Tracy Lauder is an associate professor and chairs the Department of Mass Communications at Emory & Henry College where she leads a dynamic and multifaceted academic program that engages students and lands them jobs they love.
Tracy also is the Director of the van Vlissingen Center for Career and Professional Development where students are supported in their career journeys—exploring majors, pursuing experiential work opportunities, and preparing to be professionals in the workplace.
A native of the Gulf Coast of Alabama, Tracy landed in Appalachia 16 years ago and fell in love with the mountains—a place she now calls home. She finds the college’s close community of students, faculty, and staff to be a warm and supportive environment for people to reach their full potential.
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
M.J., Public Relations
University of West Alabama, Livingston, AL
Tracy has served the college on the mass communications faculty full time for 17 years teaching graphic design, public relations, media and culture, persuasion theory, and women and media. She has also taught in the core curriculum, notably Transitions I (the first-year seminar) and Connections (the senior capstone course), as well as in the Women’s & Gender Studies program.
Tracy’s research interests have focused on the cultural impact of mass mediated messages—particularly the portrayal of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic class. Her dissertation tells the story of the startup of Southern Living magazine in 1960s Birmingham.
Before joining the academy full time, Tracy worked at the Birmingham-based Southern Progress Corporation (a Time-Warner subsidiary) in the corporate public relations office and as a travel editor for Southern Living magazine. She also ran a freelance writing and consulting business where she worked for the sales teams of Cooking Light and Weight Watchers magazines, launched the coastal travel magazine Southern Breeze, and provided copy writing and creative direction services for a wide variety of agencies and clients in Birmingham. From May to September 2019, Tracy served as the Director of Marketing and Communications for Population Health at Ballad Health, headquartered in Johnson City, Tennessee.