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Stubblefield Institute Staff

Program Coordinator

Elaine Bobo

Elaine Bobo is the Program Coordinator for the Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications.  Elaine plans and coordinates institute sponsored programs such as the Listen. Learn. Engage initiative and implements the Community Leadership & Civil Advocacy Certificate.  She has been a life-long and active member of the Berkeley County community having served on numerous non-profit boards and enjoys volunteering with local organizations and committees. She brings more than 20 years of public and private experience in communications, marketing, and public relations to her work for the Institute.   Elaine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from James Madison University and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from West Virginia University.   

Alison Mee Communications and Events Manager
Communications and Events Manager

Alison Mee

Alison Mee is the Communications and Events Manager for the Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications. Alison has prior experience working with community coalitions and enjoys helping people with different perspectives work together to address complex problems. She is passionate about community-building, storytelling, and supporting online and physical spaces which promote positive action. Alison has a B.S. in chemistry from Guilford College and an M.A. in communication studies from West Virginia University.

Ashley Horst
Executive Director

Ashley Horst

Ashley Horst is the executive director of the Stubblefield Institute. She is an alumna of Shepherd University from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and was captain of the speech and debate team. She also has a Master of Arts in Communications, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University. Horst brings to the Institute 15 years of experience in nonprofit marketing and fundraising, having helped build one of the leading fundraising programs in the Eastern Panhandle. She lives outside of Martinsburg with her husband and 3 daughters.

Stephanie A Slocum-Schaffer
Senior Faculty Fellow

Stephanie A. Slocum-Schaffer

Stephanie A. Slocum-Schaffer, Ph.D. is the Stubblefield Institute Senior Faculty Fellow, Research, Retention and Recruitment, and faculty liaison and associate professor of Political Science and co-coordinator of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at Shepherd University, where she teaches a variety of courses in American politics, women in politics, research methods, and public policy. She has also taught at Gettysburg College and The American University.

Dr. Slocum-Schaffer received a B.A., Magna Cum Laude, in International Affairs and Spanish from Bucknell University, where she was elected to the honor society of Phi Beta Kappa. She was awarded a Ph.D. in Political Science from The American University after completing a dissertation titled: “Choose or Lose? The Impact of Choice on Quality and Efficiency in American Public Education.” In 2003, she published a book, America in the Seventies: A Lesson in Limits, with Syracuse University Press. She also has published several articles and has made numerous presentations at conferences.

Matt Kushin
Senior Faculty Fellow

Matt Kushin

Matthew J. Kushin, Ph.D. (@mjkushin), is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at Shepherd University. He’s an award-winning educator and scholar. At Shepherd University, he developed, launched, and is the coordinator of the Strategic Communication concentration, which focuses on the intersection of public relations and social media. He has a combined 14 years of university-level teaching experience and has taught undergraduate courses in Social Media, Politics & Social Media, Public Relations Principles, Persuasion and Message Design, Strategic Campaigns, Communication Theories, Communication Research Methods, Applied Communication Research, Communication & New Media, Writing Across Platforms, Introduction to Mass Communication, Public Speaking, New Communication Technology.

Kushin’s research program focuses on the political and civic utility of online media, including social media, online news, and messaging apps. He has also conducted research in social media pedagogy. His work has been published in such peer-reviewed journals as Mass Communication & Society, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, New Media & Society, the International Journal of Public Opinion Research, and the Journal of Public Relations Education.

A leading voice in social media education, Kushin is the author of Teach Social Media: A Plan for Creating a Course Your Students Will Love and also writes Social Media Syllabus (, a popular blog and resource for social media educators.