Alex P. Leith

PhD Student in Media & Information Studies

Hello!  My name is Alex and I'm currently working toward a doctoral degree in Media & Information Studies at Michigan State University.  My doctoral studies examine a wide range of communication and media topics.  If you wish to contact me, please feel free to use one of the methods listed below.

  • Research InterestsOpen or Close




    Online communities have proven to be a diverse world for research. My interests range from tranditional connections maintined through Facebook to online connections established through chats.

    Parasocial interactions rang deeply with me as I examine the significance of media figures and characters in the lives of media users.

    Video games have steadily been a part of my life and there growing acceptance and presence makes them even more significant in the realm of research.

  • Scholarly ActivitiesOpen or Close
    Rabindra, R. A., Fordham, J., Leith, A. P., Williams, D., & Kennedy, T. (2015, May). Identity salience in avatar choice motivation. Paper to be presented at the Gaming Bodies Preconference of the International Communication Association 65th Annual Conference. San Juan, Puerto Rico.
    Boehmer, J. H., & Leith, A. P. (2015, March). Tweeting the World Cup: Soccer teams' use of dialogic communication during the 2014 World Cup. Paper presented at The 8th Summit on Communication Sport. Charlotte, NC.
    Leith, A. P., & Cotten, S. R. (2014, November). Learning to play: Academic impacts of digital gameplay among disadvantaged African American students. Paper presented at the National Communication Association 100th Annual Conference. Chicago, IL.
    Huang, T. K., Cotten, S. R., & Leith, A. P. (2014, May). The impact of emotional costs on students’ IT use and academic performance in the context of computer integration. Paper presented at the Digital Divide Preconference of the International Communication Association 64th Annual Conference. Seattle, WA.
    Leith, A. P. (2013, June). A more accessible celebrity: A Case for parasocial interactions with YouTube personalities and communities. Paper presented at the International Association of Communication and Media Research 2013 Confererence.
    Leith, A. P., Ratan, R. A., & Wohn, D. Y. (2013, June). The (de-)evolution of evolution games: Analyzing the accuracy of evolution depiction in video games. Paper presented at International Communication Association 63rd Annual Conference.
    DeGroot, J. M., & Leith, A. P. (2011, November).R.I.P. Kutner: Parasocial relationships and grieving the death of a television character. Paper presented at National Communication Association 97th Annual Convention.
    Leith, A. P. (2011, November). The games we play. Paper presented at National Communication Association 97th Annual Convention.
    Leith, A. P. (2011). I know what you did last night: Exploring parasocial Facebook relationships. (Unpublished master's thesis). Southern Illinios University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois.
  • EducationOpen or Close

    Ph.D., Michigan State University

    Exp: May 2015; Media & Information Studies; Telecommunications, Information Studies, & Media

    M.A., Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

    May 2011; Speech Communication; Interpersonal Communication

    B.A., Brigham Young University-Idaho

    Dec 2009; Communication; Public Relations

  • Academic PositionsOpen or Close

    Michigan State University

    Graduate Assistant (Aug 2012-Present)

    St. Louis College of Pharmacy

    Instructor (Aug 2011-May 2012)

    McKendree University

    Lecturer (Jan 2012-May 2012)

    Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

    Instructor (Aug 2011-Dec 2011); Teaching Assistant (Aug 2010-May 2011)

  • Courses TaughtOpen or Close

    Michigan State University

    TC 101: Understanding Media*
    TC 401: Social Media in Society**
    TC 401: Science Fiction and Technology*
    TC 803: Intro Quantitative Research*

    St. Louis College of Pharmacy

    EN 3100: Professional Communication

    McKendree University

    JRN 372: Web & Print Publication Design

    Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

    SPC 103: Interpersonal Communication
    SPC 105: Public Speaking
    SPC 204: Oral Argumentation

    * Teaching Assistant
    ** Co-taught

  • Non-Academic PositionsOpen or Close

    i am Alexapedia

    Freelancer (Jan 2010-Present)

    Brigham Young University

    Marketing Manager (Aug 2008-Aug 2009)

  • Memberships & ServicesOpen or Close

    International Communication Association

    Member (Jan 2012-Present)
    Reviewer, Games Studies, 2013
    Reviewer, Communication & Technology, 2013

    National Communication Association

    Member (Aug 2010-Oct 2012)
    Reviewer, Human Communication and Technology, 2011

    Social Media Advisory Committee (BYUI)

    Member &: Recruiter (Aug 2009-Dec 2009)