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Department of Communication and Media

Melissa “Mish” Zimdars

Assistant Professor of Communication

Communication and Media

Dr. Zimdars is a critical media studies scholar who analyzes the influences, overlaps, and connections between television programs, media industries, communication policies, audiences, and culture. 

Dr. Zimdars was previously an instructor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa.  She is a member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the National Communication Association.

When she’s not researching and teaching, Dr. Zimdars uses her textual and discourse analysis skills to work on, a project that navigates fake and otherwise misleading “news” websites.



Ph.D. Communication Studies, University of Iowa 

M.A. Media Studies, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee 

B.A. Journalism and Political Science, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee 


  • Radio Production
  • Introduction to Mass Communication
  • Media Industries
  • Feminist Media Studies
  • Television Criticism
  • New Media and Digital Communication 
  • Global Media (Intensive Study Abroad) 


  • Zimdars is currently working on a book manuscript, Watching Our Weights: The Consequences and Contradictions of Televising Fatness in the “Obesity Epidemic,” and a co-edited anthology of essays entitled Fake News.
  • Her work has appeared in Television and New Media, Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture, Feminist Media Studies, and Flow.