Lauren Reichart Smith, currently associate professor in the School of Communication and Journalism at Auburn University, will join the school’s communication faculty this fall.
Smith earned a master’s in communication management from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and a Ph.D. in communication and information sciences from the University of Alabama. She joined the Auburn faculty in 2010.
For the past year, she has served as associate director for the school’s public relations program. Her research centers on the intersection between sports and mass media, including social media, with a focus on gender, race and national identity. Recent studies include media representations of female athletes and the impact on collegiate athletes’ self-objectification, and an analysis of athlete self-presentation on Instagram.
She is the author of 21 peer-reviewed publications and 50 conference presentations. Her research has been published in several journals, including Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Communication Research Reports, the International Journal of Sport Communication and the Journal of Intercultural Communication.
Since 2000, she has served as vice-chair of the International Association for Communication and Sport. She also is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the International Communication Association and the Broadcast Education Association.
Before embarking on her academic career, Smith was a TV producer in the Atlanta and Birmingham areas, receiving an Emmy nomination in 2005. As an undergraduate at Fairfield University, she was an All-American gymnast and Division I springboard diver.
She competes regularly in duathlons and triathlons as a registered member of USA Triathlon. Her husband, Kenny Smith, a print and broadcast journalist, is the student media adviser and director of the digital video center at Samford University in Birmingham.