I'm a newspaper reporter-turned journalism professor currently at the University of Houston's Jack J. Valenti School of Communication. Previously I was an assistant professor of social media at Florida State University's College of Communication & Information.
I earned my Ph.D. in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin (UT). While conducting my dissertation research I was an Inter American Foundation Grassroots Development Fellow based in El Salvador. I also have a Master's Degree in Latin American Studies from UT, as well as a Bachelor's of Journalism and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Before becoming a professor I spent about a decade as a reporter covering immigration and city government at newspapers in the U.S., and I also worked as a freelancer reporter in Guatemala and El Salvador. From 2008-2009 I was an Inter-American Press Association Fellow based in Guatemala.
While in Guatemala in 2009 I saw first-hand the power of social media for mobilizing protest, and thus was born my research trajectory exploring the intersections of social movements, social media, and journalism. I've written a book about social media and social change, called Liberation Technology in El Salvador: Re-appropriating Social Media Among Alternative Media Projects (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017), which won the AEJMC-Knudson Latin America Book Prize in 2018. I've also published numerous scholarly articles examining news coverage of protests globally. Follow me on Twitter for the latest updates on my research: @SummerDHarlow.
When I'm not working, you can find me traveling (usually in Latin America so I can put my Spanish and Portuguese skills to use); hanging out in Houston's bayous with my dog, Piñata; or eating breakfast tacos, drinking Diet Dr Pepper, and listening to Dave Matthews Band on repeat.