New faculty members add to rich diversity of mass comm staff

baasanjav li

Dr. Undrah Baasanjav and Shi Li are no strangers to the world of mass communications. They both carry unique international experiences in the field that add unique expertise to an already diverse mass communications faculty at SIUE.

Shi, a PhD candidate at Indiana University, previously worked as a photo editor for China Daily, an English-based daily newspaper published in Beijing. She also covered the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as part of a special team for China Daily. Li also worked as a reporter for the New York-based Sino Vision, a network that serves Chinese Americans living in the northeast. Li’s research interests are in visual and international communication with a geographical focus in China. Shi is teaching Digitial Imagery, Broadcasting and Electronic Media Advertising at SIUE this fall.

“I think the students here are in a very unique and special position in that they do have a number of international representatives from a variety of different countries,” Shi said. “That’s something is unique about this department. So I hope that they can take advantage to be more engaged globally and become world citizens.”

Last year Shi created and designed her own undergraduate course at Indiana, Documentary Photography, where students researched photography’s relationship with history and society.

Dr. Baasanjav, who teaches Mass Communication Theory and Design and Writing for the Web at SIUE, also serves as a researcher of digital media, mediated political social processes. She has written studies for the Online Journal of Space Communication and the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. She notes that her experience of applying theory into practice will benefit her students.

“I try to stay curious and I learn from my students too,” Baasanjov said. “Sometimes students have a very savvy attitude about certain kind of ideas. And I try to learn.”

“You are constantly evolving and learning at the same time that you do yourself, and you kind of try to instill that kind of learning in your students.

Baasanjav’s interest in digital media can be traced to then earlier days of the internet in her native Mongolia, where she served as the information coordinator for Open Societies, a non-profit organization founded by American philanthropist, George Soros. In the 1990s, Baasanjav helped coordinate and plan the establishment of internet cafes at province centers in Mongolia. After receiving her PhD in Mass Communications at Ohio University, Baasonjav taught classes at Temple University. She said she tries to keep up to date on the latest technology and trends in digital media and tries to instill that mindset in her students.

“Technology is changing really rapidly,” Baasanjav said. “Every six months there’s a new program … You have really to keep up with that technology and development. And you have to be really curious, and you have to learn, and apply and try to understand while you’re at the job.”

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