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Cyndi Frisby

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Cynthia Frisby

Strategic Communications, Public Relations

Cyndi Frisby

Office: 3520C Gaylord Hall

Dr. Cynthia Frisby is a nationally recognized authority on media portrayals of minorities, athletes, women and teens.  Frisby’s work has been highly influential and widely cited. According to Google Scholar, 20 of her papers have been cited more than 300 times.  She has presented as keynote speaker and/or invited panelist for major academic conferences and associations such as, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the International Communication Association (ICA). Additionally, she has been asked to present diversity training workshops for organizations that include, but are not limited to, the State of Missouri, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Frisby studies how media messages contribute toward creating or maintaining stereotypes and biases against minorities, athletes, women and teens. Among other topics, she has investigated the sources of American viewers’ fascination with reality television and the effects of idealized images on perceptions of body esteem among African American women.

Frisby also studies race and gender representation in sports; she analyzed coverage of black male athletes by magazines and news websites from 2002-2012 and demonstrated that news stories involving instances of crime or violence were more heavily covered when they involved black athletes. Additionally, Frisby provides research-based decision-making assistance to health organizations developing communication campaigns for under-served populations. She conducted two separate studies focused on effective messaging on breast cancer prevention among African American women. She found that testimonials from cancer survivors are the most effective way to increase awareness and willingness to have mammograms among this group. 

Dr. Cyndi Frisby is professor of strategic communications in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications, specializing in consumer culture and cultural competence in public relations.