August faculty and staff features 2013

Marcus Messner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, VCU School of Mass Communications, College of Humanities and Sciences

Marcus Messner
Marcus Messner

Messner and colleague Marcia W. DiStaso, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, were published in the peer-reviewed journal, Mass Communication and Society, for their extensive research concerning social media’s impact on the standard of knowledge.

The study, titled “Wikipedia versus Encyclopedia Britannica: A Longitudinal Analysis to Identify the Impact of Social Media on the Standards of Knowledge,” examined how social media collaboration on Wikipedia impacts how knowledge is generated, impacted and selected in modern society, as opposed to traditional print encyclopedias written exclusively by experts, professors and scholars.

Results showed that Wikipedia entries were much longer, skewed more positively or negatively, focused more on corporate social responsibility and had less neutral positions, indicating that the shift to social media is impacting information and how it is created and framed.

Messner teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in journalism, multimedia journalism, social media, online journalism and other major topics in communication. His research currently focuses on social media and its impact on mass communications.


Mark E. Rubin, Executive Director, Government Relations

Mark E. Rubin
Mark E. Rubin

Rubin has been selected as a member of this year’s class of “Leaders in the Law,” a list put together by Virginia Lawyers Media, the publisher of Virginia Lawyers Weekly.

Now in its eighth year, this awards program recognizes lawyers across the commonwealth who are setting the standard for other lawyers in Virginia. “Leaders” are recognized for changing the law, serving the community, changing practice or improving Virginia’s justice system, among other accomplishments.

The honorees will be celebrated at a reception on Oct. 17 at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. Each honoree also will be profiled in a special publication that will be distributed at the event and inserted into Virginia Lawyers Weekly in late October.


Leigh Small, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Family and Community Health Nursing
Deborah McGuire, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Adult Health and Nursing Systems

Deborah McGuire, Ph.D.
Deborah McGuire, Ph.D.
Leigh Small, Ph.D.
Leigh Small, Ph.D.

Small and McGuire have joined the faculty of VCU’s School of Nursing.

“Drs. Small and McGuire represent a big step forward in our efforts to cultivate a community of scholars dedicated to research and innovative education,” said Jean Giddens, Ph.D., dean and professor of the VCU School of Nursing. “Both are highly respected educators and researchers who bring a wealth of knowledge to complement the nursing excellence of our current faculty.”

Small most recently served as director of the Center for Healthy Families Research and coordinator of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner DNP Program at Arizona State University's College of Nursing and Health Innovation. Her research focuses on prevention and treatment interventions with obese/overweight young children and their parents to enhance parental and child outcomes; and critically ill neonates and young children, and their parents.

McGuire most recently served as a professor at the University of Maryland, School of Nursing, where she led the Developing Center of Excellence in Palliative Care Research and collaborated on the P30 University of Maryland Center for Pain Studies. Her interdisciplinary clinical research focuses on pain assessment, cancer-related symptoms and oral complications of cancer therapy.


David Latané, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of English, College of Humanities and Sciences

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals elected Latané vice president during an annual meeting in Manchester, England, on July 13. Latané also published a book about Irish journalist William Maginn that same month.

Latané’s book, “William Maginn and the British Press: A Critical Biography,” is the first scholarly look into the life and career of Maginn. The research is based on letters and manuscripts written by Maginn and his associates.

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals is an international association of scholars dedicated to the study of 19th century newspapers and magazines. The society meets in either Europe or North America.


Lindsay Sabik, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, VCU School of Medicine

Lindsay Sabik, Ph.D
Lindsay Sabik, Ph.D

Sabik has received a grant from the National Cancer Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. She will receive $316,438 annually through May 2017. 

Titled “Disparities in Cancer Screening: The Role of Medicaid Policy,” her study examines how existing and new policies that affect the generosity of state Medicaid programs impact breast and cervical cancer screening and related health outcomes among low-income women. She will consider the effect of pre- and post-health care reform variation in eligibility between and within states, as well as the effect of physician payment and patient cost sharing on screening. In addition, she will study how the variation in Medicaid generosity across states and over time is related to outcomes including cancer incidence and stage at diagnosis.


Cathy Bradley, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, VCU School of Medicine

Cathy Bradley, Ph.D.
Cathy Bradley, Ph.D.

Bradley has been awarded two grants, the first of which is from Virginia Premier Health Plan, Inc. – for $600,000 – to evaluate Virginia Premier Health Plan’s (VPHP) patient-centered medical home (PCMH) initiative in Southwest Virginia. The project will have three phases: pre-implementation, data collection and assessment.

The second grant comes from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She will receive $364,622 each year through February 2017 for the grant, which supports a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of incentives for an initial primary care visit within six months of enrollment in a health care coverage program. Study subjects are drawn from a low-income adult population that gains coverage and access to community-based primary care services under a program administered by an academic safety-net hospital.