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Crisis Communication Expert and UE Alumnus to Speak on Campus September 25

Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012

This fall, the University of Evansville’s Department of Communication will welcome an alumnus and internationally recognized crisis communication expert to campus for a free, public lecture.

Matthew W. Seeger, a 1979 UE graduate who serves as dean of the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State University, will present “The Consequences of Crisis: From Ruin to Renewal” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 25 in Eykamp Hall (Rooms 253-254, Ridgway University Center).

“Crises, disasters, and catastrophes are increasingly common and create widespread social, political, and economic destruction,” said Seeger, who was a UE student in 1977, when the plane carrying the Purple Aces’ men’s basketball team crashed near the Evansville airport. “Given the facts of more disasters with greater impact, the question becomes what can be done to manage and mitigate the risks and contain and limit the harm?”

“While many crises result in permanent harm and long-term loss, others result in a kind of rebirth and renewal,” Seeger added. “The features of a disaster, how we describe and understand these events, and how we choose to prepare and respond can determine whether a crisis results in ruin or renewal.”

Seeger has been a faculty member and administrator at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, for 29 years. He earned his PhD from Indiana University in 1982. His research interests concern crisis and risk communication, health promotion and communication, crisis response and agency coordination, the role of media (including new media) in crisis, crisis and communication ethics, failure of complex systems, and post-crisis renewal. 

Seeger has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more than a decade. He is an affiliate of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense where he studies issues of food safety and recalls. Seeger also works with the National Center for Border Security and Immigration and the International Crisis Communication Group.

Seeger’s work on crisis, risk, and communication has appeared more than a dozen journals and handbooks, and he is the author or co-author of seven books on crisis and risk communication. He has advised over 35 doctoral dissertations in the areas of risk and crisis communication.

For more information on Seeger’s lecture, community members may contact UE’s Department of Communication at 812-488-2491.

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