Benjamin K. Smith

Graduate Student

Office Location

SSMS 4419
Girvetz 2328 (Orfalea Center Office)


Public opinion, media communication, statistical modeling, discourse analysis, framing


M.S., Portland State University
B.S., Southern Utah University


Benjamin Smith is a third-year PhD student in UCSB's Department of Communication, and a Graduate Student Researcher at UCSB's Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies. He earned his M.S. in Communication from Portland State in 2014. His thesis focused on the role of interpersonal communication networks in moderating the effects of mass media. He earned his B.S. in Communication, with an emphasis in Public Relations, from Southern Utah University, in 2012. 

While broadly focused on public opinion and mass media, Benjamin's research has covered a wide variety of theoretical and contextual ground. His research has ranged from developing a synthesized model for predicting U.S. elections, based in part on Wikipedia page views, to a critical review of the UK's 2015 Public Attitudes to Science survey. In addition to his ongoing research related to science and political communication, Benjamin currently leads the Media Constructions of Terrorism project at the Orfalea Center, exploring the media's role in constructing public understandings of terrorism and extremism.