Dr. Katina Rae Stapleton has a long-term interest in the academic, social and behavioral advancement of youth. Her background in education includes participating in the development of an advisory program for middle school youth in Maryland and her dissertation work on urban school reform.
Dr. Stapleton has a varied academic and professional background. She received her doctorate in American Politics from Duke University with a concentration in political communication and has an undergraduate degree in print journalism. In addition to political communication, her expertise is in education policy and the intersections of popular culture, the media, politics and public policy. Dr. Stapleton continues to work with adolescents as a member of the Board of Directors for the Image Initiative, Inc., a Syracuse, N.Y. based organization dedicated to instilling pride and agency in young women of color. She is also a Lupus advocate and is on the Development committee of the Lupus Foundation of America, DC/MD/VA chapter.
Dr. Stapleton has taught and researched on political communication, the politics of popular music, political cartoons and tabloid coverage of the presidency. A common thread in her work is the study of how political narratives found in mainstream media and popular culture help shape how we understand the meaning and relevance of political issues and social problems.
She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of The Journal of Popular Culture and has served as a reviewer for Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture, Political Communication, PS: Political Science and Politics, Politics and Gender, and CQ Press. Dr. Stapleton’s writing has been published in magazines as varied as Black Collegian Magazine and Congressional Quarterly.
Dr. Stapleton taught at Duke University and St. Lawrence University as a graduate student before becoming an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Senior Research Associate at Syracuse University. At SU, Dr. Stapleton was selected as a fellow in the S.I. Newhouse Center for the Study of Popular Television.
After five years in Syracuse, Dr. Stapleton returned to her hometown in Maryland to work for the federal government. She is currently an Education Research Analyst at the U.S. Department of Education where she supervises grant programs on education leadership and predoctoral research training. Dr. Stapleton has continued teaching political communication, most recently teaching courses on the media’s role in constructing social issues and the politics of popular music as an Adjunct Professor of Communications, Culture, and Technology at Georgetown University.