I am a researcher, teacher, and consultant. I currently hold the 1855 Community and Urban Journalism Professorship and am an associate professor in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University. I prioritize community-engaged work, and consult for numerous media, advocacy, and non-profit news organizations interested in diversity and equity. I currently offer training related to reparative narrative change, considerations when covering Black communities in the United States, and building trust messenger relationships. Reach out to me to schedule a consultation so we can see how I can best assist your organization.
I have extensively published diagnostic work that primarily identifies news media representation issues and their effects on engagement, trust, and public opinion. My present and ongoing community-engaged research projects focus on fighting disinformation about Black communities with reparative interventions and solutions. You can check out my Midwestern-based project at www.liftproj.com.
Some of my most recent awards and recognitions were the 2023 McKnight Professorship, 2022 Public Engagement Award by the Journalism Studies Division for the International Communication Association, and the 2020 Junior Scholar of the Year Award by the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center of the Advancement of Women in Communication.
Prior to pursuing my research career, I worked as a photographer, designer, and writer. A trained journalist, I later worked in non-profit health and education public relations positions, where I put all my skills to the test: print and web publication creation, marketing and recruitment, design, writing, photography, and social media management. I received my doctorate in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in August 2017. Before that, I worked full-time for Baylor Law School as a public relations coordinator and recruiter while I pursued my master's degree in Journalism, New Media & Public Relations, which I received in 2013 from Baylor University. I received my Bachelor's degree in Journalism & Public Relations in 2008 from Baylor University.
Perhaps more importantly, I am the self-declared director of chaos for two extraordinary children who rollerskate, have hilarious business laughs, and will likely become the most beloved leaders of the Ramen noodle fan club. I am the "okayest" dog mom hyper-terrier-turned-old pup. During the height of the pandemic, I opened DuoLingo several times and tried out saying hello in three languages; I bought many books about acquiring hobbies that I will probably pick up again next pandemic; and I got dressed occasionally. Throughout these years, I have continued to use cleaning as a coping skill and procrastination mechanism.
I plan to retire as soon as I learn to bake something that consistently tastes good, and then, I'll open a truffle/taco/tequila flight shop on the beach somewhere in the Caribbean. I also aspire to one day have a thumb so green that I finally stop killing all the air plants I buy.