International Mini Conference on Social Support and Well-Being

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Amidst a time when the world is separated by a pandemic, the School of Media and Communication at Shanghai Jiao Tong University continues to stride towards academic success and scholarly exchange. Under the thoughtful leadership of Dean Li Benqian, SMC has continuously been contributing to research in the communication, journalism, and new media fields through miniature international conferences with collaborations with universities across the globe with the aid of online conference platforms.

The “International Mini Conference on Social Support and Well-Being” hosted by the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Professor Dr. Hairong Feng, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Professor Qian Wang was one among many thought-provoking academic exchanges between scholars of all levels from undergraduate and masters to doctoral and post-doctoral from at least 7 different countries including China, the United States, Ghana, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and Thailand.

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Despite technical difficulties and differences in time zones, participants, regardless of early morning or late evening, made efforts to present insightful research and new findings and engaged in critical commentary. Scholars demonstrated their own expertise in specific field interests but also expanded conversation into research methods and future research potentials. The broad theme of the conference allowed a large spectrum of topics to be presented including the influence of media in the pandemic context, interpersonal communication, media psychology, media in health advocacy, cyberbullying, the influence of social media on perception and well-being, purchase intentions, and opinion formation.

The success of the conference is largely credited to the collaborative efforts of both universities that have nurtured young scholars to pursue their studies and provided the resources to make the exchange possible as well as the hosting professors, Professor Feng and Professor Wang who dedicated their time in arranging, organizing, and hosting despite their busy schedules.

(Written by Megan Dai. Edited by Lutong Zhang)