Sun Joo “Grace” Ahn
Charles B. Knapp Early Career Scholar Award 2017
Sun Joo “Grace” Ahn, assistant professor in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, studies how user experiences in virtual worlds shape and transform individual attitudes and behaviors in the physical world. Ahn was among the first in her field to call attention to the need to re-examine and extend classical theories and models of persuasion and communication in a digital era. Her work, which has advanced the scholarship of persuasive communication by integrating communication, psychology, computer science and public health, makes unique and timely contributions to our understanding of how virtual reality systems can impact attitudes and behaviors of children and adults in ways that were difficult or impossible with traditional media systems. Widely recognized as a rising star of her field, Ahn’s work will have a profound influence on our understanding of how virtual communication technologies transform the way people learn, relate and play.