I am an Illinois Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My research examines how people develop their understanding of social issues related to identity. More specifically, I study the way media depictions of social issues and marginalized groups evoke prejudice and stereotypes, shape and activate identity, and influence public opinion and political behavior. I’m especially interested in the political effects of entertainment media and how audience attributes affect whether people consider entertainment media to be politically relevant.
Previously I served for 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps as a public affairs officer, and I have a background in public relations, advertising, and multimedia design.