Kristina Ruiz-Mesa, Ph.D.

Dr. Kristina Ruiz-Mesa
College of Arts and Letters
Department of Communication Studies
Office Location MUS250


Dr. Kristina Ruiz-Mesa is a Professor of Communication Studies and the Basic Course Director for COMM 1100: Oral Communication at California State University, Los Angeles.

At Cal State LA, Dr. Ruiz-Mesa directs the national award winning COMM 1100: Oral Communication program. The COMM 1100 program is one of the largest oral communication programs in the nation and serves thousands of students each year. Dr. Ruiz-Mesa teaches a variety of courses including graduate-level Instructional Communication, Qualitative and Rhetorical Research Methods, Humanities Theories, and undergraduate courses in Humanities Approaches to Race, Sex Roles in Communication, Feminism and Communication, Communication Capstone, and Oral Communication. Prior to joining the Cal State LA faculty, Dr. Ruiz-Mesa worked in diversity, equity, and inclusion research and assessment at Villanova University, and has worked around the nation as a communication and diversity consultant. Currently, Dr. Ruiz-Mesa is studying organizational and instructional communication practices to improve institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her previous research on the academic impact of experiencing racial microaggressions in U.S. higher education has been used to create programming and improve support services for underrepresented students throughout the nation.

Dr. Ruiz-Mesa’s research has been presented at conferences throughout the United States and Europe, and has been published in the Journal of Communication Pedagogy, Communication Education, The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Basic Communication Course Annual, Management Communication Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, and in book chapters on a variety of issues related to public speaking, diversity leadership, trigger warnings in classrooms, best practices for communication engagement, and classroom transparency.

Ruiz-Mesa earned a B.A. in Communication and a concentration in Latin American Studies, and an M.A. in Strategic Communication from Villanova University. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication with a focus on organizational communication, identity, and higher education, from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she studied the applied communicative practices of Chief Diversity Officers working in U.S. colleges and universities.