Dr. Muhammad Ittefaq

Dr. Muhammad Ittefaq received his Ph.D. from The University of Kansas in 2022 (M.S., Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany, 2018; MSc., University of the Punjab, Pakistan, 2015). Currently, he serves as an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication Studies at James Madison University.

Ittefaq’s research delves into the ways in which people consume and interact with information through new technologies, including how they interpret scientific messages, make decisions related to health and climate, and support policies related to science. He investigates how different segments of society are influenced by the information ecosystem and messages surrounding scientific issues, while also examining how organizations use various persuasive techniques on social media to engage with global science-related topics. In addition, Ittefaq examines the role of news media in bridging the gap between various stakeholders in public policy, including journalists, scientists, the public, civil society, and medical professionals. Through his research, he seeks to provide theoretical and practical insights that can help inform effective communication strategies for promoting public understanding of science and supporting evidence-based decision-making.

With a publication record of 31 peer-reviewed journal articles, 7 peer-reviewed commentary articles, and 2 book chapters, Ittefaq’s work spans a diverse range of topics at the intersection of news media, science communication, and health. His publications have appeared in prestigious academic journals, including International Journal of CommunicationJournal of Science Communication, Journal of Health Communication, VaccineVaccinesDigital HealthHealth, Risk & SocietyPsychology & HealthAnalyses of Social Issues and Public PolicyLocal EnvironmentThird World QuarterlyConvergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, and Death Studies, among others.

At JMU, he teaches courses in the public relations, health communication, and environmental communication concentrations involving human communication, public relations writing, research methods, and communication theories.


The University of Kansas (Lawrence, United States)

2022- Ph.D. in Journalism and Mass Communications

Technical University of Ilmenau (Ilmenau, Germany)

2018- M.S. in Media and Communication Science

University of the Punjab (Lahore, Pakistan)

2015- M.Sc. in Communication Studies

Honors and Awards

I have received a number of awards for my studies. They include:

  • 2022: Mugur V. and Anca Geana Research Award from William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications
  • 2021: Carolyn Stroman Award from AEJMC’s Minorities & Communication Division.
  • 2021: AEJMC’s ComSHER Graduate Student Comp Conference Registration Award 2021.
  • 2020-2021: KU William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications Most Productive Researcher Award.
  • 2020-2021: KU William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications Robert P. Sigman Family Scholarship.
  • 2019-2020: KU William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications Scholarship Award.
  • 2018: Society of Professional Journalists Dori Maynard Diversity Fellowship, Funded by Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.
  • 2018: Exchange Program for Regional Integration in East Asia and Europe (EPRIE) in Poland, Belgium, & Germany, Funded by Robert Bosch Stiftung and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
  • 2017-2018: Deutschlandstipendium (Germany Scholarship) holder for MS Media and Communication Science, Technical University Ilmenau, Germany.
  • 2014: Summer School Exchange Program, Funded by DAAD, Erfurt University Germany.

Research Interests

Science Communicatio|Health Communication | Climate Change Communication | Misinformation| Vaccines | Global South | Social Media

Reesearch Skills

Data Collection, Cleaning, Analysis | Data Visualization | Surveys | Content Analysis | Interviews | Social Network Analysis (SNA) |Visual Analytics


SPSS | NVIVO | LIWC | NodeXL | Gephi | Google Analytics | WordPress | Voyant | Qualtrics | Google Surveys