Research and education

Visual Communication May Influence Your Vote.

Research and discussion of modern political communication has glossed over the messaging strategies afforded to political campaigns by graphic design. Further, the digital age has provided a new environment for political entities to create professionalized brand images. This interdisciplinary study combines the research behind political branding and visual communication of graphic design through the lens of semiotic theory.

Using 2016 presidential campaign logos and slogans as branding case studies, this research identifies content and embedded messages of individual campaigns through quantitative and qualitative methods, guided by the following questions: What specific messages are conveyed through presidential candidates' graphic design decisions? Do these messages align with the constituencies they appeal to and the stances they uphold? How can voters become critical consumers of these message? The thesis concludes with a resource for voters to critically view a political entity's visual messaging strategies to formulate informed opinions.

Decoding the Candidates: A Semiotic Analysis and Literacy Guide to Graphic Design Principles in Political Campaign Branding

Jilanne Doom

Master's thesis with Distinction at Georgetown University

Political Consumer Handbook for Branding Design


Civic education can create a robust citizenry.

Declining voter turnout, distrust in government institutions, lack of understanding of our rights, and political apathy among young people is quickly removing American citizens from the democratic process.

Drawing from an original survey in Indiana high schools, this research finds that civic education classrooms that maintain an open, collaborative environment led by teachers trained in a robust curriculum can significantly increase students' knowledge and likelihood to participate in the future.

Educating Digital Citizens: The Influence of High School Civics Instruction

Diana Owen, Jilanne Doom, and G Isaac W Riddle, Georgetown University. January 2016

Presented at 2016 Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Puerto Rico. January 2016


Robotics education is vital for innovation.

The trend toward robotics and automation are not only becoming ubiquitous across many sectors, but they are also advancing at more significant rates than ever before. With robots becoming more involved in the workplace and even our homes, humans need some level of understanding of robot mechanics, artificial intelligence, and our own anthropomorphic tendencies. If the general public's vision of robots steers closer to iRobot than an ATM, or our behavioral lines between robot dogs and living dogs begin to blur, our human-human and human-robot interactions (HRI) have the potential to suffer.

This research asks: What dangers result from a general publics's lack of HRI understanding? How can the formal education setting combat these potential societal dangers? This paper makes a call for formalized HRI education standards and introduces recommendations for how these standards can be implemented.

Robotics After Recess: A Call for Enhanced Human-Robot Interaction Focus in Education

Jilanne Doom

gnovis Journal Volume XVI Issue 2. April 2016

Presented at STGlobal 2016 Conference, Washington, DC. April 2016


Media literacy is a silent predictor of our future.

Technological innovation and the social media culture have become embedded into the framework of society. Without the ability to effectively and responsibly decode the thousands of messages thrust at us daily, we risk values like objectivity, privacy, security and the ability to truly innovate. 

Through the lens of social media and the American voter, I am currently researching how the education system can prepare young people to engage with these platforms in a meaningful way, both in civic and everyday life.


Digital Pornography is taking new forms.

NBC News Online

NBC News Online

Whether we want to admit it or not, pornography makes up a significant portion of Internet content. This growing trend has pervaded itself into society as both an economic hotbed and an outlet for individuals forging interpersonal relationships - and the Internet has allowed these two pursuits to collide in the most volatile of ways. 

Revenge porn has evolved into a multi-million dollar business, oftentimes profiting from those unaware their intimate data has been compromised. And with a purposefully slow legal system, the US is falling behind in its ability to protect citizens in today's rapid online environment. In this paper published in the Spring issue of gnovis Journal, I discuss the motivations behind revenge porn and identify how current legal standards fail to cover victims. 

The New Porn Platform: The Standards Gaps in 'Revenge Porn' Policy and Protections

Jilanne Doom, gnovis Journal Volume XV Issue 2. December 2014


Can Public Diplomacy 2.0 reach its potential?

Official logo of @Twiplomacy.

Official logo of @Twiplomacy.

Social media and new media technologies have completely reshaped the realm of communication from creating interpersonal relationships to forging global partnerships. People  are connecting in ways unseen in any time in human history. The phenomenon gives individuals and entities alike one of two choices: join the conversation or be left behind. 

Luckily for citizens, this heightened level of communication has forced governments to join, which theoretically means greater transparency and interaction between the people and international leaders. However, governments, often bogged down with bureaucracies, partisanship or corruption, have proven to be ineffective in their noble efforts to harness new media technologies for public diplomacy efforts, or Public Diplomacy 2.0 as it is often referred. 

This paper, presented at the 2013 Transatlantic Studies Conference in Alcala, Spain, discusses the reasons for ineffective PD 2.0 through comparative case studies of the United States and United Kingdom, as international powers, and cross-examined with Norway, as an example of small-state niche diplomacy.

A Comparison of New Media Public Diplomacy Efforts

Jilanne Doom, University of South Dakota, October 2013

Presented at 2013 Transatlantic Studies Conference, Alcala de Henares, Spain. October 2013


Future Topics for Research

Big data changing perceptions of fact.

Digital technologies have enabled us to compile and contribute information on the most massive scale humanity has ever seen. Every millisecond, we are simultaneously contributing to and referencing this database. But as big data expands exponentially, how can we ensure this information is still fact as we understand it?

The political brand becoming ever-social. 

The social media boom created both excitement and a new headache for public figures, namely politicians and campaign hopefuls. Political branding via social media has become an enormous and highly strategic business. Though voters have reached a new level of interaction with the political elite, creating an exciting new campaign environment, citizens must work to recognize how these expensively crafted messages are influencing us.

Balancing the sociotechnical society.

I like to think when I customize the settings on my iPhone, I am in control of the order and process of how I organize my life from the palm of my hand. However, many of us fail to realize that Apple and the aggregate of its outsourcers have compiled those limited choices for us. Today more than ever before, society must ask itself: Who is actually in control - individuals or the technology we depend on?

Transhumanism's science (non)fiction future.

Transhumanists, though often dismissed as sci-fi hopefuls, could be living in society's not-so-distant future. These people believe humans must shed their dependence on biological processes and embrace the marriage of man and machine. Sound crazy? Well, a quick look at technology's rapid evolution and integration into human life might prove otherwise.


relevant coursework

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MA, Communication Culture & Technology

BA, Political Science, Journalism

  • Governing Emerging Technology

  • Journalism and Politics

  • Politics, Technology and Foreign Policy

  • Media and American Elections

  • Political Socialization

  • Critical Theory in Contemporary Media

  • Network Communities in International Politics

  • Sentiment Analysis

  • Fundamentals of Technology

  • Global Standards: What's at Stake?

  • Thesis Colloquium

  • Media Law and Ethics

  • Political Theory and the Global Environment

  • Publications Editing and Design

  • Digital Imaging

  • Multiplatform Storytelling

  • International Human Rights

  • Advanced Problems in International Organizations

  • Research Methods

  • International Digital Storytelling (SA, Italy)

  • Comparative Counterterrorism (SA, United Kingdom, Ireland)

  • PS Internship (US Department of State)