Hubbard School Administration & Leadership

Elisia Cohen

Elisia Cohen, Director

Elisia Cohen earned her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota as Director and tenured Professor in the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication she served as the Gifford Blyton Endowed Professor and chaired the University of Kentucky Department of Communication and led its Health Communication Research Collaborative. Dr. Cohen began her career at Saint Louis University, and after four years moved to the University of Kentucky where she rose through the ranks as she developed innovative media and community-based outreach strategies to improve cancer prevention and detection behaviors in underserved communities. At the University of Kentucky, she was awarded the campus Sarah Bennett Homes Award in recognition of her leadership, research, and service. She also was recognized with the American Public Health Association’s 2016 Mayhew Derryberry Award. Her research has been supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and private industry. In 2019, she was recognized with the Dale E. Brashers Distinguished Mentor Award from the National Communication Association health communication division. Her research on media reporting and public understanding of disease has appeared in journals such as: Health Communication, Health Education and Behavior, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journal of Communication, Journal of Communication in Healthcare, Journal of Health Communication, Qualitative Health Research, and Prometheus. She has edited four volumes of Communication Yearbook.

To contact Elisia Cohen, reach out to Katerina Schuh at 612-625-1338 or

Susan LoRusso

Susan LoRusso, Assistant Director for Curriculum and Instruction

Susan M. LoRusso earned her M.A. (’14) and Ph.D. (’17) in Mass Communication from the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. After earning her Ph.D., she joined the Hubbard School faculty teaching courses in Information for Mass Communication, Principles of Health Communication, and Mass Media and Popular Culture. Dr. LoRusso joined the HSJMC leadership team in the Fall of 2019. Her research examines the effects of the public’s routine exposure to information in media, with a focus on misinformation, conflicting information, and controversial information. Research topics include news coverage of cancer and mental health information. Her research has been published in the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Journal of Magazine & New Media Research, Health Communication, Preventive Medicine, and Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.  

Contact Susan LoRusso at

Jisu Huh

Jisu Huh, Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Jisu Huh, Ph.D. is Professor, Raymond O. Mithun Endowed Chair in Advertising, and Director of Graduate Studies at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Dr. Huh’s research program covers a wide range of topics related to advertising and its effects especially in the digital and social media contexts. Specific areas of current research include computational advertising research, consumer trust and its role in viral advertising and information diffusion, viral advertising and consumer-brand engagement in social media, and direct-to-consumer advertising of healthcare products (prescription drug advertising and medical device advertising). Dr. Huh is Past President of the American Academy of Advertising and also serves as an Associate Editor for Journal of Advertising. Additionally she serves on the Editorial Review Board of several journals in the field of advertising, including International Journal of Advertising, Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, and Journal of Advertising Education. She is also an elected member and chair of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Standing Committee on Research.

Contact Jisu Huh at

Chris Ison

Chris Ison, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Chris Ison was the Assistant Managing Editor for Investigative Projects at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis from 2001-2004. He was a reporter at the Star Tribune for 15 years, working on the investigative team, and, earlier, covering federal agencies, local government and gambling. He covered state politics, local government, police, and courts for the Duluth News Tribune from 1983-1986. Ison and fellow reporter Lou Kilzer won a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 1990 for a series of stories on arson and links between the St. Paul (MN) Fire Department and profits from arsons and suspicious fires. His stories have won various national and state awards, including awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Press Club, the Associated Press and other organizations. He supervised projects that won national awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and the Society of Professional Journalists. Ison teaches courses in news reporting and writing, investigative reporting, and media ethics. He is co-author, with SJMC Professor Jane Kirtley, of the book "Media Ethics Today: Issues, Analysis, Solutions."

Contact Chris Ison at

Erika Nelson

Erika Nelson, Chief of Staff

Erika has spent the majority of her professional career in management roles. She has management experience in the corporate, non-profit, political and education sectors. Her role as Chief of Staff in the Hubbard School has her working closely with the Director to make sure the department is running smoothly. She oversees all non-instructional aspects and is also the point of contact for all human resources functions. 

Contact Erika Nelson at


Rebecca Rassier

Rebecca Rassier, Associate Director of Student Services

Rebecca earned a Ph.D. in French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked in student services in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota since 2000 and has received the John Tate Award for Excellence in Academic Advising and both the group and individual Outstanding Service Award in the College of Liberal Arts. Rebecca directs student services for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, which includes curriculum management, advising, programming, policy, recruitment/promotion, admissions, scholarships, and instruction/conduct concerns.

Contact Rebecca Rassier at