Dr. Marcus Messner

Area Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Sciences, Professor and Eminent Scholar
(804) 828-2660

B.A., Angelo State University, Texas
M.A., Ph.D., University of Miami, Florida

Office: Temple 2208M

Dr. Marcus Messner is Area Associate Dean in the College of Humanities and Sciences. He is responsible for supporting the academic units in the Humanities and Social Sciences, which includes the Departments of African American Studies, English, Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology as well as the School of World Studies and the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture.

He previously served as director of the Robertson School and is a tenured professor in the School's journalism sequence, teaching mobile and social media reporting as well as global communication classes. He is an Eminent Scholar in the College of Humanities and Sciences and was honored with VCU's Distinguished Teaching Award. He is a regular speaker on social media issues at professional meetings and events and is also regularly interviewed by news media on social media issues. Interviews with him have appeared in various international and national media, such as the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Reuters, Bloomberg, National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

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 120 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 & SocietyCorporate 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 (ICA) as well as at the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC).

Dr. Messner has taught in the undergraduate digital journalism program as well as in the graduate multimedia journalism program. He regularly teaches the following classes: Mobile and Social Media Journalism, Global Communication, Social Media Research and Global Health and Social Media. 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. For seven years, 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. He has secured more than $1.3 million in grant funding for various teaching and research projects. 


As a junior professor, he was named a "Promising Professor" and "Emerging Scholar" by AEJMC. He also won its national first-place award in the Best Practices in Teaching Competition. In addition, he won the university-wide VCU Community Engagement Award for Teaching three years in a row for his “Global Health and Social Media” open online course, for his students’ “VCU Votes” social media campaign, and for the VCU Social Media Institute. The VCU College of Humanities and Sciences awarded him its Excellence in Scholarship and its Distinguished Teaching Awards.

Dr. Messner earned his Ph.D. in Communication and his M.A. in Journalism from the University of Miami in Florida and his B.A. in English Literature from Angelo State University in Texas. Before entering academia, Dr. Messner worked as a journalist, covering politics and business.