Brummette earns a CHBS research award

DR. John Brummette

By Darcy Anderson

Each year, a few faculty members from the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences are awarded funding to support research. One of the recipients this year is Dr. John Brummette.

For his research, Brummette said he will be “examining the construct of social capital…which is typically defined as the benefits one obtains from participating in networks.”

He chose this specifically because he and his research partner, Dr. William Kennan, found that the construct of social capital is in need of further development as it does not have any valid scales that are relevant to public relations.

The grant gives $10,000 that can be used for various activities that include paying for travel to conferences, course releases and data collection. To complete this research, Brummette will be conducting 20 in-depth interviews (10 of which he did last year) and paying a research firm to send his questionnaire to 800 random adults across the nation. This project will culminate in the development of a scale that is capable of measuring social capital in the realm of public relations. 

“This grant is extremely important for me because journal reviewers are becoming stricter with the type of data you can use in your study. Using student samples is frowned upon. These grants allow me to pay for better data, which, in turn, leads to a higher possibility of publication,” Brummette said.

Brummette is actually a former student of two well-known researchers of social construct, Dr. William Kennan and Dr. Vincent Hazleton. These two professors inspired his interest in that particular study.

This research will take about 5 to 10 hours a week and will include writing manuscripts, analyzing data, and transcribing each of the one-hour in-depth interviews.

Emphasizing the significance of what he is doing, Brummette said, “Research is extremely important for the reputation of our school and university. It allows faculty members to attend conferences and talk with colleagues from other universities, shows we are using state of the art concepts and theories in our classroom and adds value to our students’ degrees.”

Brummette also added that, “It is extremely important to recognize the dean’s work in providing this grant to the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences faculty. She’s done a lot of good work to support our faculty.”

Brummette has been a professor at Radford for eight years and was tenured to associate professor two years ago. He received his bachelor’s degree in communication rhetoric from the University of Pittsburgh in 2001. He earned his master’s degree from Radford in 2003 and got his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in communication and information with a concentration in public relations. 

Oct 19, 2016
School of Communication