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Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University

Patricia Phalen taught at Ohio University until 1998, when she joined the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University. Dr. Phalen has served as the Associate Director, Director of Graduate Studies and Assistant Director of SMPA. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on media organizations and audiences, connections between Hollywood and politics, and the interdependence of media, democracy and culture.

Professor Phalen earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern's Department of Radio/Television/Film during the university's "Rosebowl Season" of 1996. Prior to acquiring her doctorate, Phalen worked in media planning at Foote, Cone & Belding, and in audience research at WTTW, Chicago's largest public television station. Her research at GW combines this industry experience with scholarship in the field of Media Industry Studies.

Professor Phalen has published articles in the Journal of Media Economics, the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, the American Journal of Political Science, Political Communication and The Journal of Radio Studies. She also is the co-author of Ratings Analysis: The Theory and Practice of Audience Research (with J. Webster and L. Lichty, 2014).

Dr. Phalen is active in the Broadcast Education Association, the World Media Economics & Management Conference and the International Communication Association. Her expertise is in Politics and Popular Culture; Hollywood Television Production; Women in Media; and Audience Research. She developed two popular Dean's Seminars at GW, "Hollywood & Politics" and "Media, Democracy & Culture."

A native New Englander, Professor Phalen claims both Connecticut and Massachusetts as her "home state." Her fondest memories of growing up in the Boston area include basketball and hockey games at the Boston Garden and victory parades for the Celtics and Bruins. She is a lifetime fan of all Boston teams--including the Red Sox.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University