Hello! Welcome to my website. I am an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Sociology, and affiliate faculty member in Gender & Sexuality Studies and Film & Media Studies at Davidson College, a highly selective small liberal arts college in Davidson, North Carolina.
My Path: I am a proud Chicana feminist from the Southwest with a long history in New Mexico-Colorado-Texas. I earned my B.A. in 2004 from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX, then my M.A. in Mass Communication at the University of Houston, where I completed my M.A. and earned a Women’s Studies Graduate Certificate in 2007. I then spent four years at Texas A&M University completing my doctorate in Mass Communication and Health Communication in 2011. I taught at the University of Houston Downtown full time and worked part time as a Research Assistant for a litigation consulting firm for a year post-grad before moving to North Carolina to begin my tenure-track position at Davidson College in 2012. I earned tenure in 2018 and became the Chair of the Communication Studies Department. I am the first tenure-track/tenured professor-scholar in Communication Studies at Davidson College. Recently, I also assumed the role of interim Director of the Speaking Center within the Center for Teaching and Learning.
I have played a pivotal role in growing the department to now include a Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS)-established major in Communication Studies established since 2016. The Communication Studies minor continues to thrive for going on 14+ years now. I co-founded the Davidson Microaggressions Project in 2017 in collaboration with students after serving as an elected faculty member on the Diversity Committee and realizing I could develop a grassroots service project collaboratively with students to promote awareness and ongoing educational resources concerning diversity, equity, and inclusion regarding campus climate. I also serve as co-Chair of the Faculty of Color Caucus. Advocacy and mentorship guide our focus particularly in the best interest of junior pretenure and contingent faculty of color colleagues. I have held elected leadership positions in La Raza Caucus and the Latina/o/x Communication Studies Division of the National Communication Association and I co-founded the Raza Mentorship Initiative in 2017. We prepare panels each year for the national conference by and for our Latinx professor-scholar colleagues and guided by the goal of fostering connections for lasting mentorship and networking relationships.
Professional Profile: I teach many Communication Studies courses that are often cross-listed with other programs. My favorites include courses on mass media effects, stereotypes, humor, and gendered communication. My research interests reside at the intersection of mass media and health communication with particular focus on intersectionality including race, ethnicity, gender, cultural communication and identities. My recent work focuses on how racial and ethnic stereotypes in entertainment media are framed in entertainment comedy or humorous communication contexts. I am interested in how diverse audiences interpret and respond to stereotypes beyond media effects and how those message perceptions might impact real-world interactions.
I typically have multiple research projects at various stages of the research pipeline. I am most excited about a class I developed (taught twice now) called Stereotypes & Humor, which is based on a qualitative extension of a project I first began and published about using a quantitative approach. I co-edited the 2019 book, Latina/o/x Communication Studies: Theories, Methods, and Practice with my close colleagues. I am co-editor of the Cultural Media Studies series with Peter Lang Publishing. My most recent publication is a career milestone because it marks my first time co-authoring with one of my students. Our chapter, based on Alexa Landsberger’s (Class of 2019, Comm. Studies major) honors thesis research, is published in Research Perspectives on Social Media Influencers and Brand Communication (2020).
Please feel free to browse the contents in the tabs of this website. For questions about my work, or to request .pdfs directly, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for visiting my website!