Doe Mayer is the Mary Pickford Chair of Film and Television Production at USC's School of Cinematic Arts. A graduate of that School, she joined its faculty in 1987. She often heads its Documentary Production Program and teaches advanced graduate-level courses on documentary and fiction filmmaking. She holds a joint appointment with the Annenberg School for Communication where her teaching and research center on the practical application of communication campaign strategies and designs for social issues and health-defined organizations. In 2004 she was honored as one of USC’s Remarkable Women Faculty Members. The award is a collaboration between the Office of Campus Activities, the Women's Student Assembly, and the Center for Women and Men, and Gender Studies. In 2001 the National Organization for Women (NOW) gave her its award for advancement of women's media education in California.
Professor Mayer has been working in film and television for over 25 years and has produced, directed and provided technical support for hundreds of productions in the United States and numerous developing countries. Her research and publications focus on family planning, basic education, health and nutrition promotion, HIV/AIDS prevention, population, and women’s issues. Her work has taken her to Zimbabwe, Uganda, Zambia, Eritrea, Maldives, Pakistan, China, Mexico, Suriname and many other countries. In 1995 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach media studies and development communication in Fiji and other South Pacific island nations.
For many years, Professor Mayer has been designing communication campaigns with government ministries and other organizations in developing countries using multiple media and public outreach. She has produced a number of videos on the subjects of population, family planning, AIDS, teenage pregnancy, and maternal and child health care in developing countries. She has also authored and presented numerous workshops for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the effective use of media and face-to-face communication.
In 1997 Professor Mayer founded the Program in Development Communication at the Annenberg Center for Communication. She has recently completed a five-year project, Women Connect!, a communications training program in Africa to strengthen African women NGOs in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Uganda. The project combined the strategic use of media with an innovative mix of traditional media, mass media, and information communication technology to promote women's health and well-being. An initiative of the Pacific Institute for Women's Health, it received primary funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,and the Annenberg Center for Communication, with additional funding from the Wallace Global Fund.
Mayer is on the advisory board of Hollywood, Health and Society, a project of the Lear Center at the Annenberg School which is funded by the CDC. She has also served on the Committee for Training in Developing Countries, of CILECT, the organization of the world's film schools. She has just been added to the roster of the Fulbright Senior Specialist list, making her eligible for short term Fulbright assignments over the next five years. She recently completed a trip to the Netherlands where she lectured on "Social and Health Issues in American Soap Operas."
As a CET Fellow Professor Mayer plans to continue exploring the links between creativity and social responsibility that have been a substantive part of her teaching career. This interest culminated in a book she recently co-authored with two colleagues, Creative Filmmaking From the Inside Out: Five Keys to the Art of Making Inspired Movies and Television (Simon & Schuster, 2003). She intends to teach interactive methodologies and innovative techniques that will allow faculty in other disciplines to both nurture the inherent creativity of their students and encourage a greater awareness of the links between creative work and individual values.