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About Zongchao (Cathy) Li

Zongchao (Cathy) Li is an assistant professor of Public Relations in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San Jose State University. Her research centers on social media and corporate communication. She investigates how new media have changed the interactions between organizations and users, between technologies and users, and among network users themselves. She is particularly interested in studying the relationships between psychological variables and consumer behavioral outcomes, such as power, online activism, and revenge behaviors.

Her research has been published in several journals such as Computers in Human Behavior, Internet Research, and Journal of Communication Management. She is also the author of several book chapters on new media and public relations measurement. She has won multiple top paper awards at national and international conferences, including AEJMC, NCA and PRSA.

As an educator, she integrates her expertise in social media and research insights into her teachings. She tries to instruct knowledge and skills that are practice-driven and applicable in all of her classes. The courses that she teaches include public relations campaigns, new media strategies and research methods.

Outside of academia, she provides consultancy on social media measurement and evaluation, new media strategies and tactics, and strategic planning for communication campaigns. She is especially interested in helping small and medium sized businesses, non-profit organizations and startups to achieve desirable communication outcomes through the lenses of new media.


2016 Present Assistant Professor, San Jose State University School of Journalism and Mass Communications
20152016 Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina ‐ School of Journalism and Mass Communications
20132015 Graduate Instructor, University of Miami ‐ Strategic Communication

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • 2015, Top Faculty Paper Award, National Communication Association
  • 2014, Betsy Plank Graduate Research Competition Award, Public Relations Society of America
  • 2014, GAFAC Travel Award, University of Miami
  • 2013, Top Research Paper Award (First Place), AEJMC Public Relations Division
  • 2011, Wine Spectator Scholarship Award, University of Miami
  • 2010-2015, Graduate Assistantship Award, University of Miami


2015 Ph.D., University of Miami ‐ Communication, concentration on Public Relations
2012 M.A., University of Miami ‐ Public Relations
2010 B.A., Shandong Normal University ‐ English

In Press (2)

Peer-Reviewed Publications (7)

Book Chapters and Encyclopedia Entries (7)

Presentations (22)