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Faculty Spotlight: MinJi Kim

Jan 9, 2023

Assistant Professor of Communication, MinJi Kim, received her doctoral degree in Mass Communication from the University of Florida, with an emphasis in Media Psychology.

In her research, Dr. Kim mainly focuses on the effects of immersive and interactive media on behavioral change in health decisions including food choices. The core principle of her pedagogical goal is to provide students with the intellectual confidence and traction to confront their professional and personal challenges.

MinJi Kim faculty spotlight graphic


What is your favorite course to teach and why?

Last fall (2022) was my first official semester as an assistant professor at Flagler. I am excited about meeting new students this semester, specifically in COM 213 - Media Literacy (I am teaching two sections!). The class will cover all different types of media and students will have opportunities to think about why we need such media and how we can maximize the use of them for personal and social good.

Or what is your area of expertise?

As a media psychologist, I conduct experimental research on immersive media effects on health decisions. My dissertation was on the effects of the emotion of disgust on the reactions to food commercials; and this May, I am expecting to present this idea at ICA (International Communication Association). Recently, I submitted a manuscript to a journal, in which I tested the effects of ASMR videos on viewers’ mood and mindful experiences. I am looking forward to collaborating with great faculty members here at Flagler for future research in media psychology and well-being.

What made you interested in that area/topic?

I found it fascinating to understand what makes people react differently to the same messages and how that leads to their choices in life. Media is clearly the most impactful factor which can easily sway the public audiences. I have been working on finding ways to help people make healthy life decisions by studying the effects of media and its persuasive power.

If someone was interested in learning more about the topic, what reading suggestions would you make?

There are great books and resources in media psychology. I would suggest reading "Psychology of Media" as an easy start to get the general ideas in the field. For those who are interested in learning the relationship between emotions and food media, you are welcome to visit my office in the 66 Cuna Street building room #214 and get access to my printed dissertation book!

What book is on your nightstand right now? And why did you choose it?

Well, now I have several (text)books for my courses…

What has been your favorite piece of research you have conducted? And why?

Mukbang study; a psychophysiological experiment that investigated how food type and food portions in a Mukbang video affected the viewers' attitudes towards the video, emotional reactions, and food choice/intake. I measured physical reactions as well as self-reported emotions and found that viewing someone eating a large portion of food may affect viewers to feel uncomfortable or guilty, eventually leading them to choose more low-calorie food or consume less high-calorie food. I expect that the findings could help food marketers and healthcare providers suggest some ideal methods for obese patients using proper media content.

What are five words you would use to describe your style in the classroom?

Caring, disciplined, supportive, communicative, approachable.

Why is it important for the College to have a major in your area?

As it relates to the field of media psychology and health communication- media has a significant impact on our perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. By studying the media effects, we could utilize both conscious and unconscious effects of the media to make healthier decisions in life. In Fall 2023, we are offering a new PR track - Health Communication. Students will get plenty of great resources and knowledge covering media effects on health through our coursework. 

How do you embody Flagler’s Core Values in your classroom and on campus?

Flagler College’s clear goal to foster a culturally diverse community and educate students to have global perspectives aligns with my belief that diversity in education is key to success. I expect myself to offer students extraordinary mentorship and experiences developed from my foreign cultural background. Based on my cross-cultural learning and broad perspective in education, I will actively serve lessons with an emphasis on diversity of education in addition to systematic and intimate one-to-one mentoring experiences that will prepare students for culturally diverse settings in their careers. Each individual will be treated with dignity and respect regardless of color, age, gender, sexuality, accessibility, and other socioeconomic factors.

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