Marcus Messner, Ph.D., appointed director of Robertson School
The CHS dean's office is pleased to announce the appointment of Marcus Messner, Ph.D., as director of the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture effective July 1, 2020. He is also a professor in the school's journalism sequence.
He was recognized by the College with its Excellence in Scholarship Award in 2014, as an Eminent Scholar in 2018 and by the university with a Distinguished Teaching Award in 2017.
Dr. Messner earned his B.A. in English literature from Angelo State University in Texas, his M.A. in journalism and his Ph.D. in communication from the University of Miami in Florida. Before entering academia, Dr. Messner worked as a journalist in his native Germany and the U.S., covering politics and business.
His main research focus is on the influence and adoption of social media in journalism, public relations and health communication and he has a scholarship record of more than 110 academic publications and presentations at academic conferences. He has published his research in academic journals such as Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Newspaper Research Journal, Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, Mass Communication & Society, Corporate Communications, and Public Relations Journal as well as in various books. His research studies have won top paper awards at the conferences of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the International Communication Association as well as at the International Public Relations Research Conference.
Dr. Messner has taught in the undergraduate digital journalism program as well as in the graduate multimedia journalism program. His "iPadJournos" mobile and social media reporting project with WTVR-CBS 6 has spearheaded the use of mobile devices as multimedia reporting tools in the Robertson School.
From 2010 to 2016, Dr. Messner served as co-academic director of the Social Media Institute of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, which was sponsored by the U.S. State Department.
As associate chair, he helped launch the remarkably successful Robertson School Speaker Series beginning in January 2019 that has hosted discussions with communications leaders, journalists, authors and academics.
He has secured more than $1.3 million in grant funding for various teaching and research projects. He is a member of the teaching committee of AEJMC and past head of its Communication Technology Division. He has been named a "Promising Professor" and "Emerging Scholar" by AEJMC and won its national first-place award in the Best Practices in Teaching Competition in 2015. He also won the university-wide VCU Community Engagement Award for Teaching in 2015 for his Global Health and Social Media open online course. In addition, he won the 2013 and 2014 VCU Community Engagement Awards for his students’ “VCU Votes” social media campaign and the VCU Social Media Institute.
"It is my honor to continue to lead our outstanding team of faculty and staff as director of the Robertson School. Together we will work to increase our school's national reputation by expanding the real-world learning opportunities for our advertising, journalism and public relations students and amplifying the impact of our innovative media research and professional scholarship."