Najma Akhther (Assistant Professor, Journalism and Media Studies, Jahangirnagar University) is a current Ph.D. Candidate and Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Communication at Wayne State University. Najma is originally from Bangladesh, where she started her academic career. She is a faculty member of the Journalism and Media Studies program at Jahangirnagar University (JU) in Bangladesh. Presently, she is on leave for her doctoral study.
She conducts research at the intersection of health risk and crisis communication with a focus on mental health and message effects. Her research examines how at-risk populations utilize new media to cope with crisis-induced stressors. She also studies media messages involving health risks, crisis communication, and at-risk populations. She utilizes mixed methods for her research. As a Graduate Research Assistant, Najma worked with several projects, including the NSF-funded project titled “The Impact of Online Technologies on Interpersonal Communication and Perceptions” and the Great Lakes Protection Fund (GLPF) project titled “Smart Management of Microplastic Pollution.”
You can learn more about Najma's work here: nakhther.wordpress.com
Awards & Honors
AWARDS & SCHOLARSHIPS
2022 Top Student Paper Award, Minorities & Communication Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
2022 Dr. Carolyn Stroman Award, Minorities & Communication Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
2021 Top Grad Paper Award, Student Section, National Communication Association (NCA).
2022 Top Paper Panel Award, International Crisis and Risk Communication Conference (ICRCC).
2015 Professor Sitara Parvin Award, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Recruitment, Retention and Completion Scholarships (2019-2020). Wayne State University (WSU), USA.
2014 Social Science Scholarship, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
2013- 2014 Australian Merit Scholarship, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
2012 Sanjieeb Chowdhury Memorial Scholarship, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
2009 Chittagong District Scholarship, Chittagong, Bangladesh.
2014- 2015 Media Fellowship for Developing Female Journalists, News Network, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2022 Paula Poindexter Student Research Grant Award, Minorities & Communication Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Grant: $500
MA Thesis Research Grant, Department of Communication, Wayne State University. Grant: $500
MA Thesis Research Grant, Graduate School, Wayne State University, Grant: $500
NCA Student Caucus Travel Grant, National Communication Association (NCA)
Graduate Student Travel Award, Graduate School, Wayne State University
Graduate Student Travel Award, Graduate School, Arkansas State University
Graduate Student Travel Award, Graduate Council, Arkansas State University
Degrees and Certifications
Ph.D. in Communication, Expected Graduation 2025, Wayne State University
Bridge Graduate Certificate in Public Health Practices, Expected Graduation 2021 (Fall), Wayne State University
M.A., Communication Studies, 2021, Wayne State University (WSU)
Thesis: Information-Seeking and Information-Sharing About Mental Health on Social Media: Role of Depression and Anxiety Ratings, Perceived Health-related Social Media Peer Support, and Perceived Health Benefits of Social Media
M.S.S, Mass Communication and Journalism, 2015, University of Dhaka (DU)
Thesis: Corporate Relevance in News Coverage of Bangladeshi Newspapers: A Study on Four Mainstream National Dailies
Monograph: Photo Sharing Mania of Bangladeshi Facebook Prosumers: A Quantitative and Psychological Evaluation
B.S.S., Mass Communication and Journalism, 2014, University of Dhaka (DU)
Akhther, N., & Islam, K. (In-Press). Communicating mental health coping resources among college students of color: A resilience approach to COVID-19 response. Journal of International Crisis and Risk Communication Research.
Akhther, N. & Islam, K. (2022). Promoting COVID-19 vaccine among communities of color: An analysis of U.S. minority serving higher education institutions’ message framing strategies. Proceedings of the International Crisis and Risk Communication Conference (pp. 8-11). Orlando Fl: Nicholson School of Communication and Media. https://doi.org/10.30658/icrcc.2022.01
Eckert, S., Metzger-Riftkin, J., Albrehi, F., Akhther, N., Aniapam, Z., Steiner, L. (2022). #MeToo academia: News coverage of sexual misconduct at U.S. universities. Journalism Practice. https://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2022.2077807
Akhther, N., Sopory, P. (2022). Seeking and sharing mental health information on social media during COVID-19: Role of depression and anxiety, peer support, and health benefits. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science, 7 (2), 211–226. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41347-021-00239-x
Tetteh, D., & Akhther, N.(2021). Openness and topic avoidance in ovarian cancer communication: An uncertainty management perspective. Qualitative Research in Medicine and Healthcare, 5 (3), 9376. https://doi.org/10.4081/qrmh.2021.9376
Akhther, N., Tetteh, D. (2021). Global Mediatized Death and Emotion: Parasocial grieving—Mourning #stephenhawking on Twitter. OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying. https://doi.org/10.1177/00302228211014775
Metzger-Riftkin, J., Albrehi, F., Akhther, N., Harb, F., Steiner, L., Eckert, S. (2020). Academic sexual misconduct on U.S. campuses – Arising questions and concerns about the practice of mandatory reporting. Media Report to Women, 48 (3).
Chowdhury, S. A., & Akhther, N. (2018). Photo sharing tendency of Bangladeshi Facebook prosumers. Social Science Review, 35 (1), 119-133.
Roy, S. S., & Akhther, N. (2018). Struggle of community newspapers of Bangladesh for freedom: Historical perspective. Social Science Review (Bengali Version), 12(12), 1-18.
Chowdhury, S. S., & Akhther, N. (2017). Gender framing on Bangladeshi mass media advertisement: A quantitative and qualitative study. Social Science Review (Bengali Version),11(11), 33-48.
Chowdhury, S. A., & Akhther, N. (2017). Corporate culture in journalism: Bangladesh perspective. Global Journal of Human-Social Science, 4(1), 1-10.
Shaonti, H., & Akhther, N. (2016). The role of corporate culture in business journalism: Bangladesh perspective. Social Science Review (Bengali Version), 10 (10), 50-68.
A. Undergraduate Level (Wayne State University, USA)
a. COM1010: Oral Communication
b. COM3300: Business Communication
B. Undergraduate Level (Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh)
a. JMS 409: Global Media System
b. JMS 304: Media Laws and Ethics
c. JMS 207: Social Process and Institutions
C. Graduate Level (Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh)
a. JMS 501: Communication Theories
D. Undergraduate Level (University of Development Alternative, Bangladesh)
a. CMS103: Introduction to Communication and Culture
b. CMS111: Advanced Communication and Culture
c. CMS 209: Introduction to Film Production