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START affiliate receives 2021 Phi Delta Gamma Graduate Fellowship

Former START researcher and current doctoral student Max Erdemandi has been awarded the 2021 Phi Delta Gamma Graduate Fellowship.

Every year, the University of Maryland (UMD) offers the $1,000 fellowship to a doctoral student who demonstrates outstanding achievement in interdisciplinary scholarship.

“I must especially recognize Tori McDermott and John Leach for collaborating with me on exciting projects that contributed to the strength of my nomination packet, as well as my advisor Dr. Nick Joyce and my colleagues at START for their amazing mentorship,” Erdemandi said.

Erdemandi, who is studying Communication Science & Social Cognition, is the first Communication doctoral student at UMD to receive this honor.

“The fellowship committee noted the way I channel my experience at START into my current research as one of the strongest elements of my nomination packet,” Erdemandi said.

Erdemandi explained that his research explores cross-cultural contact through cultural and educational exchange, public diplomacy and new media, and the propagation of extremism, disinformation and conspiracy theories.

“My overarching goal is to produce scholarship that not only offers theoretical frameworks that transcend disciplinary confines, but also to produce policy-relevant outcomes to help combat extremism and disinformation in public discourse,” Erdemandi said.