COMM doctoral grad joins Lahore University of Management Sciences faculty in Pakistan

Dr. Khawaja Zain-ul-abdin
Dr. Khawaja Zain-ul-abdin

Florida State University (FSU) School of Communication recent doctoral graduate, Dr. Khawaja Zain-ul-abdin, has accepted a tenure line position as Assistant Professor to teach marketing & communication at the Suleman Dawood School of Business in the Lahore University of Management Sciences.  This University is the top-ranked academic institution in Pakistan and its Suleman Dawood School of Business has consistently ranked among the top business schools in South Asia for the last two decades.  It has a curriculum partnership with the Harvard Business School, teaching M.B.A. courses based on the Harvard case study methodology.

Dr. Zain-ul-abdin (Ph.D., Media and Communication Studies, ‘13) also earned his M.A. at the FSU School of Communication in 2009.  Both degrees were completed with funding from his having been granted two Fulbright scholarships, a Doctoral Fellow Concentration in new media technologies and International Masters Scholarship.  In 2007, he received his M.B.A. in Marketing at the Lahore School of Economics.

From 2009-2013, Dr. Zain-ul-abdin served as the President of the College of Communication and Information’s Communication Graduate Student Association.  In addition, he taught as an undergraduate communication instructor for the Diffusion of Innovations and Desktop Multimedia courses.  While at FSU, he won the Karl A. and Madira Bickel Scholarship (2011 and 2013), a Dissertation Research Grant, a FSU Graduate School International Fulbright Doctoral Fellowship, an International Fulbright Scholarship awarded by The Government of the United States, and a FSU Leadership Award.

Dr. Zain-ul-abdin is “thankful to the faculty at the School of Communication for their continuous and constructive support throughout my time at FSU.  Their encouragement and efforts have helped me evolve as an academic, as a professional and as a person.”  He hopes to maintain a lifelong association with Florida State as well as to form research collaborations and collaborative programs between our institutions and organizations in Pakistan.

In his new job as an Assistant Professor, Dr. Zain-ul-abdin is especially looking forward to continuing and expanding on his research endeavors.  He said, “I would like to create a stream of visual communication research in the field of marketing.  In particular I am in the process of setting up an eye tracking lab, using it to answer various questions about the cognitive effects of online ads, working towards a theoretical extension to the social cognitive theory and a template for best practices in digital advertising.”

Collaborating with fellow communication Ph.D. alumna, Dr. Mariliis Vahe, Dr. Zain-ul-abdin is also conducting research on the effects of social media marketing in the development sector in Pakistan.  Specifically they will look into hyper-connectivity and its effects on social norms and social sector advertising.

Additionally, Dr. Zain-ul-abdin is volunteering helping Dr. Vahe with a non- governmental organization that she recently started in Pakistan.  As a result of her dissertation, she is this organization’s president with over 40 volunteer doctors and an almost launched health resource for young women that provides anonymous access to doctor advice.


While completing their doctoral degrees together at FSU, here are some citations of research project collaborations between Dr. Zain-ul-abdin and Dr. Vahe presented at conferences: 

  • Vahe, M., & Zain-ul-abdin, K. (2012). Factors that influence the acceptance of sexual health classes among young Pakistani females. Paper presented at the 2012 CDC National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media. Atlanta, GA.
  • Vahe, M., & Zain-ul-abdin, K. (2013) Breaking the silence: Acceptability and impact of GirlTalk, an online health information source for young Pakistani females. Paper to bepresneted at the 2nd biennial D.C. Health Communication Conference (DCHC). Fairfax, VA. Top Student Research Presentation Award.
  • Vahe, M., & Zain-ul-abdin, K. (2013). Let’s talk about sex!: Acceptance of sexual health communication in Pakistani school curricula. Paper to be presented at the annual convention of the International Communication Association. London, England.