Stacy L. Smith (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1999) joined the USC Annenberg faculty in the fall of 2003. Her research focuses on 1) content patterns pertaining to gender and race on screen in film and TV; 2) employment patterns behind-the-camera in entertainment; 3) barriers and opportunities facing women on screen and behind-the-camera in studio and independent films; and 4) children’s responses to mass media portrayals (television, film, video games) of violence, gender and hypersexuality.
Dr. Smith has written more than 75 journal articles, book chapters, and reports on content patterns and effects of the media. She has received multiple "top paper" awards for her research from the Instructional Developmental Division of the International Communication Association. In terms of the popular press, Dr. Smith’s research has been written about in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, Newsweek, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Slate.com, Salon.com, The Boston Globe, and USA Today to name a few. She also has a co-edited essay in Maria Shriver’s book, A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything (2009).
Currently, Dr. Smith is the director of a research-driven initiative at USC Annenberg on Media, Diversity, and Social Change. The initiative produces cutting-edge, timely, and theory-driven empirical research on different entertainment-based minority groups. Roughly 20-30 undergraduate and graduate students are conducting research on gender and race in her lab each year. Educators, advocates, and activists can access and use the research to create sustainable industry change on screen and behind-the-camera.
In addition to research, Dr. Smith is passionate about teaching. She currently teaches the undergraduate COMM 203 – Introduction to Mass Communication course at USC Annenberg. Dr. Smith has been recognized for her outstanding teaching, receiving multiple awards from different constituencies on campus. She has received the Outstanding Professor Award from the Annenberg Students Communication Association three times, the Greek Professor of the Semester Award, the Golden Apple Award from Kappa Alpha Theta twice, the Professor of the Year Award from Gamma Alpha Sigma, and was recognized as an Honorary Member of Lambda Pi Eta. In 2009, Dr. Smith received the Outstanding Teacher and Mentor Award from the Parents’ Council at USC. Mortar Board at USC has also tapped her. In 2012, Dr. Smith received the Trojan League of Southern California 2012 Outstanding Service Award and the LA Woman recognition by Los Angeles Magazine.