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Faculty Focus: Sangwon Lee, College of Arts and Sciences

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Sangwon Lee joined NMSU three years ago as an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies.

As a faculty member, Lee spends his time teaching and conducting research. His research focuses on how social media use changes how people learn about, engage with and form opinions on political and social issues. He teaches various classes on political communication, communication technology and persuasion.

"I love my job," Lee said. "What I do makes an impact on other people’s lives."

Lee is one of two professors to receive a 2022 research award from the Mass Communication and Society Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. AEJMC is one of the largest conferences in the field of communication/journalism. His proposal, "No need to be informed to participate: Rethinking the virtuous circle hypothesis in a social media environment," is a continuation of his research, which points to increased political participation by uninformed voters, considered the “dark side” of political participation.

"News consumption via social media tends to create a 'sense of being informed' rather than actually being informed, which drives political participation," Lee said. "In other words, it is this ‘illusion of knowledge' that drives political participation.”