Ph.D. Mass Communication, The University of Southern Mississippi, December 2014
“The (Not So) New Normal: A Queer Critique of LGBT Characters and Themes in Primetime Network Television Situational Comedies.”
Advisor: Dr. Christopher Campbell
M.A. Communication, University of South Alabama, May 2011
“‘When The Pretending’ Stopped? AIDS Coverage In New Orleans’ Mainstream, Gay And Alternative Presses From 1981-1991”
Advisor: Dr. Vanessa Murphree
Received the University of South Alabama Top Thesis Award for 2011
B.A. Communication, Mississippi State University, May 2002
University of Memphis Department of Journalism and Strategic Media
Associate professor (Fall 2021-present)
Assistant professor (Fall 2015-Spring 2021)
Head of journalism major (Spring 2016-present)
Advise 45 journalism undergraduate students
- JRSM 2121 Intro to Media Writing
- JOUR 3526 Multimedia Storytelling
- Redesigned and launched Fall 2017
- JOUR 3900 Visual Media
- JOUR 4124 Data Writing and Reporting
- JOUR 4150 Sports Writing/Reporting
- JOUR 4180 Public Issues Writing/Reporting
- Created and launched Fall 2017
- JOUR 4535 Social Media Journalism
- Created and launched Fall 2021
- JRSM 4702 Media, Diversity and Society (online)
- Developed online version of the course Fall 2017
- JOUR 4998 Multimedia News Lab (journalism major capstone)
- Developed student driven website MemphisMirror.com.
- JOUR 4802 Drone Journalism
- Created and launched Fall 2016
- JOUR 4802 Podcasting in Journalism
- Created set to launch Spring 2019
- JOUR 7350 Advanced Multimedia Journalism (graduate)
- Developed and launched Spring 2017
- JRSM 7075 Research Methods
- JRSM 7085 Qualitative Research Methods
- Developed and launched Fall 2018
The University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism
Visiting Instructor (Fall 2014-Spring 2015)
- MCJ 102 Introduction to Media Writing
- MCJ 200 Introduction to Social Media
- MCJ 300 Multimedia Storytelling
- MCJ 303 Investigative Strategies for Journalists
- MCJ 301 Feature Writing
- Advised 48 broadcast journalism undergraduates
Graduate Teaching Assistant (Fall 2011-Summer 2014)
- Instructor of record, MCJ 102 Introduction to Media Writing
- Instructor of record, MCJ 200 Introduction to Digital Media Production
- Teaching assistant, MCJ 200 Introduction to Digital Media Production
University of South Alabama
- Department of Continuing Education, Computer Applications Instructor. Courses consist of instruction in Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 applications (Spring 2011 – Spring 2014)
- Graduate Assistant, Online Public Speaking, Department of Communication, University of South Alabama (Summer 2010 – Fall 2010)
- Graduate Assistant, Public Speaking, Department of Communication, University of South Alabama (Spring 2009 – Spring 2010)
- Freelance writer, Memphis Magazine, Memphis, Tennessee (Spring 2017—present)
- Editor, The Covington Newsand Alcovy Magazine, Covington, Georgia (January 2008 – September 2008)
- General Manager, For both The Amory Advertiserand Aberdeen Examiner, Amory, Mississippi and Aberdeen, Mississippi, respectively (October 2005 – January 2008)
- Assistant Sports Editor, The Meridian Star, Meridian, Miss. (July 2005 – October 2005)
- Sports Editor/News Reporter, The North Jefferson News, Gardendale, Alabama (December 2003 – July 2005)
- Sports Writer, The Amory Advertiser, Amory, Mississippi (October 2002 – June 2003)
Peer reviewed journal
Byrd, R.D.& Denney, P. (2018) “Using Their Own Voice”: Learning to Tell Stories with Instagram. Teaching Journalism and Mass Communication(in press).
Janoske, M., Byrd, R.D., & Cooper, D. (2018). Identity Formation and Voter Suppression: The Iconography of Fake Memes in the 2016 Presidential Election (under review).
Janoske, M., Byrd, R.D., & Madden, S. (2018) One liners and catchy hashtags: Building a graduate student community through Twitter chats (revise and resubmit).
Byrd, R.D.(2019) Not All Colors of the Rainbow. In C. Campbell & L. Coleman (Ed.), Media, Myth and Millennials: Critical Perspectives on Race and Culture. Lexington Books (forthcoming).
Byrd, R.D., Janoske, M., & Chaney, A. (2018) From Orange Juice to the Ballot Box: Media Coverage of Anita Bryant’s Rise and Fall in the Early Religious-right Movement. In K.K. Strunk (Ed.), Queering the Deep South: Research on Queer Studies and LGBTQ Lives in the U.S. Southeast. Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishing (in press).
Byrd, R.D.(2016) Race and Sexuality: Whitewashing Representation. In C. P. Campbell (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Media and Race. New York: Routledge.
Non-peer reviewed journal
Byrd, R.D.(2013). Don’t Be a Tool . . . Dress Like a Guy: Denotative and Connotative Readings of Old Navy’s Süpar Tool Advertisement. Synergy 4(1), 73-80.
Byrd, R.D.(2017) Jason A. Peterson, Full Court Press: Mississippi State University, the Press, and the Battle to Integrate College Basketball. Newspaper Research Journal,38 (1), 134-135.
Byrd, R.D. “Evolving Narratives: New Orleans Media Coverage of AIDS from 1985-1988.” Presented at the 2018 American Journalism Historians Association’s annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah October 2018.
Janoske, M., Byrd, R.D., & Cooper, D. “Identity Formation and Voter Suppression: The Iconography of Fake Memes in the 2016 Presidential Election.” To be presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) annual conference (Cultural and Critical Studies Division) in Washington, DC August 2018.
Janoske, M., Byrd, R.D., & Madden, S. “One liners and catchy hashtags: Building a graduate student community through Twitter chats.” Presented at the AEJMC annual conference (Public Relations Division) in Chicago, Illinois August 2017. Top poster in PRD Teaching Competition.
Byrd, R.D. & Denney, P. “’Using their own voice’: Learning to tell stories with Instagram.” Presented at the AEJMC annual conference (Small Programs Interest Group) in Chicago, Illinois August 2017. Third place teaching paper for SPIG.
Byrd, R. D. “Privileged gay man: The intersection of race, gender and sexuality in network television sit coms.” Presented at theAEJMC annual conference (Entertainment Studies Interest Group) in Minneapolis, Minnesota August 2016.
Byrd, R. D. “Good gay, bad queer: Heteronormtive shaming and homonormative love in network television situational comedies.” Presented at the AEJMC annual conference (Cultural and Critical Studies Division) in San Francisco August 2015.
Byrd, R. D. “Rich and fabulous: The marginalizing power of television situational comedies and the contrived gay market.” Presented at the AEJMC annual conference (Entertainment Studies Interest Group) in San Francisco, August 2015.
Byrd, R. D. “’We knew them as people’: Local media coverage and the national commemoration of the New Orleans Up Stairs Lounge fire victims since 1973.” Presented at the 2013 AJHA’s annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana September 2013.
Byrd, R. D.“Creating a narrative of (im)possibility: Outsports.com’s declaration of a gay-friendly Sports world.” Presented at the AEJMC annual conference (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Interest Group) in Washington, D.C. August 2013.
Sipocz, Daniel & Byrd, R. D. “Did #NBCFail? Twitter and user-generated critiques of 2012 Olympic coverage in a post-broadcast world.” Presented at the AEJMC annual conference (Graduate Student Interest Group) in Washington, D.C. August 2013. Third place paper award for interest group.
Byrd, R. D. “Queer as a football bat: Hegemonic gayness and homophobic narrative in Out Magazine’s ‘Sports Issue.’” Presented at the AEJMC annual conference (Cultural and Critical Studies Division) in Chicago, Illinois August 2012. Top poster award for division.
Byrd, R. D. “From outsider to martyr: The Advocate’scoverage of Harvey Milk from 1977 To 1979.” Accepted for presentation at the AEJMC annual conference (History Division) in St. Louis, Missouri, August 10, 2011.
Byrd, R. D., Hollingsworth, J. & Warnick, J. “Responding to the enemy: Identity construction and selective exposure in Huffington Post’s blogs and reader’s comments.” Presented at the Southern States Communication Association Annual Conference (Mass Communication Division) in Louisville, Kentucky on April 11, 2013.
Byrd, R. D. “Just another ‘snark’ piece? Outsports.com’s queering of Tim Tebow through the scope of a homophobic ‘gaydar.’” Presented at the Alabama Communication Association annual convention in Mobile, Alabama, July 28, 2012. Top graduate student paper.
Byrd, R. D. “From outsider to martyr: The Advocate’scoverage of Harvey Milk from 1977 to 1979.” Presented at the AEJMC Southeastern Colloquium in Columbia, South Carolina, March 18, 2011. Top student paper in history division.
Byrd, R.D.; Rodrigquz, Nathian; Tindall, Natalie; & Jennifer: Out of the Intersectional Ghetto: Publishing Inclusive Research in Mainstream Mass Comm and Journalism Journals. Presented to AEJMC annual conference (LGBTQ Interest Group & Commission on the Status of Women) in Washington, D.C., August 2018.
Byrd, R. D.; Murphree, Vanessa M. & Perry, Pam: Two sides of the same coin: The historical synergy between public relations and the press. Presented at the AJHA annual conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, October 2016.
Byrd, R. D.; Foss, Katie; Rodriguez, Nathian & Geske, Joel: Teaching LGBTQ Issues in the Bible Belt. Presented to AEJMC annual conference (LGBTQ Interest Group & Cultural and Critical Studies Division) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2016.
Byrd, R. D. “‘Housewives with balls’: Hegemonic masculinity and heterosexist narrative in Logo TV’s A-List Dallas.” Presented at the SSCA annual conference (Popular Communication Division) in Louisville, Kentucky on April 13, 2013.
Byrd, R. D. “In their opinions: Establishing a counternarrative during the AIDS epidemic In the conservative South.” Presented at the SSCA annual conference (Gender Studies Division) in Louisville, Kentucky on April 11, 2013.
Byrd, R.D. “Is ‘Milk Still Fresh’: Harvey Milk, The Advocate,and public memory.” Presented at the SSCA annual conference (Public Address Division) in Little Rock, Arkansas on March 21, 2011.
Other Conference Presentations
Sipocz, Daniel & Byrd, R. D. “#NBCFail? A textual analysis of viewer generated Twitter critiques during NBC’s 2012 Olympic coverage.” Presented at the Broadcast Educators Association District II Conference at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, October 5, 2012.
Byrd, R. D. “Queer as a football bat: Hegemonic gayness and homophobic narrative in Out magazine’s ‘Sports Issue’” Presented at the AEJMC Midwinter Conference (Cultural and Critical Division) in Norman, Oklahoma, March 2, 2012.Top paper in division.
Byrd, R. D. “The ‘gays’ disease’:The Times-Picayune’sAIDS coverage from 1981-1985.” Presented at the AJHA Southeast Colloquium in Panama City, Florida, February 5, 2011.
Visiting professor Johannes Gutenberg University, Journalistisches Seminar Mainz. Mainz, Germany. Course: Digital Media and Society. May 5-26, 2-17.
“Researching Media History” presented to the UofM JRSM monthly research colloquium October 2016.
“The Not So New Normal” presented to the UofM JRSM monthly research colloquium March 2016.
“Feminism in the News” panel as part of the University of Memphis’ Women’s History Month celebration. February 2016.
“Queer As A Football Bat: Hegemonic Gayness And Homophobic Narrative In Out Magazine’s ‘Sports Issue.’” Presented to USM undergraduate honors class, April 9, 2013.
“‘Housewives With Balls’: Hegemonic Masculinity And Heterosexist Narrative In Logo TV’s A-List Dallas.” Presented to USM Mass Communication Graduate Student Research Forum, April 4, 2013.
“When The Pretending Stopped?: AIDS Coverage In New Orleans’ Press From 1981-1991.” Presented to Media History class University of South Alabama, April 2011.
Research In Progress
Byrd, R. D. Land of Decadence: New Orleans LGBTQ Media History from 1958-1990. Book proposal.
Byrd, R.D. The (Not So) New Normal: Queer Television in a Post-Gay World. Book proposal.
Other Research Projects
Assisted with coding qualitative questionnaires from participants in the Blue Star Families “2013 Military Family Lifestyles Survey.” The research was presented during a panel event cohosted by the Senate and Congressional Military Family Caucuses in Washington, D.C. on May 16, 2013.
· Chair of AEJMC LGBTQ Interest Group (2018-2019)
· Chair broadcast journalism faculty search committee, University of Memphis Department of Journalism and Strategic Media (2018)
· Member of UofM LGBTQ Community of Research Scholars. (Applied for $2,500 grant from University of Memphis for LGBTQ Special Collection.)
· Director UofM Department of Journalism and Strategic Media’s AMP18, high school media workshop (June 2018)
· Study abroad lead instructor journalism, Mainz, Germany. (May 2017)
· Member of University of Memphis Grade Appeal Committee (2017-present)
· JRSM Broadcast News Task Force (Spring 2018)
· JRSM #MLK50 Task Force (2017-2018)
· Head of journalism major on Journalism and Strategic Media Curriculum Committee (2016-present)
· Helped coordinate Electionland Project for U of M journalism students during the 2016 Presidential Election.
· Vice Chair for AEJMC LGBTQ Interest Group (2017-2018)
· Research Chair for AEJMC LGBTQ Interest Group (2016-2017)
· Website manager and newsletter editor for AEJMC Cultural and Critical Studies Division (2015-2017)
· Member advertising faculty search committee, University of Memphis Department of Journalism (2016)
· Chair UofM Department of Journalism and Strategic Media Scholarship Committee (2016-present)
· Member of UofM Department of Journalism Strategic Media Publication Board (2016-present)
· Principal investigator developing a Drone Journalism course, part of the FedEx Institute’s DRONES Cluster (2016-2017)
· Received a $5,000 grant from FedEx DRONES Cluster to develop a course in drone journalism.
· Serve on recruitment committee, UofM Department of Journalism and Strategic Media (2015-2017)
· Coordinated Media Engagement day activities for the department (2015)
· Worked departmental booth at the Discover Your Major Day (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
· Assisted with department open house to welcome new students (2015, 2016)
· Worked departmental booth at MemBound (Fall 2017)
· Director of the 2015 Remembering Hurricane Katrina University of Southern Mississippi High School Multimedia Journalism Workshop (June 2015)
· Received a $6,000 grant from the Dow Jones News Fund to support the workshop.
· Research chair Newspaper and Online News Division 2015 AEJMC Southeast Colloquium (2014-2015)
· Instructor Mississippi Scholastic Press Association training workshop (September 2014)
· Assistant director for the 2014 “Remembering Freedom Summer” USM High School Multimedia Journalism Workshop (June 2014)
· University of Southern Mississippi Gay Straight Alliance, LGBTQ+ Allies training class (October 2013)
· Paper reviewer for Rhetoric and Public Address Division Southern States Communication Association (2012)
· Graduate Student Liaison, Cultural and Critical Studies Division (AEJMC) (2012-2014)
· Graduate Student Representative, USA Communication Graduate Faculty Committee (August 2009 – Spring 2011)
· Judge, University of South Alabama High School Public Speaking Contest (April 2010)
Graduate Student Committees
Outside dissertation reader, José Andrés Arazia, University of Texas, Austin. Dissertation title: From Antagonizing to Advocating: The Evolving Portrayal of Gay and Lesbian Texans in the Press. Defended Summer 2016.
Committee member for Melanie Hawkins, University of Memphis, Thesis title: Chuckling Through a Crisis. Defended Fall 2017.
Committee member for Paul D’Ambrosio, University of Memphis, Thesis title: Growing the Audience: Are Newsroom Metrics Killing Watchdog Reporting? Defended Spring 2018.
Chair master’s project, Logan Butts, University of Memphis. Project title: Two Miles of Hatred: An Oral History of The Battle of the Boulevard, Mid Major College Basketball’s Fiercest Rivalry. Expected defense Spring 2018.
Committee member for master’s project, Senwhaa Lim, University of Memphis. Project title: Travel MANager. Defended Summer 2016.
Committee member for master’s project, Iesha Harris, University of Memphis. Project title: What the doctor ordered: A best practices guide for practitioners communicating with children and families. Defended Spring 2016.
Committee member for master’s internship, Asha Immanuel, University of Memphis. Title: Hope Works, Inc./Hope 2 Hire SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER. Defended Fall 2018.
· 2018 D. Mike Pennington Mentoring Award, Fall 2018.
· Third place paper SPIG AEJMC 2017.
· Top poster in PRD Teaching Competition AEJMC 2017.
· Third place in AEJMC Visual Communication Division’s Best of the Web contest for student work on MemphisMirror.com.
· Recipient of U of M College of Communication and Fine Art New Faculty Research Grant for summer of 2016.
· Received $3,000 to conduct archival research in New Orleans during the summer of 2016.
· Recipient of a 2013 AEJMC Graduate Student Travel Grant to attend the national conference in Washington, D.C.
· Third place paper award for co-authored paper in Graduate Student Interest Group at the 2013 AEJMC National Conference in Washington, D.C.
· Top PhD Student for 2012-2013. Presented by The University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism
· Recipient of the 2013 Dr. Robert Gene Wiggins Fellowship from the University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism
· Top Poster Award for the Cultural and Critical Studies Division (AEJMC) at the 2012 AEJMC National Conference in Chicago, Illinois
· Top Graduate Student Paper at the 2012 Alabama Communication Association Annual Convention
· Top Paper in Cultural and Critical Studies Division at 2012 AEJMC Midwinter Conference
· Top Thesis Award for 2011 at the University of South Alabama
· Top Student Paper in the History Division at AEJMC 2011 Southeast Colloquium
· Exceptional Graduate Teaching Award, University of South Alabama 2010-2011
· Outstanding Scholarly Paper Award, University of South Alabama 2011 for “From Outsider to Martyr: The Advocate’s coverage of Harvey Milk from 1977 to 1979”
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, 2011-present
Divisions: History, Cultural and Critical Studies
Interest Groups: LGBTQ, Entertainment Studies, Small Programs
American Journalism Historians Association, 2014-present
Alabama Communication Association, 2012-2014
Southern States Communication Association,2011, 2013
· 2008 Georgia Press Association
o First Place General Excellence
o Second Place Best Graphics
· 2006 Mississippi Press Association
o First place General Excellence,
o First place Best Design, Best Front Page,
o First place Best In-depth/Investigative Story
o First place Personality Portrait
o Third place Editorial Writing
· 2005 Mississippi Press Association
o First Place Best Special Section
o Second place weekly sports column
· 2004 Alabama Press Association
o Third place Weekly Sports Photographer of the Year
o Third place Sports Feature Story of the Year
· 2004 Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.
Weekly Photographer of the Year Finalist