News and Events

Alumni Spotlight

Click through the tabs below to see what some of our amazing alumni have been up to!

Dr. Jay Baglia

Jay Baglia Alumni Award

Dr. Jay Baglia graduated from the USF Communication Department with his PhD in 2003. Since then, he has gone on to teach at several universities, in Texas, California, Pennsylvania, including here at USF! Currently, he serves as an Associate Professor in the College of Communication at DePaul University. His research is focused on health and gender communication, and performance studies.

Jay has published two books, "The Viagra Ad Venture: Masculinity, Media, & the Performance of Sexual Health," which won the 2012 Distinguished Book Award from the Health Communication Division at the National Communication Association, and "Communicating Pregnancy Loss: Narrative as a Method for Change" (a volume co-edited with Rachel E. Silverman). In addition, he has published several essays, chapters, and reviews in journals such as Cultural Studies <> Critical Methodologies, Family Medicine, Health Communication, Text & Performance Quarterly, Women & Language, and the Journal of Dramatic Theory & Criticism.

Most recently, he was awarded the 2023 Ellis-Bochner Autoethnography and Personal Narrative Research Award for his article, “The Ontology of Oncology: Navigating Cyborgs and Assemblages Through Cancer Treatment,” which was published in Health Communication.

Jay was recently featured in a NPR spot where he spoke about human touch and healing during the pandemic. Click here to listen to the discussion. 

Dr. Elizabeth Hintz

Dr. Elizabeth Hintz Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Elizabeth Hintz graduated from the USF Department of Communication with her PhD in 2021. She is now a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Connecticut. Her research examines how people managing complex, stigmatized, and poorly understood health conditions experience and navigate challenging conversations with partners, family members, and clinicians.

Elizabeth’s work can be found in journals such as Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, and Health Communication. Her work has also appeared in outlets such as the BBC, WIRED U.K., ScienceLine, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and NCA’s Communication Currents.

Elizabeth has received several top paper and research and teaching awards. She is the 2023 recipient of both the Early Career Award from the NCA Interpersonal Communication Division and the 2023 Leslie A. Baxter Early Career Award from the NCA Family Communication Division.  Most recently, Elizabeth received the 2023 NCA Bill Eadie Distinguished Scholarly Article Award for her co-authored article, "E-Sisters and the Essure coil: Power, representation and voice in women’s public docket accounts to the FDA of medical device adverse events" (Journal of Applied Communication Research, 2023).

Dr. Sasha Sanders

Dr. Sasha Sanders, Symposium Speaker

Dr. Sasha Sanders (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor of Performance Studies in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Texas and an affiliated faculty member of the Women's and Gender Studies Program and LGBTQ Studies Program. She graduated from the USF Department of Communication with her Ph.D in 2021.

Dr. Sanders draws on autoethnography, performance, and Black feminist aesthetics to question and reimagine identity, power, and place. Her embodied, reflexive approach to exploring media and culture intersects with Performance Studies, Critical Cultural Studies, Women's and Gender Studies, and Comic Studies. In her recent publications, “Gutter Futures” and “(Be)coming Out in Comics: Navigating Liminality and Queer Identity Formation,” she argues that the gutters in comics open liminal spaces of possibility and transformation that welcome fluidity and future-oriented world-making.

Her scholarship can be found in Text and Performance Quarterly, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, Journal of Autoethnography, and Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies. 

In February, Dr. Sanders was featured as the SSCA Performance Studies Division's first Symposium speaker. The symposium was titled "The Future is in the Gutters: Black Feminist Worldmaking through Comics."

Sasha was also awarded the Southern States Communication Association's 2024 Dwight L. Freshley Outstanding New Teacher Award, and was honored at the Award Luncheon at the 2024 SSCA Conference in April.

Dr. Brian Johnston

Dr. Brian Johnston, published

Dr. Brian Johnston graduated from the Department of Communication with his Ph.D. in 2011. Since then, he has gone on to teach as an assistant professor of communication in the Department of Language and Literature at Glenville State University in West Virginia. In addition to teaching, he serves as the director and coach of GSU’s Pioneer Debate team, as well as a reviewer for the Journal of Autoethnography, and a member of the Profs Do Pop editorial board.

Brian’s scholarship focuses on the study of media, media audiences, public memory, organizational culture, and civic discourse, with a rhetorical and autoethographic approach. 

His research appears in the Journal of Communications Media Studies, and the Journal of Autoethnography. In addition to authoring book chapters in The Routledge International Handbook of Organizational Autoethnography and The Trump Years, he has co-authored two books, the Popular Appeal of Liminality in the Music of U2, and his most recent, Wounded Masculinity and the Search for Father (Self) in American Film.

Dr. Marquese McFerguson

Marquese McFerguson Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Marquese McFerguson graduated from the USF Communication Department with his Ph.D. in 2020. Since then, he has gone on to teach in the School of Communication and Media Studies as an Assistant Professor of Intercultural Communication at Florida Atlantic University.

His teaching and scholarship focus on the ways identity is performed, communicated, and reimagined by individuals across a diverse number of cultural intersections in society. Marquese focuses his research on building cross-cultural understanding through examining the creation and portrayal of racialized identities in media, and how those identities are then interpreted and performed by audiences. 

In addition to teaching and research, Marquese has won awards for his slam poetry, and has performed throughout the United States and United Kingdom.

Recently, Marquese was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad Grant. He will study in Brazil, exploring the ways Afro-Brazilian communities have historically used art, especially poetry and music, as a tool for activism and protest.