Name: Emily Diamond
URI Position: Assistant Professor of Public Relations and Marine Affairs
Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers
The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to welcome several new professors on the tenure-track beginning in the fall 2019 semester. Assistant Professor Emily Diamond, Ph.D., joins the University with a joint appointment in the Department of Marine Affairs and the Harrington School of Communication and Media’s Communication Studies program. A recent Ph.D. graduate from Duke University, her main research focus is environmental policy. Her dissertation, discussing environmental communication, examined how various partisan and non-partisan identities interact with communication to drive attitudes towards environmental issues. “The overall goal of this research is to find ways to talk about environmental issues that build bipartisan consensus,” she says. Diamond brings several years of experience working in public relations and business consulting. Before pursuing her graduate studies, she says, “I helped clients in various industries, from tech startups to major national corporations, develop strategic communication, stakeholder engagement, and change management strategies.”
Reflective of her research interests and experience, Diamond will teach courses in Public Relations, Communication Studies, and Marine Affairs during the upcoming academic year. She also looks forward to engaging with several research projects. “As a researcher,” she says, “I am interested in the ways that identities – how we think about ourselves in the world – shape how we receive and communicate information.” She is currently working on a nationwide study of rural identities in America, exploring how they shape environmental information and policy attitudes. “I plan to expand this research at URI by looking at coastal fishing and aquaculture communities,” she says. Correspondingly, she is interested in examining climate change journalism, environmental journalism, and public perception of environmental issues. Diamond will be joining a related project at URI’s Metcalf Institute, studying how community attitudes toward environmental issues change when local journalists are trained on how to talk about climate change.
Diamond describes herself as an interdisciplinary scholar. She was drawn to URI’s commitment to both interdisciplinary and experiential learning, inside and outside of the classroom. “To solve the big problems of the 21st century,” she says “researchers need to span traditional boundaries and leverage insights from diverse disciplines, which URI really understands and prioritizes. The creation of this position, which spans both Communication Studies and Marine Affairs, is a perfect example of that understanding.” She looks forward to embodying this inclusive and cross-disciplinary approach in her teaching, and inviting students to explore different topics and perspectives. To students, she offers this advice: “College is a unique opportunity for students to explore topics and perspectives on the world that they had never even considered, and a liberal arts education gives you both the freedom and the structure to do so.”
~Written by Aria Mia Loberti