Kelli Boling

Kelli Boling, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Advertising & Public Relations

Kelli S. Boling, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Advertising and Public Relations in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. She joined the college in 2021 after 12 years as a marketing and advertising executive in North and South Carolina. Boling teaches Social Justice, Human Rights and the Media, a large-lecture class focused on the need for social justice and human rights in a fair society and the media's role in social justice efforts. She has also co-led a study abroad program in London, England, and taught advertising skills-based classes.

As a cultural studies scholar, her research focuses on the lived reality of media audiences (specifically women, women of color, or victims of domestic violence), how those women are depicted, and how they interpret and make meaning from the media they consume. Her research has been published in journals such as Mass Communication & Society, Feminist Media Studies, Social Media + Society, Journalism, Journalism Studies, and Journalism History. Her research on women in podcast audiences has also been cited by traditional media outlets such as TIME magazine, The Washington Post, and Scripps News.

While working in the advertising industry, Boling focused on measurably profitable campaigns for AAA Carolinas and Red Ventures while launching and running her small business as a corporate event photographer. Since transitioning to academia, she has been recognized with research awards from the Arthur W. Page Center, the Mass Communications and Society division of AEJMC, the Ronald T. and Gayla D. Farrar Award in Media & Civil Rights History, University of Nebraska Medical Center, University of Nebraska Collaborative Initiative Grant, and the Commission on the Status of Women at AEJMC.

Boling earned a Bachelor of Science in Business and Marketing from Winthrop University and a Master’s in integrated marketing communication from the University of South Carolina. While working on her Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina, she also earned a certificate in Women and Gender Studies.

On the weekends, she's usually snuggling her dogs, reading something completely untethered to reality, practicing yoga, learning a foreign language, or repainting whatever room in the house she’s tired of. She’s also an avid Disney fan and co-hosts the Supercalifragilistic Awesome Disney Podcast, a weekly Disney podcast and YouTube channel with her husband (who loves Disney even more than she does)!