I earned a B.S. in Communication Studies from Ohio University‐ Lancaster and a Master’s degree in Communication Studies Research and Theory and a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from West Virginia University. It was during the course of my undergraduate education that I discovered my passion for teaching, activism, and scholarship, which has driven my ambition to earn a doctoral degree.
Broadly, my research interests center on the exploration of technology, power and sexuality. Thus, the phenomena I find most interesting are those implicated in the intersection of new communicative technologies and the construction of power and sexuality. Although these broad interests have inspired me to conduct research projects exploring how the participants and organizers of the SlutWalk social movement communicate identity or examining relationship between technological immersion and the effects of cyber bullying, my primary line of research concerns understanding how communication, or the lack thereof, creates a space for the generation and perpetuation of erroneous beliefs regarding sexual assault. Thus, I am currently conducting research to understand how mediated messages effect our understanding of sexual assault with the ultimate goal of using these findings to create interventions designed to decrease the myths individuals hold about the context, perpetrators, and survivors of sexual assault. My research directives are heavily influenced by my personal commitment to activism and social justice and I relish the opportunity to reflect these commitments in both my teaching and scholarship.
Aside from academic endeavors, I enjoy reading, playing volleyball, watching documentaries, and spending time with my three children. Also, although directly related to academics, I absolutely love to travel and attend conferences. As such, I treasure the many opportunities I have to share research and ideas through participation in diverse communication and women’s studies conferences and through my interactions with faculty and fellow graduate students.