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Q&A With Culture and Communication's Dr. Asta Zelenkauskaite

February 7, 2013

Dr. Zelenkauskaite joined Drexel University’s College of Arts and Sciences after earning her Ph.D. in mass communication at Indiana University. Her research interests include social media, computer-mediated communication, and user-generated content.

Dr. Asta Zelenkauskaite

Dr. Asta Zelenkauskaite

Asta Zelenkauskaite

Assistant Professor, Department of Culture & Communication

Hometown: Vilnius, Lithuania
Degree: Ph.D., Mass Communication, Indiana University
Research Interests: Social media, computer-mediated communication, user-generated content

Q: What did you do before coming to Drexel?

A: I finished my Ph.D. program at Indiana University in the spring of 2012. From 2010-2012, I spent a year and a half as a researcher at the Institute for Scientific and Technological Research in Italy.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: 100 years of solitude, G. G. Márquez

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Sushi

Q: One thing you couldn't live without?

A: Internet

Q: Who is your idol/Who inspires you?

A: Professor Susan C. Herring

Q: What was the most memorable class you ever took as an undergrad?

A: An intensive Serbian course taught by Professor Sergejus Temcinas, who showed that it is possible to learn a language in 8 weeks.

Q: Which current event/issue do you think students should know more about?

A: Media literacy and ethics issues call for a deeper reflection regarding the ubiquitous presence of media, which has a strong impact on our everyday lives reaching beyond mere media use. In particular, I believe that social media opens up a discussion not only related to marketing issues but also ethical points of view, which become further relevant not only in a classroom, but also in the future working realm for many of the students who will become media professionals.

Q: What course would you be most excited to teach at Drexel and why?

A: Social media topics particularly intrigue me. Given that we live in the period where social media is becoming mainstream, it gives me a possibility to explore the relevance of topic through the eyes of my students who are potentially influencing the future of social media.

Q: What’s one thing every student who plans on taking one of your classes should know about you?

A: I am very invested in my teaching; however, my perception of the true success of a student is based on a reciprocal determination and reflection that should go beyond the grade.

Q: What made you want to become a professor?

A: The passion of being able to have a freedom of thought, which allows one to analyze and challenge mainstream conceptions.

Q: What do you hope to add to the CoAS community?

A: Given that my research intertwines between various disciplines, I hope to contribute to an interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration with my colleagues. With regards to social media teaching, I hope to be able to bring up the issues related to social media that would go beyond the classroom and provide reflective grounding for the future careers of students as well as their everyday lives and the choices they make with regards to media.

See Dr. Asta Zelenkauskaite in action: CoAS Dean's Seminar: "Social Media and its Impact Through Active Contribution and Interaction" Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 3:30-5:00PM, Disque 109.