About Me

I am about two-thirds of what I always wanted to be: A journalist, a teacher, and a diplomat.

My third career choice is currently on hold while I pursue tenure at the University of Virginia, where I’m an assistant professor in the Department of Media Studies.

Prior to joining the faculty at UVA, I was an assistant professor in the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas.

I’m a two-time graduate of Florida A&M University (B.A., political science, 2002; M.S., newspaper journalism, 2006). I earned my Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

I’m a journalist by training, and have worked for the Capital Outlook (Fla.), The Tallahassee Democrat, The Austin American-Statesman and The Raleigh News & Observer. For a while, I contributed to Poynter.org’s diversity column and USA TODAY.

My research focuses on the intersections of race, media, and power – covering everything from media processes like newsroom hiring and reporting practices to the digital narratives constructed by social media communities. I’ve studied Black Twitter since 2010, and am currently working on a book about it. TheRoot.com thought enough of my work to name me No. 66 of the most 100 influential Black Americans on their 2015 Root 100 list.

I’m a Kentucky girl by raising, a cat person by nature, and a devoted fan of all things Shondaland. Fresh peonies, Scottish Terriers, and good jellybeans are some of the things you’ll find on the way to my heart.