Dr. Rebecca Curnalia

Dr. Rebecca M L Curnalia - profile photo

Dr. Rebecca M L Curnalia



Bliss Hall 2017

phone: (330) 475-9295



A theorist and mixed methods researcher specializing in motivation, learning, and attitude theories. As a teacher, I foster a mentoring relationship with my students and work with them through the process of conducting research to study the issues and topics that are personally and professionally relevant to them. As a researcher, I explore individual differences in media uses, motivations, and effects in my research on literacy and learning.

Research Interests

Literacy and skills: Digital / tech., information, media
Teaching and learning
Attitudes, beliefs, values, and traits

Teaching Interests

Survey design
Theory applied to social media / digital media
Professional writing
Teaching and learning / Training and development

  • Education
    • 2007

      Ph D, Communication

      Kent State University

    • 2003

      MA, Communication

      Northern Illinois University

    • 2001

      BA, Communication

      Olivet College

  • Awards and Honors
    • May 2020


      Distinguished Professor

      Honorary title earned at Youngstown State University by
      virtue of having been awarded a Distinguished Professorship in all three areas of faculty work: teaching (2020), scholarship (2016), and service (2012).

    • April 2020


      Distinguished Professorship in Teaching

    • November 2019

      National Communication Association

      Top four competitive paper in Training and Development

    • May 2019


      Research Professorship

      Confronting Americans’ Illiteracy, 2019-2020.

    • 2018

      Youngstown State University Chapter 143

      Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Inductee

    • 2016

      Mahoning Valley Young Professionals

      Top 3 of the Mahoning Valley Young Professionals “25 Under 35”

    • 2016


      Distinguished Professor in Scholarship

    • 2015

      YSU DE Office

      Distance Education Course of the Year Award

      Presented by the YSU Office of
      Distance Education for my online Communication Theory course

    • 2014

      Dean, Creative Arts & Communication

      Dean’s Award for Curricular Innovation

    • 2013

      Eastern Communication Association

      Top three competitive paper Media Communication Division

    • 2012


      Distinguished Professor in University Service

    • 2009

      Ohio Communication Association

      Student Organization of the Year Award

      Presented to the Iota Pi Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta while it was under my advisement.

      Presented by the Ohio Communication Association, Columbus, OH, 2009.

  • Intellectual Contributions
    • 2023

      "Concepts, Sources, Investigation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your Research Report in APA Style"

      Kendall Hunt

    • 2020

      "Applying uses and gratifications to promote cognitive and affective learning via online instructional content."


    • 2017

      "Research Methods for Communication Professionals"


    • 2016

      "Insight into Innovation: Applying Communication Theory in Our Web 2.0 Lives"

      Kendall Hunt, p. 432

    • 2014

      "CSI: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your Literature Review in Communication Studies"

      Kendall hunt, p. 250

    • 2014

      "Becoming a Critic: An Introduction to Analyzing Media Content."

      Kendall Hunt

Dr. Rebecca Curnalia - Professor of Communications

Associate Professor in the Department of Communication


  • PhD, Kent State University
  • MA, Northern Illinois University
  • BA, Olivet College

Recent Publications

  • Curnalia, R. M. L., & Ferris, A.L. (in press for 2014). Concepts, Sources, Integration: A Step-by-Step Guiding to Writing Your Literature Review in Communication. Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt.
  • Curnalia, R. M. L. (in press for 2014). Fear Tactics in Political Campaigns. In M. Shally-Jensen (Ed.) American Political Culture: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
  • Curnalia, R. M. L. (2014). Frugal reality TV during the Great Recession: A qualitative content analysis of TLC’s Extreme Couponing. In A. F. Slade, D. Givens-Carooll, & A. J. Narro (Eds) Reality Television: Oddities of Culture. Lexington Press.
  • Curnalia, R. M. L., & Mermer, D. L. (2014). The ‘Ice Queen’ melted and it won her the primary: Evidence of gender stereotypes and the double bind in news frames of Hillary Clinton’s ‘emotional moment’. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 15.
  • Curnalia, R. M. L., & Wecht, C. L., & Ferris, A. L. (2014). Becoming a Critic: An Introduction to Analyzing Media Content. Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt.
  • Curnalia, R. M. L., & Mermer, D. L. (2013). Integrating uses and gratifications with the theory of planned behavior to explain political disaffection and engagement. American Communication Journal, 15.
  • Curnalia, R. M. L. (2013). The frightening state of political discourse: A case study of the use of fear in the 2012 GOP primary. In C. E. Rountree (Ed.) Venomous Rhetoric on the Political Right and Left. Praeger.

Research Interests

  • Persuasion theory as it applies to political campaigns, news, and ideology in entertainment media
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning

Recent Awards

  • Dean’s Award for Curricular Innovation, 2014
  • Top three competitive paper, Eastern Communication Association Annual Conference, 2013
  • Distinguished Professor in University Service, 2012
  • Advisor to the OCA Student Organization of the Year, Iota Pi Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, 2009