Up Close — with Dr. Robert McKeever
by Stephanie Hill, graduate student, MMC
Robert McKeever is the newest, full-time faculty member to join
the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Dr. McKeever has
a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of North
Carolina, a master's from Gonzaga University and a doctorate in
mass communications from Chapel-Hill. His research focuses
on examining the persuasive effects of mass media content, specifically
as applied to pro-social topics such as public health and advocacy.
Dr. McKeever is married to Dr. Brooke McKeever, public relations
assistant professor, and they have one daughter.
To get to know him better, we posed a few questions
to Dr. McKeever:
Here Carolina means “Gamecock country.” As a former
Tar Heel, how will you make the adjustment?
By keeping my mouth shut on such matters. Really, for me I have gone to UNC for
degrees, but this university was the first to give me a job as an assistant professor,
so I’ve got a lot of love for both schools. I’ll take the shameful
beatings in football as a UNC fan, but always support South Carolina in other
Why did you choose USC?
It’s a great school and it certainly didn’t hurt that
Brooke was already here. But, it’s a school on the rise and
it has a research university, which is something that is obviously
very near and dear to me. We’re aggressively growing what we
have to offer undergrads and graduate students and the type of people
who can work with and collaborate and continue learning as a result
of that. It’s a phenomenal atmosphere, everyone is nice, it’s
a lot better than what you hear about growing universities and there’s
no real hostility.
What's an interesting tidbit about your childhood?
When I was a kid I used to eat raw bacon. I don’t think I understood the
perils of eating raw bacon in terms of the potential parasites and whatnot you
could develop down the road. I was lucky that I came through it unscathed.
Phone or Email?
Email for multiple reasons. One, I don’t hear very well, so that’s
an interesting fact about me. My hearing is not that great. Second, on email
you have time to actually think about what you’re saying. In spoken communication
you can really gaff or misspeak when you speak and there’s no delete button
Regular or Decaf?
Regular, just for the sake of staying awake.
Snow or Sun?
Snow, which makes Columbia very challenging for me.
Meat or Veggies?
Meat. My favorite type is red — steak.
CNN or Fox?
Windows or Mac?
It depends on what I’m using it for. If it’s just for
leisure, my Mac. But a lot of the statistical programs that I run
are not Mac interface compatible, so I either have to use some sort
of mirror program or have a PC.
Morning person or night?
Dogs or Cats?
Dogs. We have two boxers, Lulu and Jada.
What typeface best describes your personality?
the math part being intuitive. But I also like that it’s nice
Favorite TV show?
What do you do for fun?
I enjoy gardening. Outside, I raise bug-eating plants such as pitcher plants
and Venus flytraps. Inside, I grow Bonsai trees.
Harry Potter, and if I have to be more specific, I would probably
say the first and second are my favorites. They’re fantastic.
I think that anyone who is nerdy enough to go and get
as many degrees as I have can relate to the type of kids who don’t
necessarily fit into a normal school structure and would
want to go to a school like Hogwarts.
Favorite TV genre?
Probably comedy in general, although I do like thrillers and mystery.
"A History of Time" by Stephen Hawking. He explains so many
things I couldn’t possibly understand in a way that I can.