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Edward R. Murrow College of Communication

Traci Gillig

  1. Assistant Professor
LocationMurrow Hall 106B



Traci Gillig (PhD, 2019, University of Southern California) (she/they) is an Assistant Professor of Communication. Gillig’s research interests are in the psychological and social factors influencing the well-being of youth, particularly those from marginalized groups. Her work includes examining the effects of interventions, media representations, and interpersonal relationships on youth, as well as the effects of mediated representations of marginalized groups on the attitudes of broader audiences. Recent projects have been published in leading journals such as Sex Roles, Human Communication Research, and the International Journal of Communication. Gillig’s research has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and other major outlets.

Teaching is also central to Gillig’s professional life, and they view it as a privilege, striving to cultivate a classroom environment in which students feel known, respected, and able to share their unique perspectives.

Gillig’s professional background includes experience at the FDA Center for Tobacco Products and Edelman PR. A native Chicagoan, they’ve enjoyed exploring the West Coast since relocating. In their free time, you can find them driving to the mountains in search of a challenging hike and a good view!


  • PhD, University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
  • MA, Purdue University, Brian Lamb School of Communication
  • BA with Honors, Purdue University, Brian Lamb School of Communication

Classes Taught

  • Gender and Media
  • Organizing for Social Change
  • Theoretical Perspectives on Media and Society

Research Interests

  • Gender
  • Health
  • Adolescents
  • Media effects
  • LGBTQ+ issues
  • Community-based participatory research

Selected Publications

Gillig, T. K., Bighash, L., & Shaikh, S. (2023). Effects of all-gender workplace facilities signage on adults’ attitudes toward transgender and nonbinary people and policies. Communication Studies, 75(1).

Gillig, T. K., Booth, A., & Couto, L. (2023). Anxiety, COVID-19 risk, and LGBTQ+ youth’s participation in an affirming summer camp. Journal of LGBT Youth, 1-16.

Gillig, T. K., Shaikh, S.J., & Bighash, L. (2023). Cues signaling gender segregation and gender inclusion in public spaces affect adolescents’ binary conceptualization of gender and attitudes toward transgender and nonbinary people. International Journal of Communication, 17, 447-470.

Gillig, T. K., Macary, J., & Gross, L. (2022). Explain, label, or ignore? Exploring LGBTQ-parent families’ communication about family identity. Communication Studies, 1-17

Gillig, T. K., Macary, J., & Price, R. (2022). Virtual camp: LGBTQ youths’ collective coping during the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Communication, 16, 981-1005.

Gillig, T. K., & Bighash, B. (2021). Network and proximity effects on LGBTQ youth’s psychological outcomes during a camp intervention. Health Communication.

Gillig, T. K. (2020). Longitudinal analysis of depressive symptoms among LGBTQ youth at a social media-free camp. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health.

Gillig, T. K., Valente, T. W., & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2020). Depressive symptoms and parental support-seeking in Latinx adolescents: Analyzing variation based on LGBT identity. Journal of LGBT Youth.

Gillig, T. K., & Bighash, L. (2019). Gendered spaces, gendered friendship networks? Exploring the organizing patterns of LGBTQ youth. International Journal of Communication, 13, 4895-4916.

Gillig, T. K., Miller, L. C., & Cox, C. M. (2019). “She finally smiles…for real”: Reducing depressive symptoms and bolstering resilience through a camp intervention for LGBTQ youth. Journal of Homosexuality, 66(3), 368-388.

Gillig, T. K., Rosenthal, E. L., Murphy, S. T., & Folb, K. (2018). More than a media moment: The influence of televised storylines on viewers’ attitudes toward transgender people and policies. Sex Roles, 78(7-8), 515-527.

Gillig, T. K., & Murphy, S. T. (2016). Fostering support for LGBTQ youth?: The effects of a gay adolescent media portrayal on young viewers. International Journal of Communication, 10, 3828-3850.

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