Communication and Leadership Studies Faculty Feature: Carolyn Cunningham

Headshot of Carolyn Cunningham, professor of Communication and Leadership Studies.
Professor Carolyn Cunningham

December 01, 2023
Gonzaga University News Service
Learn more about Gonzaga's professors through our Faculty Features! In this installment, you’ll get to know Carolyn Cunningham, a Communication and Leadership Studies professor, and her love of hot yoga.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity:

GONZAGA: Introduce yourself!

CUNNINGHAM: Hi there, my name is Carolyn Cunningham and I am a professor of Communication and Leadership Studies here at Gonzaga University. My areas of study are social media, activism and girl studies.

What is your favorite class to teach?

I like all of my classes that I teach so that's a really hard question, but I would say that probably my most favorite class is my Women in Leadership class. I see students really getting communication tools to improve their leadership styles and it can be really empowering for everyone involved.

How did you become interested in this area of study?

When I started out in academia, I wanted to be documentary filmmaker and so I moved to Austin, Texas and got involved in the film scene there. Then I realized I didn't have enough skills to be a filmmaker, but I still loved media and so I ended up getting my PhD in Media Studies at University of Texas at Austin. Through that process, I just really committed to helping people tell their stories and helping diverse voices get their message out there, and that's really what my area of study is.

What is your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby is kind of my obsession with hot yoga. I do hot yoga every day and this summer I even did a 90-day challenge, so 90 classes in 90 days.

What was your first job?

My first job was a projectionist at a movie theater, which is probably why I got interested in media studies and film in general. That was my first job, being a projectionist, when there was, you know, actual movies on film.

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