Member Spotlight: Elizabeth Ortiz

Elizabeth Ortiz is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Cedar Crest College.

What do you do?

I am on the faculty at Cedar Crest. I have taught there full-time since 2003. With master’s degrees in Media Studies and Education, my teaching looks closely at the representations of women and girls in the media and the limited roles these characters play.

Tell us about your latest work or project in media literacy.

I am currently working on a Ph.D. in Teaching Learning and Technology at Lehigh University, where I am researching how Latina and Black girls navigate their mediated worlds and, in particular, how they negotiate mediated representations of girls and women like them.

We just wrapped our 10th annual Media Literacy Week at Cedar Crest College. While the past two years have looked a little different, we have worked to engage the campus and community in media education for a decade.

Why is media literacy important to you?

The increasing need for our youth to be media literate is at the forefront of my coursework and community work, as I encourage girls and women to analyze media content and reject images that limit their potential. I am also interested in social media and how it influences every aspect of communication and gives us the opportunity to become engaged in social media for the social good. That is, how can we use our voices online to make the world a better place? The work (starts and) continues in my own home as the mother of three girls ages 9, 12, and 14.

What are you most excited about in the media literacy field?

While media educators have been talking about media literacy for decades, there is real momentum in the field as the rest of the country realizes that being media literate is not optional in 2022. Media literacy is essential for all members of our society.

Why did you become a NAMLE member, what benefits do you see to membership, and how will it support your work?

NAMLE is at the forefront of media literacy work in the United States, and they offer so many resources for their members at no cost. I love that my students can become members of this professional organization – it gives them access without the often exclusionary factor of price.

The views and opinions expressed in the M-Passioned Member blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NAMLE or its members. The purpose of the M-Passioned Member blog is to highlight our members and give them a place to share their reflections, opinions, and ideas.