Skip to main content
MenuSearch & Directory

Kelsey Mesmer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Courses Taught

Journalism: News Writing; Multiplatform Journalism; Advanced Reporting for Social Justice; Contemporary Issues in Media


Ph.D., Wayne State University

M.A., Kent State University

M.B.A., Kent State University

Research Interests

  • Hostility toward journalists and anti-media rhetoric
  • Resilience in response to hostility and harassment
  • Gender and identity
  • Journalism’s role in promoting social justice
  • Journalistic routines and practices that influence trust in news

Publications and Media Placements

Mesmer, K. (2022). An intersectional analysis of U.S. journalists’ experiences with hostile sources. Journalism & Communication Monographs, 24(3), 156-216. doi:10.1177%2F15226379221116640 

Mesmer, K. (2022). An “assumption of bad faith”: Using fake news rhetoric to create journalistic teaching moments. Journalism Practice. doi:10.1080/17512786.2022.2086158 

Mesmer, K., Frazier, D., & Burgess, S. (2022). Government failure or irresponsible residents?: Framing Detroit’s water shutoffs before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Newspaper Research Journal 43(1), 65-86. doi:10.1177/07395329221077247 

Vultee, F., Frazier, D., Burgess, S., & Mesmer, K. (2022). Here’s what to know about clickbait: Effects of image, headline and editing on audience attitudes. Journalism Practice, 16(1), 1-18. doi:10.1080/17512786.2020.1793379

Mesmer, K., & Jahng, M. R. (2021). Using Facebook to discuss aspects of industry safety: How women journalists enact ethics of care in online professional space. Journalism Studies, 22(8), 1083-1102. doi: 10.1080/1461670X.2021.1920452  

Mesmer, K., Aniss, M., & Mitra, R. (2020). Naturalizing environmental justice: How privileged residents make sense of Detroit's water shutoffs. In Schmitt, C. R., Castor, T. R., & Thomas, C. S. (Eds). Water, Rhetoric, and Social Justice: A Critical Confluence, (pp. 149-170). New York, NY: Lexington Books.

D’Enbeau, S., Mesmer, K., & Socha, D. (2020). Discursive strategies and dilemmas of institutionalizing social justice in a higher education setting. Western Journal of Communication, 85(3), 319-338. doi:10.1080/10570314.2020.1798496

Mesmer, K., Jahng, M. R. (2019). Nasty Writers: Uses and gratifications of private, online space in the age of Trump. Media Report to Women, 47(4), 6-21. 

Honors and Awards

2022 Nafziger-White-Salwen Dissertation Award (Honorable mention), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)

2022 Top Paper Award, Internships and Careers Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)

2021 Top Paper Award, Newspaper and Online News Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)

2021 Garrett T. Heberlein Excellence in Teaching Award, Wayne State University Graduate School

2020 Stephen P. Depoe Book Chapter Award in Environmental Communication, Environmental Communication Division, National Communication Association (NCA)

2020 Mary Gardner Award for Graduate Student Research, Commission on the Status of Women, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)


Professional Organizations and Associations

Member, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)

Midwinter Research Chair, Commission on the Status of Women, AEJMC

Member, National Communication Association (NCA)

Member, International Communication Association (ICA)