I am a PhD Candidate in Communication and Media Studies at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) (completion 2022). During my studies, and most recently during the 2021 fire season, I worked as a federal wildland firefighter (US Forest Service). My primary advisor is Dr. Julianne Newton.
My research focuses on the intersection of strategic, visual, and environmental communication related to climate change, wildfire, and wildland firefighting. My research incorporates critical theory and cultural studies with increasingly attention to media effects. My dissertation uses over forty interviews with wildland firefighters to help examine multimodal news discourse (words and images) about recovery from the 2018 Camp Fire. A project in press with the Journal of Alternative & Community Media explores how alternative communities, such as ecovillages, respond to climate crisis by pursuing structural change in the built environment. A project under review examines how local news communicated political debate surrounding the designation and the reduction of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. I also contribute to research that focuses on LGBTQ youth and their families.
I have taught communication and media internationally and domestically. For example, in two consultancies in Chad, Central Africa, I built the capacity of youth and adults to first produce radio programs and then photojournalism to communicate civil society themes. In SOJC, I have served as instructor of record to a 200-level media theory course and a 300-level strategic writing and media relations course. I believe that my strong teaching evaluations and general rapport with students stems from my background as a wilderness therapy guide and Peace Corps volunteer in gender equity and public health.
My professional experience demonstrates a commitment to communication and media studies, particularly toward improving the quality of life for marginalized populations. For example, I translated my BFA degree in Visual Media Arts from Emerson College to cross-cultural settings, producing HIV/AIDS awareness media for nonprofits in Togo, West Africa. In addition, while earning a MA degree in Public Communication from American University in Washington, DC, I completed a one-year health communications research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute. Before my doctoral studies, I served as a health communication specialist for the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products.
MA, Public Communication, American University, 2010