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Graduate Teaching Fellow

Office: 307 Bynum Hall
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 9-10AM





B.Sc. Hons. Life Sciences, Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada) 

B.A. Hons. Drama, Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada) 

M.A. Theatre and Performance, University of Kent (Canterbury, U.K.) 


Smita studies organizational strategy and professional tactics in the work of medical expert witnesses. Her dissertation challenges the taken-for-granted assumption that clinical objectivity and political advocacy are mutually exclusive. In an era defined by anti-immigration sentiment and restrictive asylum policies, Smita is interested in migrant-advocacy movements. The concurrent responses of legal advocacy and grass-roots activism employ strategies that both compete with and complement each other. Smita’s study weaves together bureaucratic cultures and migrant voices to provide insights into the role of strategic framing and resistance tactics in migrant social movements. She has published her research in Frontiers of Communication. 

Smita has taught over 400 undergraduate students over fourteen semesters in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication; Gender and Communication Studies; Performance Studies; and Public Speaking. With a background in theatre, she is committed to translating academic research for public audiences. Her work has been supported by multiple Mellon-funded Public Humanities fellowships at UNC-Chapel Hill. 

Research Interests

Smita’s interests span across three areas of human communication research: 

1) the management of organizational tensions 

2) medical communication for public audiences 

3) globalization and migration