Dr. Steven Vrooman, PhD, is Professor at Texas Lutheran University, where he is Chair of the Department of English and Communication Studies and Director of General Education.
His well-received TED Talk, "Our Brains Are A'Twitter," explored what social media reveals about the ways we have always processed and failed to process information. This built on 20 years of research and teaching in the field, ever since the Internet emerged from the computer-lab basements of BITNET and IRC. He has researched and written on Internet social movements, online fandoms, flaming, trolling and invective, the maintenance of online communities, and numerous studies of how fans interact with the popular culture texts they love.
Soon-to-be published papers and book chapters include a quantitative-qualitative mixed-method analysis of how people use “geek” and “nerd” on Twitter, an exploration of the impacts of integrating social media platforms and techniques into elearning and an analysis of how colleges and universities should use social media around issues of campus violence.
He received his MA and PhD in Communication from Arizona State University, writing his thesis on a web-based social movement and his dissertation on emergent fan fiction communities. He did his undergraduate study at Loyola Marymount University, where his undergraduate senior thesis, on how community norms are enforced in an online horror fan community, was eventually published. He teaches public speaking, popular culture and film, research methods, communication technology, social media, rhetoric, persuasion, and data visualization.
He delivered keynotes and breakouts on social media strategy at INBOUND17, The National Association of College Auxiliary Services, and the Texas Self Storage Association. He has also spoken on internal and external communication at the Texas Library Association, the Library Learning Cooperative, Libraries Out Loud, and a variety of universities. He has upcoming presentations on social media at the IAEE Expo and the Texas Association of Museums.
He also delivered a communication workshop to BCFS emergency management first response teams.
He has coached/consulted with individuals, nonprofit groups and with businesses ranging from the smallest to in the Fortune 500.
He has published in the journals New Media & Society and Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, as well as in books. He has reviewed articles for a dozen different journals and conferences. He has served on the editorial board for the Western Journal of Communication and has presented scholarly work at the National Communication Association, The Western States Communication Association, The Southern States Communication Association, The Western Social Science Association, the Society for Cinema Studies, and the Southwest Popular Culture Association.
He delivered the keynote for the inaugural Engaging Pedagogy conference at TLU, "Teaching. Is. Persuasion." He has since has spoken on teaching and public speaking at various universities as well as at the Texas Library Association.
He has appeared in the documentary films The People Versus George Lucas and 3 Glimpses.