Rachel Guldin

Rachel Guldin profile picture


My research interests focus on the intersection of media literacy education, neoliberal capitalism, racism, critical pedagogy, and popular culture. I take a critical cultural approach to understanding media phenomena with an enduring interest in political economy of media. I'm excited to fuse this orientation into my critical media literacy education research.
My research has addressed critical media literacy education, journalistic learning among historically underrepresented populations, social aggression on 2000s Disney Channel programming, ecology in media education, popular culture in media education, representation of fat boys in children's ensemble films, inclusive science communication, cultural hybridity in Latin music markets, and community formation among Magic: The Gathering players at Friday Night Magic. 
I am currently working as a researcher with Dr. Ed Madison, Dr. Jenefer Husman, Dr. Matthew Kim, and Dr. Ross Anderson for My STEM Story, a National Science Foundation grant-funded study that uses near-peer mentoring and digital video storytelling to examine identity-based motivation among historically underrepresented populations in STEM fields.
Previously, I taught as a visiting instructor in Rhetoric at the University of Iowa, as a fourth grade science and math teacher in Prince Georges County Public Schools, and as a fifth and sixth grade English language arts and social studies teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools. I maintain my elementary teaching certification and continue to be strongly invested and vocal in pro-public education reform and labor rights.


Penn State University, MA, Media Studies, 2011
Penn State University, BA, Media Studies, 2009



Guldin, Rachel. “Of Gloops and Goldbergs: An Analysis of Fat Boys and Class in United States Children’s Films with Ensemble Casts.” The Journal of Popular Culture, In press, forthcoming October 2020.

Smith, Hollie, Sunshine Menezes, Katherine Canfield, Rachel Guldin, Meredith Morgoch, and Katharine McDuffie. “Moving Toward Inclusion: Participant Responses to the Inclusive SciComm Symposium.” Frontiers in Communication, vol. 4, no. 77, Jan 2020, pp. 1-9.


Guldin, Rachel, and Brandon Harris. "'Who wouldn't want to summon dragons and trolls?': Constructing communities at Friday Night Magic." Essays on Magic: The Gathering, edited by Shelly Jones, forthcoming 2021.

Madison, Ed, Rachel Guldin, and Ross Anderson. “Cultivating Agency and Advocacy through Journalistic Learning.” Theory to Practice: Educational Psychology for Teachers and Teaching, edited by Mike Yough and Lynley H. Anderman, Information Age Publishing, forthcoming 2021.

Guldin, Rachel, Janelle Applequist, and Travis Bell. “‘Disney is Ruining My Kid!’: A Case for Cultivation and Social Learning in Tween TV by Examining Depictions of Social Aggression in 2000s Disney Channel Programming.” Kids Inc. to Andi Mack: The Disney Channel’s Tween Programming, edited by Christopher Bell, forthcoming 2020.


Bybee, Carl and Rachel Guldin. "Why Ecology Needs to be at the Center of Media Education: Communication and How Life Works." The Future of Education International Conference, Florence, Italy, 18-19 June 2020. Virtual Conference Presentation. 

Guldin, Rachel, Ed Madison, and Ross Anderson. "Writing for Social Justice: Cultivating Awareness and Agency Among Latina Students Through Journalistic Learning." International Communication Association, Gold Coast, Australia, 21-25 May, 2020. Virtual Conference Presentation. 

Guldin, Rachel. "Peeling The Onion: Examining the Role of Media Literacy in Satire and Misinformation." What Is Information? Conference, Portland, OR, 30 April-2 May, 2020. Virtual Conference Presentation. 

Guldin, Rachel, Ed Madison, and Ross Anderson. "Life Lessons: Understanding Social Justice Education Among Latina Middle School Students." American Educationa Research Association, San Francisco, CA, 17-21 April 2020. Conference Presentation. Conference canceled. 

Guldin, Rachel. "Moments and Milestones: Teaching Critical Media Literacy Through History and Popular Culture." Popular Culture Association, Philadelphia, PA, 15-18 April 2019. Conference Presentation. Conference canceled. 

Guldin, Rachel, Janelle Applequist, and Travis Bell. "'Disney is Ruining My Kid!': Making a Case for Cultivation and Social Learning Theories Through Examining Social Aggression in 2000s Disney Channel Series." National Communication Association, Baltimore, MD, 14-17 November 2019. Conference Presentation.

Guldin, Rachel. "Receiving and Resisting: Toward a Market-Driven Cultural Hybridity." Union for Democratic Communication, Hawayrd, CA, 31 October-3 November, 2019. Conference Presentation. 

Guldin, Rachel. "'Whenever, Wherever, We're Meant to Be Together': Complicating Hybrididty in Latin American Popular Music through Case Studies of Shakira and Lila Downs." International Association for Media and Communication Research, Madrid, Spain, 7-11 July 2019. Conference Presentation. 

Guldin, Rachel. “Of Gloops and Goldbergs: An Analysis of Class and Fatness in American Children’s Films.” Popular Culture Association, Washington, D.C., forthcoming 17-20 April 2019. Conference Presentation.

Smith, Hollie and Rachel Guldin. “Science Communication as Professional Outreach within the National Park Service,” National Communication Association—Communication at Play, Salt Lake City, UT, 8-11 November 2018. Conference Presentation. 

Guldin, Rachel. “‘You’re Killing Me, Smalls!’ A Textual Analysis of Fat Stigmatization in Three Children’s Films,” Union for Democratic Communications—Democratic Communications, Equal Rights & Global Justice, State College, PA, October 2010. Conference Presentation.


Baldwin, Martina and Rachel Guldin. "Media/Literacy 2020." Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Denver, CO, 1-5 April 2020. Conference Workshop. Conference canceled. 

Guldin, Rachel. “‘We Should All Be...’: Introducing Social Justice in the Classroom.” Eastern Communication Association Convention—Building Bridges, Pittsburgh, PA  25-29 April 2018. Conference Panel Presentation.

Honors and Awards


  • Dissertation Research Fellowship, University of Oregon, 2020-2021
  • SOJC Lokey Scholarship, University of Oregon, 2020-2021
  • Michael Schonecke Travel Grant, Popular Culture Assocation, 2019
  • Columbia Scholarship, University of Oregon, 2016
  • Champion for Student Success, University of Iowa, 2015
  • John W. White Graduate Fellowship, Penn State University, 2009-2010


  • Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society, University of Oregon, 2020
  • Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, Penn State University, 2009
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Penn State University, 2008
  • Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, Penn State University, 2006

Areas of Expertise

  • Media literacy education
  • Popular culture
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Political economy of communication
  • Qualitative methodology