Meet the 2024 Cohort

Amy Simons

Journalism Studies Professor, Missouri School of Journalism, University of Missouri

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Amy Simons teaches news literacy, multimedia journalism and advanced social media strategies.  

Since joining the faculty, Simons has developed an interest in international journalism, training professionals on campus and abroad. She has traveled across China and the European Union, teaching web-first workflows, mobile journalism techniques and how to use social media as a reporting tool and a means to disseminate journalistic content.  

She serves as liaison to the Missouri Interscholastic Journalism Association and the adviser to Mizzou Women in Media. Previously, Simons worked as digital news editor for the Chicago Tribune, where she helped develop and execute the editorial programming strategy for  

Simons is known across the country for her expertise in teaching online courses. She has won several local, national and international awards for her innovative interactive approaches, including the Mizzou Online Excellence in Teaching Award, the MU Connect Champion Award and regional and national awards for Excellence in Education from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). In March 2024, she was honored with the University of Missouri’s first-ever Provost’s Award for Faculty Mentorship.  

Simons holds a master’s of science degree from the University of Missouri’s College of Education and Human Development and a bachelor’s of journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism. 

Chelsea Julian Reynolds

Director, Center for Culture and Inclusion in Media, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University

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Chelsea Julian Reynolds, Ph.D. (Minnesota, ’17; Mizzou ’12), is the incoming director of the Center for Culture and Inclusion in Media at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where she will also be an associate professor in Cronkite’s Los Angeles programs. Dr. Reynolds previously served as an associate professor of Communications at California State University, Fullerton. She is an elected member of AEJMC’s Publications Committee and past-head of the LGBTQ Interest Group. 

Dr. Reynolds’s current scholarship examines the relationships between mass media, sexual communication and internet censorship. She is also a recognized leader in trauma-informed pedagogy and campus mental health. Dr. Reynolds’s work has been published in interdisciplinary journals such as Journal of Sex Research; Communication, Culture & Critique; Journalism & Mass Communication Educator; and Journal of Communication Inquiry. Her research has been recognized with numerous awards, including the AEJMC Mary Ann Yodelis Smith Award for Feminist Scholarship. She also co-authored CSUF’s winning AEJMC Equity and Diversity Award package in 2022.  

Dr. Reynolds lives in Los Angeles with her partner, Nilofar, and their cat, Little Mama. 

Emily Corio

Chair, Journalism and Media Programs, Reed College of Media, West Virginia University

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Emily Hughes Corio is chair of the Journalism and Media programs in the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. She teaches courses in audio and video reporting and podcasting. In 2018 and 2019, she co-led a collaborative reporting project that brought together faculty and students from WVU and George Washington University. In 2019, the team reported on the opioid epidemic’s impact to children in West Virginia and on outcomes from opioid settlements. 

Corio also worked on experimental journalism classes in 2015 – 2017 that combined sensor, data and science journalism to report on water and air quality in northern West Virginia. In 2014, Corio developed a course, “Adventure Travel Writing and Photography” that ultimately led to her designing the college’s Sports and Adventure Media major, which launched in 2018. She was the 2018 recipient of the college’s Outstanding Teaching Award. 

Corio spent a decade working in public media as a journalist before joining the College of Media. She’s an award-winning reporter who served as the assistant news director for the statewide public media network in West Virginia.  

Erin Ryan

Professor and Head of Communication Department, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

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Dr. Erin Ryan is a professor and head of the Communication Department at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (UTC). Her research focuses on children and the electronic media: the content and quality of children’s media, how they use or are impacted by media, why they use media, advertising directed at the child/adolescent market, parental involvement and mediation, the regulation of children’s media and media literacy. Much of her current research revolves around preschool-aged children and how they use electronic media technology to learn new skills.

Dr. Ryan holds a B.A. in psychology (developmental psychology focus) from the University of Georgia, a B.S. in communication (media studies focus) from Kennesaw State University, an M.A. in mass communication from Georgia State University and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. She holds certifications in Excellence in Leadership from Kennesaw State University, the Psychology of Leadership from Cornell University and the Women’s Leadership Program at Yale University. Prior to joining UTC, Dr. Ryan was associate director of the School of Communication and Media at Kennesaw State University where she was a member of the faculty for 14 years.

Outside of academia, her 4-year-old son Carter keeps her on her toes and she loves to consume all things pop culture with her husband, Chad. She’s an avid bird watcher and sourdough bread baker. She currently lives in the beautiful north Georgia mountains with her family and their two senior rescue dogs Sammie (13) and Abby (9).

Jae-Hwa Shin

Professor of Public Relations, University of Southern Mississippi

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Dr. Jae-Hwa Shin has held various leadership roles at the University of Southern Mississippi, serving as the public relations sequence head, public relations master’s program coordinator and actively participating in major university committees, as well as faculty advisor for the USM Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and a campus advisor for the National Millennial and GenZ Community. She is the vice chair for the National Communication Association Public Relations Division, set to become chair in 2025, and she is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Public Relations Research. 

Participating in the Diverse Leadership Fellowship program sponsored by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Association of Schools in Journalism and Mass Communication, Dr. Shin is dedicated to increasing diversity in journalism and communication education leadership. She was named a Fellow of the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication, aiming to empower women professionals and academics. Dr. Shin has initiated impactful programs such as Diversity Talks with industry leaders, a Health Literacy Panel and the Diversity Awards program at her institution. Additionally, she organized the Suicide Prevention Initiative on campus and established the Artificial Intelligence Community at Southern Miss. 

Dr. Shin holds a doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia, focusing her research on public relations from a strategic conflict management perspective. Her publication, Public Relations Theory: Capabilities and Competencies, was recognized with the PRIDE Award from the National Communication Association for Outstanding Contribution to Public Relations Education. Another recent publication, Public Relations Strategies and Tactics, is a resource for Accreditation in Public Relations by the Universal Accreditation Board. She is also a Distinguished Professor of Teaching with the Advanced Certificate in Effective College Instruction by the Association of College and University Educators and American College of Education. 

Before her academic career, Dr. Shin served as the communication director for the Korea Economic Research Institute and Center for Free Enterprise of the Federation of Korean Industries, collaborating with industry leaders such as Samsung, LG, and SK. 

Jerry Thull

Associate Director, School of Communication, Northern Arizona University School of Communication

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Jerry Thull just completed a two-year term as interim director of the Northern Arizona University School of Communication. The school has more than 1,300 degree-seeking students in six bachelor’s degree areas and a master’s program. Thull joined the School of Communication in 2008 as a faculty member in the public relations program. During his time at NAU, he served as program coordinator for the Strategic Communication program and been involved in two significant program redesigns. He has also served as chair of the school’s curriculum committee, as associate director of the school and on more than a dozen search committees.  

Thull’s first job in the media was with an alternative newsweekly in the early 1990s. He earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1995. After graduation he worked as the managing editor for a daily community newspaper. In 1999 he moved to Flagstaff and began working in public relations before joining the faculty at Northern Arizona University.  

Joe Phua

Endowed Distinguished Chair and Director, Temerlin Advertising Institute
Professor of Advertising, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University

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Dr. Joe Phua is the Endowed Distinguished Chair and director of the Temerlin Advertising Institute, and a professor of advertising in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University (SMU). He earned his Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California (USC). Prior to SMU, he was a faculty member in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. Dr. Phua’s research examines uses and effects of emerging communication technologies on advertising and marketing outcomes, as well as in health communication and sports marketing. He has published his research in top journals including the Journal of Communication, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Health Communication, Computers in Human Behavior, and Mass Communication and Society, among others. He has won several top research paper awards, including at the annual meetings of the ICA, NCA, AAA and AEJMC, and the 2012 Dissertation of the Year award from the ICA and NCA’s Health Communication Divisions. Dr. Phua has also served as PI or co-PI on over $4.5 million in external research funding from sources such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). His research has been featured in major media outlets including Men’s Fitness, NPR, ABC News, Men’s Health and Newsweek. Dr. Phua currently serves as associate editor for the Journal of Advertising, and on the editorial review boards of International Journal of Advertising, Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising and Journal of Interactive Advertising. 

Kareem El Damanhoury

Associate Professor and Graduate Director, Media, Film and Journalism Studies Department, University of Denver
Faculty Affiliate, Center for Middle East Studies
Founder and Director, DU Media

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Kareem El Damanhoury is a journalism and media professor and a multimedia journalist. With 15 years of journalism and media production experience with numerous outlets like CNN and PBS, he is currently an associate professor and graduate director at the University of Denver’s Media, Film and Journalism Studies department, a faculty affiliate at the Center for Middle East Studies, and the founder and director of the award-winning student media platform DU Media, which has earned recognition from prestigious organizations such as Emmy, Telly, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Colorado Broadcasters Association (CBA) and Webby. El Damanhoury was selected by the SPJ as the 2024 Educator of the Year across all Colorado colleges and universities. He is also the co-author of the Oxford University Press book “Proto-State Media Systems: The Digital Rise of Al-Qaeda and ISIS“ and author of the University of Georgia Press book “Photographic Warfare: ISIS, Egypt and the Online Battle Over Sinai,” with numerous other publications in journals, such as Digital Journalism, Journalism Practice, Electronic News, International Journal of Communication, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media and Media, War & Conflict. With a deep-rooted passion about teaching and mentoring the next generation of media professionals and scholars, El Damanhoury’s mission is to advance the knowledge and practice of journalism, media and communication in higher education.   

Lucinda Austin

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, Hussman School of Journalism and Media, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Lucinda Austin (Ph.D., University of Maryland College Park) serves as associate dean for graduate studies and research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Prior to her current appointment she served as Ph.D. program director and master’s in theory and research program director. She researches pressing problems in strategic communication, primarily addressing social media and crisis communication, and publics’ perspectives in corporate social responsibility and advocacy.  

Austin has actively served AEJMC for over 15 years in positions such as public relations division head and research chair, and now serves on the AEJMC Research Committee. She also sits on the Advisory Committee for the International Public Relations Research Conference and the DEI Committee for the Commission on Public Relations Education. 

She has authored close to 70 journal articles and book chapters including top journals such as Communication Research, New Media and Society, Health Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review and many more. She serves on multiple editorial boards, including the Journal of Public Relations Research, Contingencies and Crisis Management and more.  

Her past professional experience includes research for clients such as CDC, HHS, FEMA, and Red Cross. She has won multiple top paper awards and been awarded the AEJMC Mass Communication and Society Research and Promising Professor Awards, the Arthur W. Page Center’s Scholar Awards, and NCA’s PRIDE Award. Austin is co-editor of two Routledge books on “Social Media and Crisis Communication”(2017/2022). 

Marquita Smith

Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, University of Mississippi

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Dr. Marquita Smith is associate dean for graduate programs and research at the University of Mississippi. She is a former Fulbright Scholar, who has lived and worked in Ghana and Liberia. As a Knight International Journalism Fellow, Smith created a judicial and justice reporting network in Liberia which continues to operate. She has more than 14 years of experience in higher education, and more than 15 years as an award-winning journalist.  As a former head of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s Commission on the Status of Minorities, Smith’s research interests include health communities and ways media impact and inform underrepresented communities. 

Mia Long Anderson

Associate Dean and Professor, College of Arts and Media, Sam Houston State University

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Dr. Mia Long Anderson, a dynamic leader, scholar and educator with over a decade of higher education experience, serves as associate dean in the College of Arts and Media. Her leadership fosters a safe, accessible and enriching educational environment in alignment with the college’s mission and strategic goals. 

Dr. Anderson integrates her passion for sport and race into her academic and administrative roles. Her research delves into communication and sport, communication and race, and media history, notably focusing on activism in mediated spaces through projects like the exploration of Sepia magazine and publications “The United States of Sport: Media Framing and Influence of the Intersection of Sports and American Culture” and “Social Justice and the Modern Athlete: Exploring the Role of Athlete Activism in Social Change.” 

Dr. Anderson’s influence extends nationally through leadership roles in prestigious organizations like the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the National Communication Association (NCA). She serves on the Board of Commissioners for the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation, on NCA’s Legislative Assembly, and as research co-chair of AEJMC’s Sports Communication Interest Group. 

With her scholarly background and leadership experience, she embodies the spirit of transformative leadership, ensuring the College of Arts and Media thrives under her guidance. Dr. Anderson holds a doctorate in communication and information sciences from the University of Alabama, a master’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee, and a bachelor of arts in journalism from the University of Georgia. 

Nadine Barnett Cosby

Dean, School of Communications, Quinnipiac University

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Nadine Barnett Cosby, Ph.D., is an accomplished academic leader, scholar and administrator with a deep commitment to advancing the liberal arts tradition and integrating professional study into higher education. With a rich academic background and extensive experience, Dr. Barnett Cosby brings a wealth of expertise in faculty development, interdisciplinary collaboration and program enhancement to her leadership practice. 

Dr. Barnett Cosby earned her Ph.D. in communication from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She also holds a master of arts in media studies from The New School for Public Engagement in New York, New York, and a master of science in public relations from Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. She earned a bachelor of arts in mass communications from CUNY, Lehman College, where she graduated Cum Laude. 

In her current role as dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, Dr. Barnett Cosby is responsible for the academic oversight and operational leadership of the School of Communication’s five academic departments, in addition to providing intellectual leadership and strategic planning. Previously, Dr. Barnett Cosby was the Associate Vice Provost at Iona University in New Rochelle, New York, playing a pivotal role in academic and administrative leadership, supporting academic affairs, program development, innovation, implementation, academic program compliance and evaluation, serving as a liaison to regulatory and accrediting bodies, and contributing to the university’s strategic initiatives. 

Notably, Dr. Barnett Cosby was also the founding director of the Black Studies Program at Iona University, where she conceived and designed an interdisciplinary Black Studies minor available to all undergraduate students. Her responsibilities included curriculum oversight, program development and academic advisement for students minoring in the program. As an educator, Dr. Barnett Cosby held the position of associate professor in the Department of Media and Strategic Communication at Iona University and served as the Head of the Digital Media and Production concentration within the department, focusing on courses in digital storytelling, media writing and production, editing, media theory, race and gender, social media and advocacy. 

In addition to her teaching and administrative roles, Dr. Barnett Cosby is an active scholar with a number of publications and several more in the works.  In 2020, she received a Fulbright Scholar Award for her research on cultural competence in international exchange and mission programs in Africa.  In 2024, she was awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities grant for the development of an interdisciplinary Black Studies major. Her work covers a range of topics, including the impact of social media on social movements, racial perceptions, and real-world activism. Dr. Barnett Cosby has also served as a peer reviewer for academic publications and has presented her research at conferences across the United States.   

Dr. Barnett Cosby’s academic journey is underscored by her commitment to excellence, leadership and fostering positive change in higher education. With a strong record of successful senior-level administrative experience, she is poised to make a significant impact on academic affairs, faculty development and the overall success of educational institutions.

Ryan Thomas

Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Production and Director of Graduate Studies, Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University

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Ryan Thomas is an associate professor of journalism and media production and director of graduate studies in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. Prior to returning to WSU, where he earned his graduate degrees, he spent a decade on the faculty of the Missouri School of Journalism. 

Ryan’s research program, published in such journals as Journalism Studies, Digital Journalism, and the Journal of Media Ethics, addresses the intersection of journalism ethics and the sociology of news, focusing on journalism amid processes of change. This research examines the forces shaping journalism, how journalists make sense of them and how these changes affect journalism’s institutional obligations and role in public life.  

Ryan has taught classes focused on media ethics, journalism and democracy, qualitative research methods and communication theory. In addition, he has supervised six Ph.D. dissertations and 21 M.A. theses. 

Ryan has received several awards recognizing his research, teaching and service to the academy, including the 2023 Hillier Krieghbaum Mid-Career Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). 

Ryan is a first-generation college student from Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, and enjoys running, discovering new music and spending time with his wife and boisterous rescue dogs Rose and Webster. 

Suman Mishra

Professor and Graduate Program Director, Department of Mass Communications, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 

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Suman Mishra is the incoming chair of the Department of Mass Communications at SIUE. She has twenty years of experience teaching in higher education. Her teaching portfolio includes courses such as Media Campaigns, Media Law and Policy, Mass Media and Society, Transnational Media, Research Methods in Mass Communication, International Advertising, and Media and Health. She has received the Teaching Distinction Award and Phenomenal Woman Award for her teaching and mentorship work. 

Her research focuses on advertising and strategic communication. She also studies the impacts of globalization and transnational flows of media and information on countries of the Global South, media representations, media’s role in shaping individual and collective identities and the role of contemporary social movements in shaping multicultural marketplaces. She has received several top paper awards for her scholarly work.  

Dr. Mishra has served as the head of the Cultural and Critical Studies Division at AEJMC. At the SIUE, she has served as the chair of the Faculty Development Council (FDC) and headed many department and university committees.  

She has a Ph.D. in mass media and communication from Temple University, Philadelphia, and an M.A. in advertising from Michigan State University, East Lansing.  

Susan Keith

Associate Dean for Programs, School of Communication and Information and Professor, Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Rutgers University

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Susan Keith is the associate dean for programs in the School of Communication and Information and a professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She was president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2021-22, and has been the chair of AEJMC’s Standing Elected Committee on Teaching (2013-14) and head of what is now AEJMC’s Newspaper and Online News Division (2007-08). At Rutgers, she served as chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers from 2016 to 2020 and as area coordinator for Media Studies in the school’s interdisciplinary Ph.D. program from 2010 to 2012. Susan’s research focuses on changes in journalism in moments of conflict and transition, media law and ethics, visual communication and journalism pedagogy. She is the co-editor of “Teaching Journalism Online: A Handbook for Journalism Educatorsz” (UNESCO, 2023) and editor of the forthcoming “Teaching Communication Vol. III: Teaching Journalism and Media” (Cognella, 2025). Her research has been published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism, Journalism Studies, Visual Communication Quarterly, American Behavioral Scientist, the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Media, War & Conflict and other journals. She is a Ph.D. graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a master’s graduate of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. 

Weiwu Zhang

Associate Dean, College of Communication, Information and Media
Professor, School of Journalism and Strategic Communication, Ball State University

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Dr. Weiwu Zhang is associate dean in the College of Communication, Information, and Media (CCIM) and professor in the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication at Ball State University. He provides managerial oversight for academic programs, shepherds college promotion and tenure process, supports faculty professional development, ensures positive student relations in the college and leads the college internationalization endeavor.  

Prior to Ball State, Dr. Zhang served in various leadership positions. He served as chair of the Department of Public Relations and Assistant Director of Graduate Studies at Texas Tech University. Before Texas Tech, Dr. Zhang served as interim chair and graduate coordinator of the Department of Communication at Austin Peay State University. He is former president of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) and Research Chair of the Public Relations Division for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is a former graduate of the AEJMC Institute for Diverse Leadership in Journalism and Communication. He also served as editor for Communication Booknotes Quarterly (2015 – 2016), a book notes and book review journal published by the Taylor & Francis Group. 

Dr. Zhang’s research focuses on political public relations, media and public opinion, and the role of strategic communication in generating social capital. His current research centers on emotional intelligence and academic leadership. He has published more than 30 journal articles and book chapters in journals including Communication Research, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Public Relations Research and Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.