Three TAI Faculty Receive Sam Taylor Fellowships

Three TAI faculty members are among the 11 SMU professors who have been awarded Sam Taylor Fellowships from the Sam Taylor Fellowship Fund of the Division of Higher Education, United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

The Sam Taylor Fellowships, funded by income from a portion of Taylor’s estate, award up to $2,000 for full-time faculty members at United Methodist-related colleges and universities in Texas. Any full-time faculty member is eligible to apply for the Fellowships, which support research “advancing the intellectual, social or religious life of Texas and the nation.”

Read about the research that won below!

Dr. Sidharth Muralidharan, assistant professor of advertising: “Recent literature has indicated that members of major U.S. political parties, i.e., Democrats and Republicans, have different perceptions regarding environmental issues. Democrats are assumed to be more environmentally friendly than their Republican counterparts. However, little research has delved into understanding the cognitive and psychological processes that take place behind a party member’s stance on an environmental issue. The objective of the current study is to see how green advertisements can generate favorable attitudes and encourage American shoppers to bring reusable carryout bags (vs. plastic) by taking their political affiliation into account. Since caring for the natural environment depends on a person’s self-concept, another factor that will be integrated into the design is an individual’s values for the welfare of others, specifically, self-transcendence. The findings will help city, state, and federal policy makers to effectively communicate environmental policies and ordinances. The grant money will be used to secure a participant pool for the study.”

Dr. Anna Kim, assistant professor of advertising: “My research investigates within-narrative ad variations. As not all stories are equally interesting and effective, some narrative ads are more effective than other narrative ads. Thus, my research tests and proposes a theoretical framework that explains why some narrative ads are more effective than others. With Sam Taylor Fellowship, I will be able to collect data on this study and provide a path forward for future research in this area by identifying the specific process variables that lead to more narrative persuasion. Thus, this research will not only enhance our theoretical understanding of the persuasive power of narrative advertising, but also provide specific guidance for advertising practitioners on how to create good narrative ads. Further, the findings of this research can be applied to many different areas such as health communication, public relations, and education in terms of developing more effective narrative messages.”

Dr. Hye Jin Yoon, assistant professor of advertising: “Childhood and adolescent obesity have been rising at an alarming rate in the United States. Policy changes and various school and clinic programs have been set in place over the years to help curb obesity and continuous efforts are needed on that front. Many public service advertisement (PSA) campaigns have ran in the past, but not many have been successful in catching the public’s eye and motivating a change in behavior. This study will set out to test the effectiveness of using a combination of guilt and humor appeals in health public-service advertising. Theoretical contributions will include observing the applicability of interaction of guilt and humor appeals in social marketing campaigns. Practical implications will include using guilt and humor information in effective ways to motivate the public to stay active, eat healthy, and take care of their health. This study would add knowledge to our understanding of effective PSAs that would help us in our fight against obesity in the United States.”

Applications are evaluated on the significance of the project, clarity of the proposal, professional development of the applicant, value of the project to the community or nation, and the project’s sensitivity to value questions confronting higher education and society.

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