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Donna Z. Davis joined the SOJC faculty in fall 2010 when she taught in Eugene for one year before moving to Portland. She now directs the Immersive Media Communication master’s program and the Oregon Reality (OR) lab at the SOJC-Portland. She brings more than 25 years experience in public relations, fundraising, and nonprofit communication to the classroom, including 10 years as producer and host of Family Album Radio, an award-winning, daily, two-minute radio program distributed through NPR.

Davis earned her Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Florida, where she studied relationship formation in 3D immersive virtual environments. Her ethnographic research continues to focus on the potential uses of immersive media, virtual worlds, gamification, and other emerging social media, with a special interest in marginalized and vulnerable populations. Her research on embodied experience and identity among people with disabilities in virtual reality was funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation. She was also an inaugural faculty fellow for the SOJC Agora Journalism Center for Innovation and Civic Engagement, extending her work with people with Parkinson’s disease who find and build support in the virtual world.