McMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

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Meet...Michelle Rodino

Interest in media coverage of political campaigns is what first drew Michelle Rodino to the study of communication, so she was thrilled when Ohio became a focal point in the presidential election.

Date: 11/15/2004
By: Billie Dziech
Phone: 513.556
Interest in media coverage of political campaigns is what first drew Michelle Rodino to the study of communication, so she was thrilled when Ohio became a focal point in the presidential election. The new assistant professor of communication, a Seattle transplant, says, “It was exciting to witness the students’ excitement and the attention Ohio received during those last weeks of the election.”

Rodino studied political campaigns closely as a political science major at UCLA and became fascinated by struggles over power, equality, work, and gender. While she was working on her MA at Northwestern, she took a course called “Information Society.” It changed the way she viewed communication technologies as she analyzed the “discourse around new media and their social meanings and uses.”

She did her doctoral studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where she completed her dissertation titled “Anytime, Anywhere: Technomadic Work and Gender in the New Economy.” The project focused on her belief that marketing of mobile communication technologies like laptops and Internet appliances offers important information about “society’s views of men, women, work, and the different and unequal burdens placed on male and female workers.” Rodino also believes that ads and promotional articles encourage people to assume that working longer hours for less income and job security is acceptable.

She is currently teaching a special topics course on gender and new media and will be doing another in the winter quarter on information technology and media. She says of her teaching, “It’s my impression that I’ve been able to offer students a fresh way to understand new media. Given all the promotions they’re bombarded with, I hope my courses will make them more media literate and critical when it comes to analyzing the grandiose claims made about these new technologies.”

Rodino adds she is eager to share her findings with the scholarly community at UC and beyond by publishing her dissertation as a book. She is impressed by UC’s commitment to the wider community because she does not “view the university as an ivory tower escape from reality, but instead as a place where a community can thrive by looking more closely at reality together.”

In spite of her ambitions, Rodino feels that “all work and no play makes for not just a dull but a hypocritical life.” She adds, “I try to work efficiently so that I can enjoy a bike ride now and again when that Ohio sun comes out.”

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