Walker, Tara G.
Journalism, Strategic Communication, Media Studies
Jandoli School of Communication
Assistant Professor of Communication
Phone: (716) 375-2076
Send an email
Murphy Professional Building 226
- JMC 110. Professional Writing I: Style
- JMC 399. Communication Research Methods
- Ph.D., Media Research and Practice, University of Colorado Boulder
- Dissertation title: Ask your Doctor about Chemical Imbalances: Mass-Communicating the Biomedical Model of Mental Illness through the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
- M.F.A., Writing, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
- B.A., English and Creative Writing, Coe College
- Graduate instructor, lecturer: University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO. College of Media, Communication and Information, Program for Writing and Rhetoric
- Instructor, Community College of Denver, Denver, CO.
- Instructor, Community College of Aurora, Aurora CO.
- Instructor, University of Colorado at Denver, CU Succeed Program, Denver, CO.
- Instructor, City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
Prior to my time teaching, I worked as a free-lance writer, marketing assistant, and professional resume writer. I am also a poet and artist. My collection of poetry and drawings, Exquisite Disgust, was published in 2018.
- Schauster, E., Tandoc, E., Ferrucci, P. & Walker, T. Advertising primed: How professional identity affects moral reasoning. Journal of Business Ethics. doi:10.1007/s10551-020-04429-0
- Walker, T. & Gangadharbatla, H. (2019). Dadvertising: The rise of involved fatherhood in contemporary American advertising. Advertising & Society Quarterly 20(4).
- Schauster, E. E., Walker, T. & Duffy, M. (2018). Exemplary codes of ethics: A rhetorical criticism of WPP. Advertising & Society Quarterly 19(2), 10.1353/asr.2018.0016.
- Murnane, E., Walker, T., Tench, B., Voida, S., & Snyder, J. (2018). Personal informatics in interpersonal contexts: Towards the design of technology that supports the social ecologies of long-term mental health management. Proceedings of the
ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 2(CSCW), 1-27. doi:10.1145/3274396.
- Matthews, T., & Walker, T. (2020). Indigenous representations in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: The Nepantla space in between “Jacqueline” and “Jackie Lynn.” Imagined Borders, Epistemic Freedoms Conference.
January 8-11, 2020, Boulder, CO.
- Walker, T. (2018). Resisting stigma and evaluating realism in direct-to-consumer advertising for psychiatric drugs. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Conference, Communicating Science, Health, Environment
and Risk (COMSHER) Division. August 6-9, Washington, DC.
- Schauster, E., Tandoc, E., Ferrucci, P. & Walker, T. (2018) Advertising primed: How professional identity affects moral reasoning. American Academy of Advertising (AAA) Conference, March 22-25, New York.
- Walker, T. & Schauster, E. (2017) Direct-to-consumer advertising, vulnerability and the ethics of care. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Conference, Advertising Division. August 9-12, Chicago.
- Walker, T. (2017) Care makes a man stronger: A feminist rhetorical criticism of advertisements from the Dove Men + Care campaign. International Communication Association Conference, Feminist Scholarship Division. May 25-29, San Diego.
- Schauster, E., Walker, T. & Duffy, M. (2016). Moral exemplars in advertising: A rhetorical criticism of WPP codes. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Conference, Media Ethics Division, August 4-7, Minneapolis.
Awards and Fellowships
- Recognition of Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion, with Elizabeth Murnane, Beck Tench, Stephen Voida and Jaime Snyder for “Personal Informatics in Interpersonal Contexts: Towards the Design of Technology that Supports the Social
Ecologies of Long-Term Mental Health Management,” CSCW, 2018.
- Honorable Mention for Best Paper, with Elizabeth Murnane, Beck Tench, Stephen Voida and Jaime Snyder for “Personal Informatics in Interpersonal Contexts: Towards the Design of Technology that Supports the Social Ecologies of Long-Term
Mental Health Management,” CSCW, 2018.
- American Academy of Advertising Research Fellowship, “Dad-vertising and Changing Gender Roles in Ads: A Multimethod Research Study,” with Harsha Gangadharbatla, 2018.
- Professional Relevance Award with Erin Schauster and Margaret Duffy, for “Moral Exemplars in Advertising: A Rhetorical Criticism of WPP Codes,” Media Ethics Division, AEJMC, 2016
My teaching philosophy is based on three tenets: It’s not about me, It is about me, and It’s about them.
It’s not about me: Teaching is a job of service. It’s about forgetting yourself for that hour
or so that you’re in front of the class. You have a message to convey, a finite amount of time to get the job done, and you have to put your ego aside.
It is about me: By that, I mean that if I’m teaching a class and I’m
bored, I can guarantee that the class is also bored. By contrast, if I show enthusiasm and passion for what I’m teaching, the students are more likely to pick up on that enthusiasm. I strongly believe in including puns and dad jokes in my power
point slides and I am likely to use ridiculous but memorable examples in class. By keeping the class interesting for myself, I can often keep it interesting for my students.
Most importantly, it’s about them: The class shouldn’t
be about me trying to “get through” the material, it should be about the students. I want to help students take ownership of the course material. Even interesting information can shrivel and die on power point slides, but it can come alive
in discussion, especially discussions that students lead.
One of the most rewarding parts of teaching is the opportunity (and obligation) to keep learning. Part of the job is admitting what we don’t know in order to acknowledge the importance
of continuous learning.
CURRENT RESEARCH INTERESTS/PROJECTS
I love being a media/communication scholar because it allows me to be interested in everything! However, my main focus is the role of mass communication messages in shaping and reinforcing dominant paradigms regarding mental health. Direct-to-consumer
advertising, public health campaigns and news coverage all have implications for the transformation or continuation of stigma and associated social inequalities.
Additionally, I’m interested in the ethical implications of smartphone technology
for tracking mental health, and gender/race/class representations in advertising and entertainment media.
I have a lot of other interests, including but not limited to drawing, painting, bird-and-insect-watching (yes, nerd-alert), hiking, and
treasure-hunting at thrift stores and flea markets.
PERSONAL INTERESTS/COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT