Ruthie Kelly

Ruthie Kelly is is a third-year communication Ph.D. student at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Her research explores how mass media (film, television, pop culture, social media), particularly fictional entertainment but also news and educational content, impacts our impressions of reality and changes our knowledge, attitudes, behavior and judgements, with particular emphasis on politics and government.

She tends to use quantitative social scientific approaches (such as experiments, surveys, and content analysis) but also uses other qualitative techniques, such as focus groups, interviews, and rhetorical analysis, for particular case studies and exploratory work. She has either lead or collaborated on projects relating to women and gender stereotypes, trans issues, elections in the U.S., religion, and terrorism (though not all all together).

Before coming to USC, Ruthie earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science with honors from San Diego State University. During that time, she had extensive teaching and tutoring experience both on her own campus, at a local community college, and while working for a major test prep company. As a Ph.D. student, she has served as the teaching assistant for several courses in her department, including Communication and Mass Media (COMM 203, now COMM 313) and Rhetoric and the Public Sphere (COMM 311, formerly COMM 201). In 2016-2017, she is serving as the president of the doctoral student government at Annenberg, ACGSA.

In the classroom, Ruthie’s pedagogical practice prioritizes content mastery, effective procedural application, conceptual engagement and intellectual flexibility, as well as explicit opportunities for students to engage in deliberate discussion of pedagogy, the psychology and philosophy of learning, and institutional or structural awareness of education. She also tend to make a wry joke now and then, particularly about politics, Internet memes, and her fondness for Grumpy Cat.