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Vivian Medina-Messner

Headshot of Vivian Medina Messner, a VCU Holmes Scholar for 2019-20. [View Image]


  • Ph.D. in education, concentration in art education, Virginia Commonwealth University (May 2022)
  • M.A. in business journalism, Florida International University
  • B.A. in international communications and international affairs, American University of Paris in France
  • A.A. in communication/journalism, Miami-Dade Community College - Wolfson Campus

Line of research

Medina-Messner’s research interests include understanding Latino/Latinx and underrepresented communities in education. Her research agenda includes working on social media and health communication issues and exploring Latinx communities and their visual culture. Her application of community-based practices in Art Education aims to facilitate student academic engagement and success.

Research and scholarship


Vivian Medina-Messner is an Assistant Professor of Journalism at the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Art Education at the VCU School of Education. She earned a Master of Arts in business journalism from Florida International University and a Bachelor of Arts in international communications and international affairs from the American University of Paris, France. She also has an Associate of Arts from Miami-Dade Community College – Wolfson Campus.

Medina-Messner joined the faculty at the Robertson School in 2011 after a professional career as a content producer for Media General Interactive (TimesDispatch.com) and as an online producer for MiamiHerald.com. She also worked as a freelance business columnist for El Nuevo Herald and as a Spanish language consultant for the microblogging platform Tumblr.

Her teaching specialties include teaching large online classes in mass communications and global communications, digital and social media. She has also taught writing, reporting, public relations and multimedia classes in the undergraduate and graduate journalism programs. Medina-Messner is the Media Innovation Task Force Chair at the Robertson School. She is also a member of the Diversity Committee at the Robertson School.

From 2012 to 2016, she was co-academic director of VCU’s Social Media Institute and the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange program. Sponsored by the U.S. State Department and a consortium of college students from VCU and Iraq, the program developed social media campaigns for nonprofit organizations.

She is also a fellow member at the Media+Health Lab, where she collaborates in research projects and has co-published articles on social media and health communication. She currently serves on the VCU Office of Multicultural Student Affairs' Latinx Planning Committee and Men of Color Planning Committee. She is also a research associate at Florida International University’s Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for Advancement of Women in Communication. She was recently awarded the International ABERJE Award at the International Public Relations Research Conference (2020).

What does the Holmes Scholars program mean to you?

The VCU Holmes Scholars program provides me with meaningful professional and scholarly development opportunities. As a Latina in academia, I value the sense of community that I experience with other Holmes Scholars. It is exciting to exchange ideas about research projects and other scholarship. It is also refreshing to find other scholars with whom I can exchange perspectives about similar life experiences. It is motivating to know that I can count on my peer and faculty Holmes Scholars for support, mentorship and guidance.

Curriculum Vitae


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