June 16, 2021

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Matthew Rorer Shares Research at VSU Colloquium

Matthew Rorer

VALDOSTA — Matthew B. Rorer of Columbus, Georgia, recently presented “New Age of Online Image Crisis: Influencers” during Valdosta State University’s 2021 Prosper Tsikata Graduate Colloquium.

“I looked into the success or failure of the image repair process of online personalities from the older medium YouTube versus TikTok or Instagram,” he said.

“What I wanted to understand was, when a YouTube or Instagram or even TikTok influencer does something to cross the public and get ‘cancelled,’ how do they bounce back from that? Can they bounce back? How influencers today handle their image is completely different from how past celebrities and broadcast talent handled theirs.

“What I found was that influencers who had no prior problems or had only minor problems were able to bounce back much easier than those who had problems that persisted. I also found that influencers who had acknowledged their role in how they may have hurt people and made clear changes to their behavior were also able to win back the public.”

Rorer conducted this research under the guidance of Dr. Micheal Eaves, a professor in VSU’s Department of Communication Arts.

Rorer came to VSU after completing a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Media from Columbus State University, where he served as operations director of the student-run 88.5FM WCUG Cougar Radio station and worked as a teaching assistant for the Department of Communication. He earned a Master of Arts in Communication from VSU in May and plans to take a year off before pursuing a doctorate. He hopes to work in academia as a professor and researcher with a focus on identity, culture, and interpersonal communication.

Rorer’s supportive family includes mom Marie Rorer, dad James Rorer, and siblings Samantha Duke, Michael Rorer, and twin Megan Rorer.

The Prosper Tsikata Graduate Colloquium features academic presentations by graduate communication majors from VSU’s Department of Communication Arts. The annual event is named in memory of Dr. Prosper Yao Tsikata, a beloved assistant professor from Ghana who died in 2018. He was an educator strongly committed to student success, and he was well liked by his students, who frequently described him as a role model.

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