Associate Professor, Department of Communication and Media, University of Missouri St. Louis
Dr. Lara Zwarun is a scholar whose research expertise is in persuasion and messaging. She is also a proud Ukrainian-American, with a father who escaped from Russian soldiers in World War II and lived in Displaced Persons camps in Germany for years before coming to America.
An Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Missouri St. Louis, Dr. Zwarun traveled to Ukraine in 2015 to conduct research on the role of social media in combating Russian disinformation. Her findings from this trip, as well as the parallels between her family history and what Ukrainians are currently experiencing, give her a uniquely informed perspective on the brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia occurring now.
Dr. Zwarun’s work has appeared in journals such as Media Psychology, American Journal of Public Health, and Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. An engaging public speaker, she was selected as a 2019-2020 University of Missouri System Presidential Engagement Scholar to share her research contributions with Missouri residents around the state. She has shared her insights on Ukraine on behalf of the St. Louis Kaplan and Feldman Holocaust Museum, on St. Louis Public Radio, and in other media outlets.