Michelle Ferrier

Founder, TrollBusters.com

Dr. Michelle Ferrier is Dean of the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida. She is the founder of TrollBusters.com, a just-in-time service that helps journalists fight online abuse and has advocated on behalf of journalists worldwide at the United Nations, SXSW, the Online News Association and the European Commission. She is a digital content architect with more than 30 years of experience in new media technologies, digital identity and media entrepreneurship.

Named in 2017 by MediaShift as one of  the top 10 journalism innovation educators to watch, Michelle has infused digital curricula and new narrative practices into her classroom and in her work. Michelle is a scholar and communications consultant around community-based participatory research and media entrepreneurship. Her research interests include digital identity and reputation management and online communities.

In 2017, she received an Online News Association Challenge Grant for reaching media deserts in Southeast Ohio communities. She and her students have won top Online News Association and Society of Professional Journalists honors around election vote abuse monitoring work in the 2016 election. And her service work with TrollBusters has won her accolades from South by Southwest founders, who honored Michelle in 2017 with their top community service award.

Michelle is the former associate dean of innovation, research and international programs at Ohio University and was an associate professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She recently completed her 2016 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow examining media entrepreneurship and innovation in higher education around the world. Following that work, she launched an open textbook project, which resulted in the publication of Media Innovation & Entrepreneurship, published with the Rebus Foundation, and available to students for free.

Michelle is the former president of Journalism That Matters and the creator of the Create or Die series of startup gatherings for media innovation in underserved and underrepresented communities. She is the principal investigator for the Media Deserts Project (www.mediadeserts.com) that uses geographic information system technologies to examine places in the United States where fresh news and information are lacking.

Michelle holds a Ph.D. from the University of Central Florida in Texts and Technologies where she developed online communities, online learning and new media storytelling technologies; a master’s degree from the University of Memphis in journalism; and a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.