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SBU News > Pending > Alda Center (Pending) > SoCJ’s Ruobing Li wins Stony Brook Trustees Faculty Award

SoCJ’s Ruobing Li wins Stony Brook Trustees Faculty Award

Ruobing Li headshot

Ruobing Li headshotRuobing Li, assistant professor of mass communication at the School of Communication and Journalism, is one of five Stony Brook faculty to win the Stony Brook Trustees Faculty Award. The award is designed to support promising early career faculty and their research. 

Li joined the SoCJ faculty in 2020, and in that time has published more than a dozen papers in top-tier social science and communication journals. Primarily a health communication researcher, most of her recent work explores vaccine hesitancy and the various interconnected and complex factors that influence an individual’s likelihood of getting a particular vaccine.

“Ruobing is a scholar, instructor and colleague who has demonstrated a continuing commitment to development and growth,” said Laura Lindenfeld, dean of the SoCJ and executive director of the Alda Center for Communicating Science. “Her work embodies the core ethos of the SoCJ, and the best of what a faculty member in her field should be: engaged, applied and actively building knowledge that is useful to society.”

Four Stony Brook faculty, in addition to Li, won the award. They are: Stanley Bak, computer science; Theodore Drivas, mathematics; Carrie Mongle, anthropology; and Shanshan Yao, mechanical engineering.

With the research funding, Li plans to conduct a meta-analysis to evaluate different interventions and communication strategies that have been used to encourage individuals to receive different vaccines. The analysis, Li says, will shed light on the impact of these different tactics to reduce vaccine hesitancy in the United States.

“The intricate web of socio-cultural, political and individual factors that fuel vaccine hesitancy has clouded our understanding of which strategies truly drive vaccine acceptance,” Li said. “By aggregating myriad interventions, revealing patterns, gaps and unprecedented insights into what works, for whom, and under what conditions, I aim to pioneer a clearer path forward, facilitating enhanced vaccine acceptance and ultimately fostering a more protected and health-resilient global community.”

Li actively pursues grants to support her research. She has been part of projects funded by Stony Brook, Pfizer, the U.S. Department of State and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As the first tenure-track mass communication researcher at Stony Brook, Li has led the way in supporting her colleagues’ research aspirations.

She has also helped the SoCJ expand its degree offerings, and took an active role in building the School’s bachelor’s programs in mass communication and communication, and its master’s in science communication. Of the six courses she has taught since coming to Stony Brook, she created five.

Beloved by her students, Li’s teaching evaluations are consistently high at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She integrates her students into her research and supports their own curiosity, mentoring them to develop and answer their own questions.

“As our first communication scholar, Ruobing created a path for our School to grow: in research output, in student enrollments and academic offerings, and in cross-disciplinary collaborations,” Lindenfeld said. “As the SoCJ grows in enrollments and in its research portfolio, Ruobing has been one of my key partners. She is deeply committed to her research, her field, her colleagues and students, and this institution. We are lucky to have her, and I’m thrilled for her to receive this award.”

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