the ways in which we’re interacting with different people in our lives, which has been a core communication theme of research in the last fifty years. It’s important to understand how technology is impacting these types of things.”

Click here to read the article in full.

Congratulations Jessica!