Dr. Kenneth Hacker


Political Communication; Communication and Technology

Ph.D., University of Oregon, 1986


I am the Department Head of Communication Studies. I am a full professor doing research concerning a) new media networking, b) political communication, c) national security communication, and d) military family communication. My master’s and doctoral degrees are in Communication (California State University, Sacramento) and my bachelor’s degree is in Political Science (Sonoma State University, California).

I have been doing research in his two main lines of study: a) political communication, and b) communication technologies. In political communication, I have been studying political discourse and issues of national security. My political communication research includes the use of automated text analysis for examining directionality of language used by leaders of nations considered threatening by the United States government. My most recent book (Internet and Democracy in a Network Society) concerns democracy and online communication.






Internet and Democracy in a Network Society

(van Dijk & Hacker, 2018)





With others interested in political discourse analysis, I helped to create STRADA (Strategic Discourse Analysis) at NMSU, a group of scholars who study political language and communication in relation to international conflicts. STRADA can be found at: http://strada.research.nmsu.edu/. My national security communication research includes some meta-theoretical work on strategic communication and global engagement:


With my new media networking study, I am focusing on how people use emerging connection technologies such as social media to construct new social and political structures.

I was honored and pleased to work with Dr. Enedina Vazquez and Kathrine Graham about nine years ago to launch our minor called Communication and National Security. Students who seek careers in national security, diplomacy, or the military appreciated how the minor introduces them to governmental communication and persuasion. I have found that the courses in this minor are sought out by undergraduates and graduate students in our own department and also in others.

My research on communication technologies now parallels my political communication studies and also deals with issues of empowerment and disempowerment related to new media inequalities of usage. I have been working with Dr. Eric Morgan on this subject. Having served as an officer in my state’s state militia for eight years, I enjoy examining communication and the military. I am collaborating with Dr. David Boje (Management Department), Dr. Grace Rosile (Management), and Dr. Jeanne Flora (Communication Studies) on a project examining narratives of recently deployed veterans and stress in military family communication. Two years of research produced what is now known as the Military Family Communication Project. I am very proud to have recently worked with the Military and Veterans Programs office on campus to help with NMSU’s first-ever full week of honoring our veterans, called Military and Veterans Appreciation Week (November, 2015). I was honored to have brought the author, director, and co-producer of the movie “Fort Bliss” to campus to meet with veterans, students, and the public after we screened the film. I have received two recognition by the NMSU Military and Veterans Programs office for my work with military family communication and supporting student veterans. 

In 2006, I was awarded a College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Outstanding Achievement Award. In 2013, I earned a Distinguished Achievement Professor honor. In 2015, I received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Black Programs Department of NMSU for supporting the needs of African American students at the university. In most days of teaching, I earn the privilege of communicating with my students in ways that help us all learn more about communication and its many applications.  

On July 1, 2019, after 28 years of service at NMSU, I will retire as Professor Emeritus.

Dr. Hacker Twitter

Dr. Hacker LinkedIn

Dr. Hacker Website

Selected Publications

van Dijk., J., & Hacker, K. L. (2018). Internet and democracy in a network society. Routledge.

Hacker, K. L., & Mendez, V. R. (2016). Toward a model of strategic influence, international broadcasting, and global engagement. Media and Communication, 4(2), 69-91.

The Realities of Digital Democracy – The Progressive Post

Dr. Hacker ResearchGate