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Jessica L Ghilani, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Communication

Dr. Jessica Ghilani, Associate Professor of Communication (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh), teaches and researches media studies, ecosystems of (dis)information, advertising and consumer history, digital culture, research methods, public speaking, and corporate and professional communication.

Her recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Communication Inquiry, Propaganda and Public Relations in Military Recruitment, American Journalism: A Journal of Media History, Historiography in Mass Communication, and Minerva Journal of Women and War.

Her book manuscript, "Selling Soldiering: Advertising for US Army Volunteers since 1914,” examines the origins of volunteer military recruitment strategies, tracing them deep into the history of 20th century conscription, before the draft’s overturn in 1973.

Dr. Ghilani’s research has been supported and recognized through grant and fellowship funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History and National Air and Space Museum, the Aviation Space Writers Foundation, the American Association of University Women, the University of Pittsburgh, and Duke University Special Collections Libraries. In 2021, Dr. Ghilani was among the inaugural recipients of a PA Grants for Open and Affordable Learning (GOAL) award, aiming to foster affordable learning for college students in Pennsylvania.

In 2019, Ghilani was the first Pitt Greensburg faculty member to receive one of the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence’s Innovation in Education Awards. Funding supported the creation of the university’s first stand-alone communication course dedicated to examining the history, growth, and influence of disinformation in digital realms, offered initially in fall semester, 2020.

Dr. Ghilani is a member of the team of researchers for the newly launched Pitt Disinformation Lab, housed in Pitt’s Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security, on the Oakland campus. She is affiliated faculty in Pitt Greensburg’s Center for Applied Research where she provides social media analysis to regional clients. She delivers public lectures and workshops about disinformation and digital media literacy to libraries, community centers, industry groups, and more across SWPA. Ghilani cofounded and served as advisory board member of Covey: a social media company that participated in the nationally-ranked startup accelerator, Alphalab. She completed her PhD at the University of Pittsburgh and grew up nearby in the Monongahela River Valley of Washington County. She currently resides in the city of Pittsburgh with her husband and their two daughters.

Courses Taught at Pitt-Greensburg

  • #FakeNews: Journalism and Democracy in an Era of Contested Truths
  • Digital Media Studies
  • Communicating Gender in Film
  • Communication and Cultural Studies
  • Digital and Professional Communication
  • History of American Advertising
  • Research Methods in Communication Studies (Quantitative, Qualitative, and Critical)
  • Composition 3 for Communication Majors
  • Organizational Communication
  • Senior Capstone Seminar in Communication
  • Communication Process: Intro to Human Communication
  • Mass Communication Process: Mass Media and Society
  • Public Speaking