The Environmental Communication Division of the International Communication Association (ICA) recently announced the winner of its 2020 Environmental Communication Division Dissertation Award. Dr. Nan Zhang, a former PhD student of the Department, has been selected to receive this award for her PhD thesis entitled, “Constructing a Green Public Sphere: Environmental Activism and the Role of the Internet in China.” Dr. Marko Skoric supervised Nan’s PhD study and her Postdoctoral work in the last five years.
Nan’s thesis offers a comprehensive, theoretically-informed, and empirically grounded analysis of the present-day environmental public sphere in Greater China, focusing on the potential of new digital technologies for promoting environmental awareness and encouraging pro-environmental behaviours. More specifically, she examines the use of digital media by Chinese environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) and analyzes the impact of their digital strategies. The members of the Environmental Communication Division’s leadership team, and the outside reviewers were highly impressed by the innovative, important, and high-quality nature of her work.