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Dr. Stacey Kanihan

Associate professor in strategic communication
September 8, 2015

Portrait of Stacey Kanihan

When it comes to strategic communication research methods – surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews and content analyses – Stacey Kanihan has applied them all throughout her extensive career in the worlds of academics and business.

Kanihan returns to SJMC as an associate teaching professor in the Strategic Communication Professional M.A. program, teaching courses in communication theory and research methods.

“I’ve done many studies using all these methods and I talk about them in class,” Kanihansaid. “We’re not just conducting one research project, we’re dong several, using different methods. When it’s time for students to do their capstone project or conduct research on the job, they’ll be able to use these techniques and apply the results to make smart decisions based on facts, evidence and information.”   

Kanihan was most recently director of research at Padilla Speer Beardsley (now PadillaCRT), where she was responsible for implementing and managing comprehensive market and communication research to help clients achieve their strategic goals. Clients included Allina Health, Best Buy, the Metropolitan Airports Commission and the University of Minnesota.

Her new job puts her back in the classroom where, as an SJMC lecturer from 2004 to 2008, she taught a case studies course in the professional M.A. program as well as Communication and Public Opinion and Mass Communication and U.S. Society. During that time, Kanihanwas named an Arthur W. Page Legacy Scholar along with SJMC professor Kathleen Hansen. The pair examined the characteristics of corporate communications managers who are in the dominant coalition – the top decision-making group of an organization. Their research was published in the Journal of Communication Management in 2013. Kanihan was also an associate professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of St. Thomas from 1995-2004.

A former reporter and editor, Kanihan’s research interests also include political communication studies. She is currently researching how people are using mass media to make decisions about the 2016 presidential election. More specifically, she’s examining the point at which people make their vote decision and the information they use to guide their choice. The first paper is expected in early 2016.

Kanihan also brings an impressive academic record to SJMC. She earned her doctorate in communication at Stanford University. She also holds an M.B.A. from the University of South Florida, and an English degree from Wellesley College.