Communications Scholar Srivi Ramasubramanian Hopes Career Full of “Firsts” Helps Inspire Women Scholars, Researchers of Color 

Srivi Ramasubramanian’s decorated career as a communications scholar is full of “firsts.” 

The first woman to earn a Ph.D. in her family. The first woman and person of color to hold the Newhouse Professorship, an endowed chair position at the Newhouse School. The first woman of color to hold the position of editor-in-chief of Communication Monographs, a flagship journal of the discipline. 

Srivi Ramasubramanian holds her ICA Fellow plaque.

Ramasubramanian earned her latest distinction in May, when she was named a 2023 International Communication Association (ICA) Fellow. She is the first Newhouse School faculty member to achieve this prestigious distinction, and the only woman of color in the 2023 cohort.  

For Ramasubramanian, what’s important is what she does with the privilege of being first, and how such distinctions can have an impact on others. 

“I hope that [being recognized] serves as an inspiration and visibility for the excellence that other women scholars and other scholars or researchers of color are bringing to the discipline,” said Ramasubramanian, whose work focuses on contemporary global issues relating to media, diversity and social justice. 

Ramasubramanian, who joined the Newhouse School in 2021, is widely recognized for her pioneering work on race and media, media literacy initiatives, implicit bias reduction and scholar-activism. She has over 100 publications to her credit, including in top-tier journals, books, encyclopedias and major media outlets. 

As one of 30 members of this year’s Fellows class, Ramasubramanian was recognized during ICA’s conference in Toronto in May for distinguished scholarly contributions to the broad field of communication.  

ICA fellows group shot
The ICA Fellows Class of 2023.

“Without the support of my students, research collaborators, and mentors, none of this would be possible,” she said. “It meant a lot that several Newhouse colleagues, family members, and students came to ICA Toronto to celebrate this moment with me.”  

Ramasubramanian is the founding director of CODE^SHIFT, a multidisciplinary research lab at Newhouse, the Difficult Dialogues Project and the nonprofit Media Rise. She hopes the recognition serves to influence students and aspiring scholars to see Newhouse as a destination for research and conversations about shaping the future of scholarship in race and media, diversity, social activism and social justice.  

“We want to attract some of the best students to be able to work with us and expand and build our relationships and networks in New York, across the United States and across the world,” Ramasubramanian said. “Those are some of the opportunities that will help to scale up the impact of the work that we’re doing here.” 

Griffin Uribe Brown is a sophomore in the magazine, news and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.