Donna Z. Davis, Ph.D. directs the Strategic Communication master’s program and the Oregon Reality (OR) lab at the SOJC-Portland. She brings more than 25 years of experience in public relations, fundraising, and nonprofit communication to the classroom. She will also lead the new online Immersive Media Communication master’s program scheduled to launch Fall 2023.
Davis earned her Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Florida, where she studied relationship formation in 3D immersive virtual environments. Her ethnographic research continues to focus on the potential uses of immersive media, virtual worlds, gamification, and other emerging social media, with a special interest in marginalized and vulnerable populations. Her research on embodied experience and identity among people with disabilities in virtual reality was funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation. She was also an inaugural faculty fellow for the SOJC Agora Journalism Center for Innovation and Civic Engagement, extending her work with people with Parkinson’s disease who find and build support in the virtual world.