• Ph.D. Texas A&M University
  • M.A. University of Houston
  • B.A. St. Mary's University

Areas of Expertise

  • Media Effects
  • Race & Stereotypes
  • Culture & Health Communication
  • Gender & Society
  • Diversity & Inclusion


I attended a small liberal arts college as an undergraduate student and large research-intensive universities for my graduate education. Having the comparative experience in both educational environments, I appreciate and enjoy the value, rigor, and opportunity for forging professional mentor-mentee relationships with enthusiastic liberal arts college students.

As a professor-scholar, my pedagogy includes a diverse array of strategies that enhance students' creative, critical mindsets. I strive to bridge theory with research and encourage students to engage their academic freedom in assignments and discussions.

I am a holistic adviser and a major adviser for Communication Studies, Sociology, and GSS students. It is immensely gratifying to guide students as they craft, analyze, write, and defend their senior thesis research and civic engagement capstone projects.


My research agenda resides at the intersection of media effects and health communication focused on underrepresented minorities, intersectionality in identities, media stereotyping, and inter-group communication. I am intrigued with how entertainment media frames race-based stereotypes about diverse groups as acceptable under the guise of humor and how such portrayals influence real-world interactions. I study symbolic racism, counter-stereotypes, and stigmatized health issues. Recent peer reviewed journal articles appear in Mass Communication & Society, The Howard Journal of Communications, Southern Communication Journal, and Women's Studies in Communication.

I published a co-edited book, Gender in a Transitional Era: Changes and Challenges (2014; Lexington Press) as well as essays about social justice, post-post racial society, diverse women and body image pertaining to media framing, and short essays about undocumented students and Latina/o communication studies respectively. I have given invited research talks at Hope College and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

In the National Communication Association (NCA), I served on the executive committee and am former Chair of the Latina/o Communication Studies Division & La Raza Caucus. Currently, I am spearheading a formal mentorship initiative by and for Latinx Communication scholars and co-chairing the G.I.F.T.S (Great Ideas for Teaching Students) program for NCA 2017.

I co-led a massive open online course (MOOC) EdX course in March 2017: "The Story of Fake News." The live course reached a final enrollment of 2,600 people from around the world and was featured in Inside Higher Ed, The Charlotte Observer, and the Charlotte Business Journal.


  • COM/SOC 218 Gendered Communication in Society
  • COM/SOC 275 Mass Media & Society
  • COM/SOC 315 Media Effects
  • COM 201 Introduction to Communication Studies
  • COM 280 Intercultural Communication
  • COM 350 Communication and Issues of Diversity
  • COM 495 Communication Theory and Research