Melita Garza is a journalism historian who studies Latino culture and issues of American identity in the US media. An assistant professor at Texas Christian University Bob Schieffer College of Communication, Melita Garza teaches classes including Diversity and the Media, and Latinos and the US Media.
Before taking her position at TCU, Melita Garza worked as a writer and reporter for the Los Angeles Times, the Milwaukee Journal, and the Chicago Tribune. In 1994, she won a National Association of Hispanic Journalists President’s Award for her efforts to improve the diversity of news media outlets across the US. She was also awarded the Give Liberty a Hand prize in 1995 from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Protection for her sensitive and intelligent reporting on issues relating to immigrant and refugee issues.
Dr. Garza has also received awards for her academic writing and research, including the Joseph L. Morrison Award for excellence in journalism history in both 2011 and 2012, while she was at the University of North Carolina. She also earned an award for Top Abstract in the Cultural and Critical Studies Division at the AEJMC Mid-Winter Conference for her article entitled “¿Oh, Say Can You See? Tweeting Latinos, American Identity, and the Star-Spangled Banner.” Her PhD dissertation, entitled “They Came to Toil: News Frames of Wanted and Unwanted Mexicans in the Great Depression,” which she is currently working into a book manuscript, won the Margaret A. Blanchard Doctoral Dissertation Prize in 2013.
Active in her communities, Dr. Garza serves as a research-in-progress coordinator for the American Journalism Historians Association and a book review editor for the periodical Journalism History. She maintains memberships with several professional organizations, including the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.