Dr. John Robert Sumser

Professor

Education

Contact Information

Building Location: Demergasso Bava-Hall
See Building #21: Map

Office Location: DBH127 - See Map

Phone: (209) 667-3102

E-mail: jsumser@csustan.edu

Faculty Experience

Administrative

1996 – 2001, 2005 – 2006 Department Chair
1994 – Present Director of Student Media

Teaching

Assistant - Full Professor Department of Communication Studies, California State
1990 - Present University, Stanislaus 

Courses Taught in Journalism: History of Journalism, Newswriting, Freedom of Speech, jouranlism Lab (i.e., The Signal student newspaper)

Courses Taught in Communication: Health Communication, Introduction to Mass Communication, Introduction to Communication, Communication Theory, Research Methods, Advanced Communication Research Analysis, Mass Communication Perspectives, Communication and Technology, Group Discussion Processes, Visual Communication 

Courses Taught in Sociology: Introduction to Sociology, Collective Behavior, Mass Media, Research Methods

Courses Taught in Philosophy: Introduction to Philosophy, Comparative Religion, Ethics, Critical Thinking

Additional Teaching Experience

1977-78 Peace Corps Volunteer, Afghanistan

Courses: Writing skills to university graduates in an internationally-funded business program, English as a second language in rural junior and senior high schools, and in UN technical school

Publications

Books Currently in Progress

Syndromes: Science, Power and the Rhetoric of Normal
Communication and Meaning: A Social Epistemological Approach (a theory text)

Books and Chapters Completed

Sumser, J. 2007. Liberation (completed novel currently with agent)

Sumser, J. 2006. A Land Without Time: A Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan. Chicago: Academy Chicago. Chosen as CSU Stanislaus Freshman Reader.

Sumser, J. 2000. A Guide to Empirical Research in Communication: Rules for Looking. Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications, Inc.

Sumser, J. 1996. Morality and the Social Order in Television Crime Drama. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. 

Sumser, J. 1995. Working It Out: Values, Perspectives, and Biography. In This Fine Place So Far From Home, Temple University Press.

Sumser, J. Fallen by the Way. (Completed novel, at agent)

Sumser, J. A Question of Identity. (Completed novel, at agent)

Sumser, J. Local Knowledge. (Completed novel, at agent)

Articles

Sumser, J. 1992. Not Just any Tom, Dick, or Harry: The Use of Names in Prime Time Drama. Media, Culture and Society, 14(4):605-622.

Sumser, J. 1992. Knowledge About AIDS Before and After Magic Johnson's Announcement. Sociology and Social Research, 76(4):182-185.

Gerbert, B; Maguire, B; Sumser, J. 1991. Public Perception of Risk of AIDS in Health Care Settings. AIDS Education and Prevention, 3(4):322-327.

Gerbert, B; Sumser, J; Maguire, B. 1991. The Impact of Who You Know and Where You Live on Opinions about AIDS and Health Care. Social Science and Medicine, 32(6): 677-681.

Gerbert, B., Sumser J., Maguire, B., Miyasaki, C. 1991. Planning, Implementing, and Evaluation of AIDS Educational Programs for Dentists. Journal of Dental Education, 55(2): 138-144. 

Sumser, J.; Maguire, B; Gerbert, B. 1990. Nurse Practitioners and AIDS: Professional Response and Personal Fears. The Nurse Practitioner: The American Journal of Primary Health Care, 15, 48-56.

Gerbert, B; Sumser, J; Chamberlin, K; Maguire, B; Greenblatt, R; McMaster, J. 1989. HIV Positive Patients' Experience of Dental Care. Journal of the American Dental Association, 119: 601-603.

Sumser, J. 1988. Labels Used to Define the Central American Situation. Journalism Quarterly, Winter, 64(4):850-853.

Published Abstracts (Peer-Reviewed)

Gerbert, B; Carlton, R; Sumser, J; Ernster, V; Grady, D; Walsh, M. 1991. Quitting Smokeless Tobacco: A Profile of Major League Baseball Players. Journal of Dental Research.

Gerbert, B; Maguire, BT; Sumser, J; Spitzer, S. 1990. Public perception as an influence on access to care: AIDS and dentistry. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 50:208.

Maguire, BT; Gerbert, B; Sumser, J. 1990. Why are some dentists willing to treat people with AIDS? Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 50:208.

Sumser, J; Gerbert, B; Maguire, BT; Chamberlin, K; Greenblatt, RM; McMaster, J. 1990. Are the headlines accurate: How frequently do dentists refuse to care for people with AIDS? Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 50:208.

Hardwick, K; Gerbert, B; Sumser, J; Maguire, BT; Schneider, D. 1990. Dental health care resources for HIV-infected persons: The role of the public and non-profit private sectors. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 50:208-209.

Sumser, J; Gerbert, B; Maguire, B. 1990. The American public's sources of information about AIDS. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on AIDS, San Francisco, CA; June 20-24.

Gerbert, B; Maguire, B; Sumser, J; McMaster, J; Greenblatt. 1990. The provider-patient relationship as seen by people with HIV disease. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on AIDS, June 20-24.

Gerbert, B; Sumser, J; Maguire. 1990. The impact of who you know and where you live on your opinions about AIDS. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on AIDS, San Francisco, CA; June 20-24.

Gerbert, B; Coates, T; Hulley, S; Maguire, B; Sumser, J; Spitzer, S. 1989. Public Perception of Health Care and AIDS. Universitywide Task Force on AIDS: San Diego, California. 

Barnes, D; Gerbert, B; Maguire, B; Greene, J; Sumser, J. 1989. Predoctoral Education and the HIV Epidemic: A View from San Francisco. Journal of Dental Education, 53:54.

Gerbert, B; Maguire, B; Sumser, J; Spitzer, S. 1989. Patient Opinion about Dentists as Educators. Proceedings of the Fifth International AIDS Conference, Montreal.

Andriolo, M; Gerbert, B; Sumser, J; Maguire, B. 1989. The Effects of an Educational Program on Changing Dental Care Worker's Attitudes and Knowledge Regarding HIV. Proceedings of the Fifth International AIDS Conference, Montreal.

Maguire, B; Gerbert, B; Sumser, J; Spitzer, S. 1989. Patient Opinion on Confidentiality of HIV Status in Dental Offices. Journal of Dental Research, 53:87.

Gerbert, B; Sumser, J; Maguire, B; Coates, T. 1989. Access to Dental Care in the San Francisco AIDS Behavioral Research Cohort. Proceedings of the Fifth International AIDS Conference, Montreal.

Reports

Entin, K., Jasek-Rysdabl, K., Hughes, S., Aly, N., Sumser, J., O’Brien, P., Schmandt, M., Harris, R., and Giventer, L. 1998. Critical Links: Employment Growth, Unemployment, and Welfare-to- Work in Stanislaus County. Center for Public Policy Studies at California State University, Stanislaus.

Hughes, S., Entin, K., O'Brien, P. and Sumser, J. 1998. Getting Back to Work? A Survey of the Unemployed, Welfare Recipients, and Service Providers in Stanislaus County, CA. Center for Public Policy Studies at California State University, Stanislaus.

Entin, K; Aly, N.; Sumser, J.; Giventer, L. 1996. Strategic Directions: A Needs Assessment and Industry Targeting Analysis of Stanislaus County. Stanislaus Economic Development Corporation.

Sumser, J; Gerbert, B; Hall, T; McMullen, K; Foster, V. 1989. HIV Disease and Health Care: A Critical Look at What We Know and What We Need to Know. Office of Data Analysis and Management, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration. 

Miyasaki, C, Fowle-Lambert, M; Sumser, J; Gerbert, B. 1989. Demystifying OSHA Inspection Guidelines. California Dental Association Journal, 17(12):28-30.

Sumser, J. 1988. Chapter on the Media and Chapter on Youth. Final Report: New York State Governor's Task Force on Bias Violence.

Conference Presentations/Activities

2002. Bikers: Long Distance Riders and the Sturgis Rally. Annual Conference, Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery, Colorado Springs.

2000. Looking at America. Annual Conference, Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery, Colorado Springs.

1999. PrimeTime Demographics: A Comparison of Life on Television and Life in America. Annual Conference, Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery, Colorado Springs.

1998. Social Class in American Movies. Annual Conference, Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery, Colorado Springs.

1997 Capitalism and Other Natural Forces: An Analysis of Economic News. Annual Conference, Western Social Science Association, Albuquerque.

1997 Frontiers, Mass Media, and Suburban Life. Annual Conference, Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery, Colorado Springs.

1996 Participant, Conference on Distance and Cooperative Learning. Hayward, California.

1996 Participant, The California State University: Future of the Baccalaureate. Long Beach, California.

1993 Participant, Communication Interest Group. College Teaching and Learning Exchange Conference, San Jose, California.

1993 Symbolic Violence: The Question of Violence on Television. Annual Conference on Violence in the Media, New York.

1992 Risk Perception and Forced-Answer Questionnaires: The Case of Low-Risk Activities and AIDS. Speech Communication Association Annual Convention, Chicago.

1992 Discussant, Student Research in Communication. Eighteenth Annual Conference in Communication, California State University, Fresno, California.

1991 Mediated Disease: Epidemics in the Information Age. Presented in the Seminar Series on Research on Communication Factors in the Transmission of AIDS. Speech Communication Association, Atlanta.

1991 The Impact of Reliance on Different Information Sources on Attitudes about AIDS: A Media Comparison Study. International Communication Association, Chicago.
Conference Presentations/Activities (continued)

1991 Discussant, Student Research in Communication. Eighteenth Annual Conference in Communication, California State University, Fresno, California.

1990 Not Just Any Tom, Dick, or Harry: The Grammar of Names in Prime Time Drama. Annual Meeting, American Sociological Association, Washington, D.C.

1990 Discussant, Session on the Arts. Annual Meeting, American Sociological Association, Washington, D.C.

1990 Medical Consumerism: The Case of People With AIDS (With Barbara Gerbert, Doug Sebesta, and Donna Barnes). Annual Meeting, American Sociological Association, Washington, D.C.

1989 Vietnam Veterans in the Media and in the Audience. International Communications Association, San Francisco.

1988 The Mass Media and Ethnoviolence. Northeast Regional Conference on Prejudice and Violence, New York. 

1986 Friends and Enemies: The Role of Language in News Coverage of Nicaragua and El Salvador. Annual Meeting, American Sociological Association, New York.

1986 Close Encounters: Gender and the Use of Public Space. Annual Meeting, Eastern Sociological Association, New York.

1985 Flappers and Philosophers: The Making of the Modern American Intellectual. Annual Conference on Social Theory, Politics, and the Arts. Adelphi University. 

1985 Odd Bedfellows: Art and Business in the World of Publishing. Annual Meeting, Eastern Sociological Association, Philadelphia.

1984 Values and Paradigms: Thomas Kuhn and the Crisis in Media Sociology. Annual Meeting, Eastern Sociological Association, Boston. 

1984 The Question of Objectivity: Mannheim and the Sociology of Knowledge. A.K.D. Society Conference. Richmond, Virginia.

Applied Research Experience

Most Recent Projects:

2007 Data Analysis Consultant for Piraeus Data Systems, conducting market research for a division of Microsoft.

2006 Principle Investigator for Survey of county residents for Stanislaus County, to
determine knowledge and beliefs concerning state election.

Additional Projects include:

Survey Consultant for William Berry Campaigns, to write assessment portion of RFP for California Community College Financial Aid Campaign
Survey consultant for Modesto Symphony Orchestra
Principle Methodologist, Telephone Population Survey of Stanislaus County, for the Public Policy Center of California State University, Stanislaus. This survey was conducted as part of a larger, multi-method study of the impact of welfare reform on Stanislaus County.
Principle Methodologist, Mail Survey of Stanislaus County Businesses, for the Public Policy Center of California State University, Stanislaus. 
Co-Investigator for the Stanislaus County Workforce Preparation Study. 
Survey Design Consultant, data analysis and summary of Employee Survey for United Way of Stanislaus County. 
Survey Design Consultant, analyst and report for MRI Associates. MRI Associates in Ceres specializes in school bond issues
Principle Methodologist, Mail Survey of Stanislaus County Businesses, for the Stanislaus County Economic Development Corporation's project Strategic Directions. 
Needs Assessment Survey for the Minority Health Coalition, funded by Christ Unity Baptist Church.

Academic and Non-Academic Research Positions

1991- 1996 Co-Director, the Institute for Social and Communication Research, CSU Stanislaus.

The Institute was created to give advanced students hands-on research experience and to create stronger links to the community. Research was conducted for the following clients:

Area Agency on Aging
Stanislaus County Probation Department
Stanislaus County Department of Public Health
Stanislaus County Chapter Big Brothers
Modesto City Police -- Community Policing Grant Consultant
Doctors Medical Hospital Foundation -- AIDS & Public Health Grant Consultant
Doctors Medical Hospital Foundation -- Teen Pregnancy Reduction Grant Consultant

1988-89 Senior Research Associate, AIDS Prevention Project Division of Behavioral Sciences, University of Califor nia, San Francisco 

1987-88 Research Analyst with the New York State Governor's Task Force on Bias Violence

University, Community, and Professional Service

2009 Paper Reviewer, National Communication Association, Mass Communication Divison
2009 Member, Post-Promotion (Pay) Increase review committee
2009 Guest Speaker, Media Day , Modesto Chamber of Commerce Leadership Council
2008 Judge, Documentary Films, California State University Media Arts Festival
2007 Campus representative, California State University Media Arts Festival, Channel islands
2007 Chair, Film & Television Major Workgroup
1996-97 Chair, Task Force on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities
1996-97 Member, Stanislaus County Economic Development Research Project
1996 Participant/Speaker, Community Summit on Welfare Reform: Bringing the Community Together
1995-97 Member, Strategic Planning Commission
1994-97 Department Academic Senator
1994-97 Member, University Writing Committee
1994-96 Participant, Student Research Competition
1993-97 Faculty Advisor, CSUS Veterans Club
1992 Research, Report: 1992 Organization Communication Graduate Survey.
1991-92 Member, Health Advisory Committee

Awards

2007 Nominated for CSU, Stanislaus Research Scholar of the Year
2006-07 Granted Sabbatical
2006-07 Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities grant awarded
1997 Granted Sabbatical
1993-94 Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities grant awarded
1991-92 Dean's Research Award, School of Arts, Letters, and Science, CSU, Stanislaus