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Kelli S. Burns, Ph.D. is the director of undergraduate programs for the Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications and an associate professor who teaches integrated public relations and advertising classes in the undergraduate program and strategic communications classes in the graduate program. She also serves as the adviser to the USF chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha (KTA), the journalism and mass communications honor society. Dr. Burns was recognized by USF in 2017 with an Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Dr. Burns’s research interests include social media influencers; the intersection of social media and popular culture; and social media data analytics. She is the author of Social Media: A Reference Handbook and Celeb 2.0: How Social Media Foster Our Fascination with Popular Culture. Her research has been published in the Journal of Advertising, Health Communication, the Journal of New Communications Research, Newspaper Research Journal, and the International Journal of Interactive Marketing and Advertising and as chapters in several edited volumes. Dr. Burns is a frequent media commentator and public speaker on the topic of social media.
Dr. Burns received a doctorate in mass communication with a concentration in advertising from the University of Florida, which she attended as a presidential fellow. She also holds a master’s degree in mass communication from Middle Tennessee State University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Burns has been a faculty member at USF since 2006 and previously taught at two other universities. Her work experience includes positions in marketing communications and market research.