Administration and Members

PCOST is housed in the College of Humanities And Social Sciences at North Carolina State University. Its members include faculty from various disciplines on campus who are committed to understanding and improving the public communication of emerging science and technology. PCOST is also represented by off-campus associates from a variety of academic institutions also committed to the missions and goals of the project.

Board of Directors

Dr. David M. Berube is the founding director of PCOST. He is a professor in the Department of Communication and an affiliated professor in the Environmental Science, Science, Technology and Society, and Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media programs programs at NC State University.
Dr. Berube completed work on a NSF NIRT grant to study how the public unpackages toxicological information on the health and safety of nanoparticles. He researches the public’s role in science and technology policy, and has served in many capacities on dozens of grants and grant applications. Within the Department of Communication, he teaches graduate courses in risk communication and persuasion, and an undergraduate course in natural hazard communication. He consults in social media protocols and manages his own LLC, the Center for Emerging Technologies (registered in the state of North Carolina).

Dr. Deanna P. Dannels, NC State University professor

Dr. Deanna P.  Dannels is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as well as a Professor in the Department of Communication. Dr. Dannels is a pedagogical scholar in communication and is the author of Eight Essential Questions Teachers Ask: A Guidebook to Communicating with Students (New York: Oxford University Press 2015) and instructs graduate students in teaching college communication. She is a highly sought-after workshop facilitator and conference presenter, specifically for her focus on incorporating oral communication in technical disciplines such as science, math, design, and engineering.

Dr. Jennifer Kuzma

Dr. Jennifer Kuzma is a professor in the Department of Political Science and the School of Public and International Affairs, NC State. Jennifer is on the Board of Directors for PCOST. She is working closely with the Genetic Engineering in Society Program at NC State and is leading a Sloan Foundation Grant to study expert understandings of synthetic biology. She has explored the use of system dynamics for risk policy associated with emerging technological products in the environment. She has published widely and spoken nationally and internationally in the areas of basic science, public policy, and risk analysis.

Dr. Michael Cobb is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at NC State, and co-published some of the first data on public perception of nanotechnology. Dr. Cobb has been a PI or co-PI on a series of NSF grants, including A National-Scale Citizens' Technology Forum on Nanotechnology, and Public Information, and Deliberation in Nanoscience Policy. 


Dean Jeffrey Braden, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr. Jeffrey Braden is the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at NC State, and a professor in the Department of Psychology. Dean Braden has presented more than 275 papers at state, national, and international meetings and published more than 160 articles, books, book chapters, and other products on assessment, school psychology, intelligence, and deafness.

Dr. Maria Correa

Dr. Maria Correa  is a Professor in the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. She is trained as a public health epidemiologist and her work centers on diseases transmitted between animals and people (zoonosis). She collaborated with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture of the Organization of American States on risk communication program development and has published her research and extension work in English and Spanish. Maria is a graduate of the NSF-NC State ADVANCE and BRIDGES leadership programs, a National Academies and USDA review panel members, and editor of journals and books. She obtained her M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Dr. Marc Russo is an Assistant Professor of Art+Design at NC State's College of Design. He has a Masters of Art+Design with a concentration in Animation and New Media from NC State. For over a decade, he has worked as a production artist and a freelance designer throughout the Triangle. He is an independent artist and animator, his animations have been selected by international film festivals and have won several awards, including “Excellence in Animation” from the Carrboro Film Festival and the “Experimental Film Award” from the Indie Grits Film Festival. Marc is has been the Lead Digital Artist for the IntelliMedia Group. A part of the Department of Computer Science at NC State, the IntelliMedia Group creates educational video games for elementary and middle school students with funding from the National Science Foundation and The Gates Foundation.

Dr. Glenn Walker is an Associate Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering between NC State and UNC. Currently, Glenn is researching bio-microelectromechanical systems (bioMEMS), microfluidics, and lab-on-a-chip systems.

Dr. Ben Watson is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at NC State University and director of the Design Graphics Lab, where their mission is the engineering of visual experience. Watson studies the the connections between visuals and perception, emotion, engagement, learning, persuasion and behavior in visual computing.

Dr. Emily Berglund Zechman joined the NC State University Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering in July 2011. She graduated with her B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Kentucky, earning her Ph.D. at NC State in 2005. Her current research concerns development of new computational methodologies to explore the influence of feedbacks among social and infrastructure systems.

Dr. Kenneth S. Zagacki is department head of the Communication department and a professor at NC State University. His research interests include foreign policy communication, visual rhetoric, environmental communication, and philosophy and rhetoric. He has published numerous articles in major scholarly journals, including the Quarterly Journal of SpeechPhilosophy & Rhetoric, and Rhetoric & Public Affairs.

Associated Members

Dr. Christopher L. Cummings completed his doctoral studies at NC State and has joined the faculty in the Department of Communication in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is working with Dr. Jennifer Kuzma under the Sloan Foundation Grant. He continues to work on research projects with PCOST anticipating publication on public perception of nanoproducts article with Dr. Berube.

Dr. Patrick Gehrke is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of South Carolina. Patrick teaches communication ethics and rhetorical theory and was a Co-PI on a sub-award in the NSF NIRT to study how the public interfaces with toxicological information on nanoparticles.

Dr. Dietram Scheufele is a Professor of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin. Dietram a member of the steering committee of the Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies. He is also Wisconsin PI of the NSF-funded Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU). Dietram is currently a member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group to the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).


Dr. Nancy Monteiro-Riviere professor is on the faculty at Kanas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. She was formerly a professor of Investigative Dermatology and Toxicology in the Center for Chemical Toxicology Research and Pharmacokinetics, Department of Clinical Sciences, CVM, NC State and the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, UNC/NC State. Dr. Monteiro-Riviere has published over 200 publications, holds 2 US patents, serves on seven toxicology editorial boards and has been the recipient of several million dollars in extramural research support from various government and private sources. Her research involves the toxicity of several types of nanomaterials and the mechanisms of nanoparticle cellular uptake in cells and their subsequent translocation through the body.

Riviere, Jim E. - Jim was the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology; and Director, Center for Chemical Toxicology Research and Pharmacokinetics, College of Veterinary Medicine; NC State. Jim has also joined the faculty at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. His research interests relate to the development of animal models; applying biomathematics to problems in toxicology, including the risk assessment of chemical mixtures, pharmacokinetics, nanomaterials, absorption of drugs and chemicals across skin; and the food safety and pharmacokinetics of tissue residues in food producing animals.

Dr. Patrick Hamlett  is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and is associated with Science, Technology and Society Interdisciplinary Program, NC State. Patrick is leading a NSF grant to undertake a series of technology forums for the National Network for Nanotechnology in Society, and publishes in the field of public engagement.