The COMM+MEDIA Research Collaboratory (C+MRC) was founded in 2016 by Dr. Vanessa Greenwood to foster innovation through collaborative research and praxis. Its overarching mission is to apply diverse methodologies to solve problems and catalyze positive social change. To this end, the C+MRC supports research incubation, instructional innovation, and their application across the inherently diverse yet intersecting fields of communication and media. The C+MRC is dedicated to serving (in order of priority): students, faculty, community, and institutional partners.

The collaboratory concept (collaboration + laboratory ) refers to a center without walls where researchers can share data, maximize resources, and interact with colleagues—regardless of physical location. The C+MRC allows research faculty and students within SCM to work with members of all facets of society to address current dilemmas. The C+MRC functions in the following ways:

RESEARCH INCUBATOR for student and faculty-driven research that draws from a wide constellation of theories and methodologies. The C+MRC serves as a training ground for next-generation communication and media researchers. It offers under/graduate students hands-on experience with the practical aspects of conducting empirical and interpretive research. Students enrolled in research-oriented or production-based SCM classes may use C+MRC spaces for conducting their class assignments on observation and measurement techniques as well as for performing end-semester group projects.

CROSS DISCIPLINARY HUB for exploration and discovery of key research-related issues in at the intersection of communication and media. Current thought leadership within SCM traverses the fields of interpersonal/relational communication, health communication, organizational and group communication, rhetoric, gender identity, public relations, social media and politics, transmediation, media literacy, news literacy, multiplatform journalism, civic engagement, and critical cultural studies, among others.

ACADEMIC WELLSPRING for creative research partnerships between the University and external partners. The C+MRC staff provides intellectual capital characteristic of institutions of higher education. Foundations, non-profit organizations, government and non-governmental organizations can tap the expertise of the C+MRC for research design and implementation. Partnerships with C+MRC afford engagement with communication scholars, experts, and SCM students that are critical media consumers and creative media producers.

CONDUIT FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT via research-driven academic projects that lead to positive social change. The C+MRC addresses the University’s move to integrating community-based projects as early as possible in the MSU curriculum and learning experience. It is more than a space on campus; it is a mindset of deliberation, investigation, experimentation, and innovation among students, scholars, researchers, artists, community members and organizations in the sub-fields of communication—a 360-degree approach to a problem or dilemma.

RECIPROCATOR OF INNOVATION developing robust partnerships within the communication and media-related industries to enrich the professional and academic preparation of SCM students while also providing corporate partners and sponsors accelerated access to innovative research and executive education offerings. Reciprocal benefits of these partnerships include (but are not limited to) customized research projects and portfolios, strategic brainstorming, invitations to C+MRC lab events, and priority access to/placement of SCM student interns and graduates

TEACHING EXPLORATORIUM for students, faculty, and community partners across courses and programs that comprise the School of Communication and Media as well as other entities on campus. The Public Speaking Resource Center (PSRC) is one node of this branch and is open to all university students, faculty, and staff that are preparing to speak publicly. The C+MRC builds upon the successes of the PSRC to provide students and faculty with 360-degree immersion in learning design, instructional communication, educational media, and technology—as well as ways to apply communication and media theories to teaching practices.