Kelli  Burns

Kelli Burns

Kelli Burns
Associate Professor


Office: CIS 3096
Phone: 813/974-2591



Kelli S. Burns, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications. Her 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 serves as the adviser to the USF chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha (KTA), the journalism and mass communications honor society.

She is a frequent media commentator and public speaker on the topic of social media.

Dr. Burns received a doctorate in mass communication from the University of Florida, where she was a presidential fellow, a master’s degree in mass communication from Middle Tennessee State University, and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and business administration from Vanderbilt University.

Her work experience includes positions in marketing communications and market research.


B.A., Mathematics, Vanderbilt University; M.A., Mass Communication, Middle Tennessee State University; Ph.D., Mass Communications (Concentration in Advertising), University of Florida.

Professional Experience

Four years corporate marketing and advertising; three years corporate market research.


USF since 2006; five years at other universities.

Specialty Area

Social media, public relations and advertising.