College of Communication > About > Centers & Initiatives > Center for Communication Engagement > Media Engagement Lab > About


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The Media Engagement Research Laboratory (ME Lab) is a community of DePaul faculty and students who are passionate about investigating the impact of communication on society. Our research explores how audiences interact with a variety of media across marketing and advertising, health communication, public relations and social media.

We build entrepreneurial partnerships with Chicago institutions, collecting data for clients at a fraction of the cost of market research companies. Proceeds from these partnerships allow us to pay student researchers for their work, which in turn helps students offset their education expenses.

The ME Lab is made possible by a generous grant through the Academic Growth and Innovation Fund at DePaul University.


The ME Lab's comprehensive research services help our clients understand their audience, brand and content. We work with some of the latest research technology to detect how users interact with online ads, social media and more. Some of these tracking tools include:

  • Fixed, portable and virtual reality eye tracking
  • Heart rate and skin conductance measurement equipment
  • Biometrics software
  • Social media sentiment analysis software

From start to finish, our research process provides thorough analysis, data collection and tailored recommendations.

  1. Problem identification
  2. Exploratory research
  3. Data collection
    1. Qualitative research and consumer insights (in-depth interviewing, focus groups)
    2. Quantitative research for market research (surveys, psychophysiology, content analysis)
  4. Data analysis
  5. Reporting
  6. Recommendation for policy or market implementation

ME Lab Team

Juan Mundel

Juan Mundel, Co-Director

Juan Mundel is an assistant professor of advertising. He completed his PhD at Michigan State University. He brings extensive lab experience in media psychology and psychophysiological measurement of responses to advertising. His research lies at the intersection of consumer behavior and health communication.

Nur Uysal

Nur Uysal, Co-Director

Nur Uysal is an associate professor at DePaul University where she teaches courses in corporate communication and public relations. She holds a PhD in corporate communication from the University of Oklahoma. Uysal conducts research in corporate social responsibility, stakeholder engagement and the use of new communication technologies in public relations.

Tao Deng

Tao (Tony) Deng

Tony Deng is an assistant professor of public relations and advertising. He conducts research in psychophysiological responses to advertising messages, psychological effects associated with new media use, and strategic communication in a cross-cultural context. He received his PhD at Michigan State University specialized in media and information. Pre-academia, Tony worked as editor for China Daily and Guangzhou Daily, and subsequently in advertising agencies in Hong Kong.

Sydney Dillard

Sydney Dillard

Sydney Dillard is an associate professor of public relations and advertising. Her research area hybridizes both media and health communication fields, with particular emphasis on visual communication, advertising message design and partnership development for health campaign implementation. Her industry and academic experience has ranged from account management of large scale campaign budgets to creative execution through integrated visual and copy design.

Hyejin Kim

Hyejin Kim

Hyejin Kim is an assistant professor of public relations and advertising. Her research interests include social media advertising and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) using various computational research approaches. Her recent projects investigated how interpersonal influences affect social media users’ information acceptance and retransmission in the rumor-refutation context. Before joining DePaul, Hyejin worked in the fields of market research, advertising, and data-driven consulting.

Get Involved with a ME Lab Project

This initiative is open to all faculty, undergraduate and graduate students at DePaul University. Review the Research Projects page to see how you can get involved with research at the ME Lab.