College PhD Program



Regina Ahn 


Regina Ahn received a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) at Sookmyung Women’s University, South Korea in 2011. Then, she continued her studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and earned Master of Science in Advertising in 2014. Currently, she is a doctoral student in Communication and Media at UIUC. Regina has been interested in gigantic influence of advertising on young children. Her recent interests include 1) children’s ad information processing, and 2) media and persuasion effects on food consumption of young children. Her ultimate goal of doing research is to be a scholar who protects children from the enormous power of food commercials presented on non-traditional media, and encourages children to build up healthy eating habits. Her research papers with other professors were presented in several conferences such as Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Association for Consumer Research (ACR), and Illinois Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program (I-TOPP).



Wei-Fen Chen


Wei-Fen received her B.A. in English from National Kaohsiung Normal University (NKNU) and an M.A. in Journalism from National Taiwan University (NTU). In 2011, she received the Fulbright grant to come to the U.S. to pursue the Ph.D degree. Before coming to ICR, she had working experience of copywriting as well as press liaison in the government. Her research interest is exploring consumer culture in societal shifts, especially in relation to social stratification. Her dissertation topic is about fashion brand positioning targeting consumers in economic recession. 



Gunwoo Yoon


Gunwoo Yoon is a Ph.D. candidate in Communications at the University of Illinois. His research interests comprise a social cognitive approach, which is relevant to various areas of communication and advertising research. In particular, his recent research focuses on when, why, and how bodily experiences or sensations at the point of choice affect consumer judgment and decision-making. Prior to starting his Ph.D., Gunwoo received his bachelor’s degree from the Sogang University and earned his master’s degree from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).



Supathida Kulpavaropas


Supathida received her Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting) with first-class honors from Thammasat University, Thailand and her Master of Science in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University. She likes to study consumer behavior and audience psychology. She is particularly interested in exploring the influence of advertising attributes on consumer behavior and choices. She also examines the impact of mood and emotion on how people process information.



Sann Ryu


I am a first year PhD student in the ICR. I earned my B.A. (summa cum laude) in English Literature from Ewha Womans University in South Korea and M.S. in Advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My research interests involve the underlying mechanisms of how consumers respond to advertising stimuli and to what extent they are influenced by environmental cues without their full awareness or intention. During my graduate career, I developed my research interests in the cognitive processes underlying attitudes and persuasion, and conducted experiments on how consumers selectively attend to advertising stimuli and form brand attitudes automatically when cognitively loaded. In particular, I have examined how people vary in the extent to which they chronically engage in media multitasking attend to substantive issues (i.e., argument strength) and peripheral information (i.e., endorser attractiveness) in advertisements when exposed to a media multitasking environment. My current research project is about consumers’ biased information seeking in a sense that how images and package design can bias consumers’ subsequent exposure to information. I am also looking into the impact of distraction on consumers’ ability to detect deceptive reviews varying by their personality traits and media use habits. I plan to expand my research in consumer behavior, especially in the context of selective attention and automatic evaluation.


Susmita Das


Susmita received her Bachelor of Business Administration and Masters in Mass Communication from India. She also received a Master of Science in Advertising from the University of Illinois in 2009. She is currently a doctoral student in the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois. Her research interests broadly include advertising, consumer culture, consumerism, and globalization in India. 


Zongyuan (Glenn) Wang


I am currently a PhD student at the Institute of Communications Research, U of I. I studied economics and English as an undergrad, and advertising as a master student. I studied and practiced painting/drawing for more than 15 years and have won numerous international, national, and provincial painting awards. My design work was awarded in the applied design competition for 2011 Summer Universiade. As a visual thinker, I am fascinated by the complexity of visual processing and the increasing human physical interaction with visual objects/features in computers.

My research interests are centered around two areas; 1) advertising processing, and largely, visual processing of media; 2) human-computer interaction. First, I am interested in affective and cognitive processing of advertising with a special focus on visual attributes (e.g., peripheral attention, emotional salience, visual complexity, and perceptual/cognitive load). Second, I am intrigued by human perception of technological innovation and their increasing intimacy and interaction with computers. My current research looks at how different types of task load influence affective evaluation and memory of ads placed on the periphery, as well as the determinants of touch input/control adoption.

In leisure time, I master photography (of plants especially), chalk-board/white-board painting, soccer games, and I love billiards, weight-lifting, table tennis, and running. I am also interested in Buddhism, human existential risks, and in what ways human can achieve long-term survival on the earth.