Stef is Senior Lecturer in Public Communication and Civil Development in the Department of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield. She is also the Faculty of Social Sciences Director of PGR studies. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the founding Chair of the HCPB Hub which is a network that brings together academics and practitioners that are interested in the communicative conditions of peaceful cooperation within civil societies and counts nearly a hundred active members.
Stef’s research focus is the role of public communication in civil society in the development, strengthening, rebuilding, diminishment or destruction of it. Currently, Stef is working on her fourth monograph which focuses on the significance of listening in civil society.
More specifically, she is interested in to what extent communicative activities in the factual and fictional mass media and the performative and visual arts can help to achieve peaceful cooperation among citizens in such settings. She argues that communicative activities have the potential to help achieve civil peace if they are underpinned by what she calls discursive civility and happen in safe spaces. Based on this work, Stef has provided training in a variety of contexts and countries including Kenya. Together with peacebuilders in Kenya she has created an informal association called East Africa Peace Ambassadors.
She has been involved in a variety of funded research projects, undertaken consultancy for the UN, the European Commission and the European Parliament. Stef is also Academic Director of the Global Listening Centre and is a close collaborator of the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM).