Director of the Nicholson School of Communication and Media from Florida visits IfMK

From November 2 to 8, the director of the Nicholson School of Communication and Media (NSCM) at the University of Central Florida (UCF), Prof. Dr. Robert Littlefield, visited the Institute for Media and Communication Studies (IfMK). The aim of the visit was to deepen the cooperation between the two institutes with regard to exchange programs, joint study programs and research.

The visit was organized by Dr. Andreas Schwarz, Head of the research group on Public Relations and Communication of Technology (PRTK), and financed by the Erasmus Worldwide program. Within this framework, an exchange program between the two institutes with reciprocal visits of students and lecturers or researchers has already existed since 2013. The Erasmus funding was obtained by the PRTK group with the support of the International Office of the TU Ilmenau in 2017 and currently runs until summer 2023. In January, Ilmenau students of media and communication studies will visit UCF, while in April UCF students will come to Ilmenau. In the future, the program could be expanded to include a double degree program for the two master's programs, Media and Communication Science at IfMK and Communication at NSCM. Intensive talks were held on this during the visit.

In addition, the cooperation in the field of risk and crisis communication research was further deepened. NSCM is also involved in the current DECIPHER project, as two of the international Mercator Fellows are from UCF and support the DFG project: Deanna D. Sellnow and Timothy Sellnow. Both were themselves guests in Ilmenau last summer for a month-long research stay.

Prof. Littlefield gave guest lectures in numerous courses last week and supported an information event of the International Office on Wednesday about the possibilities of a semester abroad. He also held talks with the dean of the Faculty of Business and Media, Prof. Dr. Oliver Budzinski, and the president of TU Ilmenau, Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Sattler.

UCF in Orlando is the largest university in the USA. Similar to IfMK, NSCM follows an interdisciplinary approach and teaches in the fields of journalism and strategic communication, media production and management, digital media, video games and film.


We research various structural, content-related and social dimensions of strategic communication, including in the context of technology-oriented organizations. Our focus is on public relations & organizational communication, risk and crisis communication, communication with and about technologies, and international strategic communication.

ResearchTU Ilmenau
TeachingTU Ilmenau


In the area of teaching, we deal as a field of expertise with the areas of public relations, crisis communication, international communication, communicator research as well as media change and social media.

  • Schwarz, A., Seeger, M., & Auer, C. (Eds.). (2016). Handbook of international crisis communication research. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
    Schwarz, A., Schleicher, K., Srugies, A., & Rothenberger, L. (2017). Crisis communication of youth welfare offices in Germany: Findings on media coverage and strategic communication especially in the context of severe cases of child welfare endangerment. Ilmenau: Ilmenau University Press. 
    Schwarz, A. (2010). Crisis PR from a stakeholder perspective: The influence of attributions of cause and responsibility on organizational reputation. Wiesbaden: VS Verl. for the Social Sciences.

The research group for Public Relations and Communication of Technology consists of the department head Dr. Andreas Schwarz and the three research assistants Francis Alpers, Elisabeth U. Wagner-Olfermann, and Tatjana Faj. Melanie Waltinger currently supports the team as team assistant.

TeamAnLi Fotografie