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AACSRE Announces 2020 Class of Emerging Fellows

The Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education (AACSRE), in an effort to fuel the next generation of study for on-premise signage, has announced the Emerging Fellows for 2020-2021. The 2020 class of Emerging Fellows consists of three distinguished individuals with a broad capacity for research and passion for signage.

Since AACSRE’s establishment in 2015, the organization has worked to define and implement an Emerging Fellows Program with a focus on expanding the thought leadership impacting on premise signage.

The three diverse disciplines being highlighted with this class are:

  • Disfluent Fonts in billboards and advertising (Ruomeng “Ru” Wu);

  • The effect of location of branded on-premise signages on consumers’ judgments (Jennifer Hong);

  • Pilot study for how on-premise signs and messaging can increase prosocial behavior, blood donations (Riley Krotz)


AACSRE’s Emerging Fellows Committee is chaired by Dr. Steven Kopp of the University of Arkansas. Kopp noted, “The recipients of the 2020 Emerging Fellowships represent truly seminal research in signage. The research supported by AACSRE’s Emerging Fellows grants will have impacts on signage science and practice for decades. We are so pleased to underwrite the efforts of these scholars."


Ruomeng "Ru" Wu is an assistant professor of Marketing at Gordon Ford College of Business, Western Kentucky University. She received her PhD in Marketing from University of Cincinnati in 2019. Prior to her PhD, Ru got a Bachelor degree in Business Communications at Sun Yat-sen University, China. Her research interests include consumer inference based on signages and graphic designs. She is currently studying how contrast colors on signage influence consumers' perceptions of disfluency and their decisions, as well as how facial expressions on logos and ads can influence judgment and choice. She has presented her work at various conferences such as Society for Consumer Psychology and Association for Consumer Research. Her work has been published at Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding Signage and Wayfinding, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Business Research, and others.

Her research topic is: Disfluent Fonts. She will conduct research which highlights the importance of fonts in billboards and advertisements in the way that it impacts information processing and judgment and decision making.


Jennifer S. Hong is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Albers School of Business and Economics, Seattle University. She received her PhD in Marketing from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University in 2019. Prior to her PhD, she completed her MA in Psychology at the New York University and BA in Economics at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses primarily on how consumers respond to product packaging. Specifically, she examines the potential impact of product bundle packaging–such as bundle customization and bundle configuration–on how consumers judge product bundles as well as each bundled component. Her other research projects include understanding contextual and motivational factors that influence various consumer judgments.

Her research topic is: The effect of location of branded on-premise signages on consumers’ judgments. She will examine the effect of location of branded on-premise signages on consumers’ judgments. Specifically, we intend to illustrate that a branded on-premise signage may be more effective at influencing consumers’ judgments, when it is displayed in a vacant location in isolation from other on-premise signages than when it is displayed in a crowded location along with other on-premise signages–holding the design and content of the signage constant. Through a series of laboratory and field experiments, we will (1) demonstrate our proposed effect of display location (less crowded vs. highly crowded) on consumers’ judgments about and responses to branded on-premise signages, (2) provide evidence for the proposed underlying mechanism (3) rule out alternative explanations and confounds, and finally (4) delineate boundary conditions in which our proposed effects either emerge or disappear.


Riley T. Krotz is a fourth-year Marketing Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Tennessee, and Riley’s research explores retail, service, and frontline marketing strategy. Riley’s research has been published in the Journal of Supply Chain Management, the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, and others. Additionally, his retail strategy research has been published through the American Antitrust Institute and has led to two book publications. Riley has received numerous awards and grants for both his research and teaching including being named the first AMA DocSIG’s Outstanding Marketing Doctoral Student, the Haslam College of Business Award for Extraordinary Professional Promise, the Haslam College of Business Excellence in Research Award (Marketing), the William H. Thomlinson Outstanding Graduate Scholar Award, the AMA-Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium Fellowship, the Coggin College of Business Coggin Fellowship, the PowerUp JAX Innovation Grant, and the Innovation in Education Award.

His research topic is: A pilot study for how on-premise signs and messaging can increase prosocial behavior, blood donations and ultimately benefit society by saving lives. Utilizing a mixed-methods approach combining field, experimental, secondary, and survey data, he plans on determining the most effective way on-premise signs and related messaging strategies can increase blood donations from this unique group.

AACSRE looks forward to working with Ruomeng “Ru” Wu, Jennifer Hong, and Riley Krotz and welcomes them as the 2020 Class of Emerging Fellows


More information about the Emerging Fellowship Program and the backgrounds of the 2020 Class of Emerging Fellows can be found here. If you have any questions or comments about the Emerging Fellows Program or about AACSRE, they can be directed to Marihelen Millar, Executive Director or Dr. Steven Kopp, Emerging Fellows Committee Chairman

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