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Dr. Renee Kaufmann joins the School of Information Science faculty with a Masters and Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Kentucky. Before pursuing graduate studies, Kaufmann worked for five years as a seventh grade teacher. This is where she started to question how communication really influenced learning outcomes. “I was baffled how some teachers would say things to students and the students would love the class and them, and then on the other hand, there would be other teachers who would say the same things and the students would hate the class and the teacher.” Kaufmann’s need for understanding the impact of communication on the classroom has extended into the online classroom. “It makes sense to move what we know about the traditional classroom into the online context. In the end, we want to build and deliver quality learning experiences.” Kaufmann’s research interest includes exploring online learning in higher education and the use communication technologies for educational and relational outcomes. More specifically, she focuses on how instructors can enhance the learning experience for their online students, as well as how communication on social media platforms can enhance or hinder learning and relationships. Her recent work has appeared in Communication Education, Communication Teacher, Communication Research Reports, Health Communication, and Computers in Human Behavior.

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Jeff Huber is Director and Professor, School of Information Science, College of Communication and Information, University of Kentucky.  He has spent more than 25 years specializing in the provision of health information.  Much of his research focuses on health information outreach/health information literacy programming for marginalized or underserved populations.  His work has also focused on the social construction of various health conditions as well as issues associated with health information retrieval.  He primarily teaches courses related to his research agenda.  Huber received the College Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in 2011-2012 and the Medical Library Association Lucretia W. McClure Excellence in Education Award in 2016.

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