Ying Xiong


Prior to joining URI, Ying worked in Adam Brown Social Media Command Center at the University of Tennessee offering training opportunities to students, faculty, and staff. She also worked in the Media Effect Lab at the University of Oklahoma for eye tracking, Galvanic Skin Response research, and health communication studies.

Ying has outstanding teaching performance. She has taught Public Relations Research Methods, Public Relations Campaigns, and Introduction to Event Management.


Xiong’s public relations research has focused on social movement engagement, social media analytics, networked community, and crisis communication. She has explored how public relations contributes to society and facilitates social movement engagement. Her expertise in social network analysis and big data mining has been supported by two research grants: A summer research grant of $3,600 for networked social movement research from the Research and Engagement Scholarly and Research Incentive Funds at the University of Tennessee and a research grant of $500 for social network analysis research from the University of Tennessee School of Advertising and Public Relations. In 2018, Ying’s research won the Top Student Paper at both the Southern States Communication Association, and the National Communication Association annual conference.


Ph.D., Communication and Information, The University of Tennessee, 2019.

M.A., Public Relations and Strategic Communication, The University of Oklahoma, 2016.

M.A., Advertising and Public Relations, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, 2014.

B.A., Advertising, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, 2011.

Selected Publications

Xiong, Y., Cho, M., & Boatwright, B. (2019). Hashtag activism and message frames among social movement organizations: Semantic network analysis and thematic analysis of Twitter during the #MeToo movement. Public Relations Review. 45(1), 10-23.

Bentley, J., Taylor, M., & Xiong, Y. (2018). Who speaks and how? Rethinking Citizens United after Donald Trump’s election. Communication Law Review, 18 (1).