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Department of Communication and Media

Melissa “Mish” Zimdars

Assistant Professor of Communication

Communication and Media

Dr. Zimdars earned her Ph.D. in Communication Studies (Media Studies) from the University of Iowa in 2015. Her M.A in Media Studies (2010) and B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and Political Science (2008) are from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  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 spends time working on, a project that navigates fake and otherwise misleading “news” websites.

Dr. Zimdars also has a radio show on Merrimack College’s station, WMCK, and spends a lot of time going to shows in the Boston area, listening to records, and eating fried foods that she should probably avoid.


Ph.D. University of Iowa, M.A. University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, B.A. University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee


  • Radio Production
  • Introduction to Mass Communication
  • Advanced Mass Communication
  • Media Industries
  • Global Media
  • Feminist Media Studies
  • Television Criticism
  • New Media and Digital Communication 


  • Dr. Zimdars’ research and teaching interests include the global circulation of television programs, media industries and organizations, communication and social policies, and work on identity, bodies, health, and social justice. 
  • She is currently working on a book manuscript, Watching Our Weights: Televising Fatness in the “Obesity Epidemic,” and a co-edited anthology of essays, 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.