Kristina Ruiz-Mesa is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and serves as the Basic Course Director of COMM 1100: Oral Communication at California State University, Los Angeles. Prior to joining the Cal State, L.A. faculty in fall of 2013, Dr. Ruiz-Mesa, a New Jersey native, attended Villanova University located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she received a B.A. in Communication with a concentration in Latin American Studies, and an M.A. in Strategic Communication. While completing her master’s degree, Ruiz-Mesa worked as a retention specialist and Assistant Director for the Center for Multicultural Affairs. While at Villanova, Ruiz-Mesa founded the St. Thomas of Villanova Scholars (STOVS) program, an academic bridge program aimed at preparing students for college success. Feeling like there was more work to be done to improve campus climate, inclusion, and retention, she left Villanova University to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder to pursue a Ph.D. in Communication, focusing on issues of identity and higher education.
Currently, Professor Ruiz-Mesa’s research interests involve the impact of race, gender, and sexuality on identity formation, communication, and relationships. Her previous research on the academic impact of experiencing racial microaggressions in higher education has been used to create programming and improve support services for underrepresented students throughout the nation.
At Cal State, LA, Ruiz-Mesa teaches a variety of courses including Instructional Communication, Sex and Gender, Sex Roles in Communication, and Feminism in Communication. When not on campus, Professor Ruiz-Mesa enjoys singing, traveling, watching telenovelas, volunteering in animal care at a marine mammal rehabilitation center, and spending time with her family.