Bethany A. Conway-Silva, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor at California Polytechnic State University

Dr. Bethany Anne Conway-Silva joined the department of Communication Students at California Polytechnic State University in fall 2015. Her research agenda focuses on the intersection of mass and political communication; more specifically, she analyzes the many influences that shape news coverage in an effort to understand “collective sensemaking” in politics. This includes the role of new media in political campaigns and its influence on journalistic outcomes, as well as the networks of sources that journalists turn to for information on elections and government policy. As an affiliate with the University of Arizona’s National Institute for Civil Discourse, she is also involved in a long-term project analyzing perceptions of political incivility, including variable tolerance for incivility, and how perceptions of differing levels of incivility are patterned by demographic and political factors, media consumption, and online political engagement. Notable achievements include sole and co-authored articles published in the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, the Journal of Political Marketing, the Social Science Computer Review, the American Behavioral Scientist, and the International Journal of Public Opinion Research. In 2014, Dr. Conway and her research team at the University of Arizona received a top paper award from the National Communication Association Political Communication Division for their manuscript “What is Political Incivility?”

Selected Publications


Conway, B. A., Kenski, K., & Wang, D. (2013). Twitter use by presidential primary candidates during the 2012 campaign. American Behavioral Scientist, 57, 1596-1610.

Conway, B. A. (2013). Addressing the ‘medical malady’: Second-level agenda setting and public approval of 'Obamacare'. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 25, 535-546.


Conway, B. A., & Stryker, R. (2013). Media and politics. National Institute for Civil Discourse Research Brief No. 9. Available at


  • Ph.D. Communication, University of Arizona (2015)
  • M.A. Journalism, University of Arizona
  • B.A. in English, University of New Mexico