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Creating Jobs and Wealth in Distressed Michigan Communities

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Michigan State University Quello Center

Laleah Fernandez
Laleah Fernandez

Laleah Fernandez is a post-doctoral research fellow at MSU's Quello Center in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences. She earned her Ph.D. in Media and Information Studies, her M.A. in Advertising and her B.A in Journalism, all from MSU. Her research interests include network analysis and the role of new and emerging media in community-level and global mobilization efforts. Laleah has published research and reviews in the areas of advertising, economic development, mobilization, and science communication. Laleah comes to us from her position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information and Computing Science at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay.


In 2018, Laleah began her Innovation Fellows project, "Network and Digital Media Strategies for Mobilization toward Policy Change." This project focuses on a digital media strategy for Southwest Michigan Planning Commission (SWMPC) to improve awareness, consensus building, and action related to current topics of policy importance for economic development. In particular, this project will include a network analysis to help optimize the flow of information (e.g. remove redundancy), specify influencers/opinion leaders, and improve communication efficiency based on strength of ties and attributes among stakeholders. The project will result in a case study research paper and digital media outreach template for other regional economic development organizations.