Kelly Norris Martin

Kelly Norris Martin

Associate Professor
3200 Eastman Hall

Professor Martin earned her Ph.D. in Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media at North Carolina State University where she developed a schema that graphically maps hierarchical relationships of visual research methods. She is currently a co-PI on two NSF funded projects examining the skills that help U.S. college students succeed and increase employer competitiveness. Martin investigates how designers and STEM faculty communicate (orally and visually). She is also working on a project to provide additional resources for faculty and students in courses with both a presentation requirement and deaf and hard of hearing students. Some of the resulting publications from these various projects are listed below: 

Positions Held

Assistant professor, 2011-

Courses Taught

  • Visual Communication
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Digital Design in Communication
  • Critical Practice in Social Media
  • Campaign Management and Planning
  • Copywriting and Visualization


Photonics and Optics Workforce Education Research (POWER)

Exploring Multiple Postsecondary Opportunities through Workforce and Education Research (EMPOWER)

Visual Communication course illustration site

B.A. in English and Music, John Carroll University; M.S. in Communication, North Carolina State University; Ph.D. in Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media, North Carolina State University

Current projects
Martin, K. N., & Worrell. (2018, submitted) Investigating design principles and perceived visual proficiency. (journal in vis com field)
Worrell , T. Martin, K. N. (2018, submitted) Investigating a reliable measure of visual communication (journal in com field)
Leak, A. E., Santos, Z., Martin, K. N., & Zwickl, B. (2018, submitted) Meaningful Science and Engineering Practices: Contextualizing NGSS Practices to Reflect Authentic Use and Support Student Learning, (journal in Science Ed field)
Hora, M. T.,  Smolarek, B. B., Martin, K. N., Scrivener, L. (2018, submitted). Exploring the Situated and Cultural Aspects of Communication in the Professions: Implications for Teaching, Student Employability, and Equity in Higher Education. (journal in education field)

Martin, K. N., Gaffney, A. L. H., Leak, A. E., Nelson, J., Cervantes, A. T., Gardner, K. L., Clark, B. L., Zwickl, B. M. (2018). Spewing Nonsense [or not]:  Communication competence and socialization in optics and photonics workplaces. Communication Education, 67(4), 414-437. 

Leak, A. E., Santos, Z., Reiter, E., Martin, K. N., & Zwickl, B. (2018). Hidden factors that influence success in the optics workforce. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 14.

Martin, K. N. (2017). Artifact analysis. International Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. In J. P. Matthes, C. S. Davis, & R. F. Potter (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of communication research methods. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.    

Martin, K. N. (2017). Qualitative Research Question. International Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. In J. P. Matthes, C. S. Davis, & R. F. Potter (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of communication research methods. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.    

Leak, A. E., Rothwell, S. L., Olivera, J., Zwickl, B., Vosburg, J., Martin, K. N. (2017). Examining problem solving in physics-intensive Ph. D. research. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 13(2).

Mandell, H., & Martin, K. N. (2017). Honor in the face of shame: The semiotics of the American flag at political-sex-scandal press conferences. Journal of Visual Literacy, 1-20.

Martin, K. N., & Gaffney, A. L. H. (2016). Telling and showing: The intersection of visual communication content knowledge and pedagogical strategies in STEM. Visual Communication Quarterly, 23(2), 119-132.

Leak, A. E., Vosburg, J., Martin, K. N., Olivera, J., Zwickl, B. (2016). Examining problem-solving in physics-intensive PhD research, Proceedings of the 2016 Physics Education Research Conference, Sacramento, CA, July 20-12, edited by D. L. Jones, Lin Ding, and Adrienne Traxler.

Zwickl, B., Leak, A. E., Olivera, J., Vosburg, J., Martin, K. N. (2016). Characterizing problem types and features in physics-intensive PhD research. Proceedings of the 2016 Physics Education Research Conference, Sacramento, CA, July 20-12, edited by D. L. Jones, Lin Ding, and Adrienne Traxler.

Murdoch-Kitt, K. M., Emans, D., Martin, K. N. (2015). Sustainability at the forefront: Educating students through complex challenges in design and communication” Interdisciplinary Environmental Review. 16, Nos. 2/3/4, 285-315.

Zwickl, B. M., Olivera, J., Martin, K. N. and Winans, K., (2015). Preparing students for physics-intensive careers in optics and photonics. Proceedings of the 2015 Physics Education Research Conference, College Park, MD.

Martin, K. N., & Mandell, H. (2014). Iconic Scandal: Faces of Shame and the Face that Launched a Million Opinions. Visual Communication Quarterly. 21(4).

Martin, K. N., Schroeder, J. E. (2014). When Images Cause Trouble. Visual Communication Quarterly, 21(4), 184-185.

Johnson, M. A., & Martin, K. N. (2014). When Navigation Trumps Visual Dynamism: Hospital Website Usability and Credibility. The Journal of Promotion Management. 20(5), 666-687.

Martin, K. N. (2014). Navigating the Scattered and Fragmented: Visual Rhetoric, Visual Studies and Visual Communication (pp. 188-201). In E. Bell, S. Warren, & J. Schroeder, (Eds.), Routledge Companion to Visual Organization.

Martin, K. N. (2013). A Mixed Methods Approach for Analyzing the Imagery of a Novel Science. Visual Methodologies, 2(1).

Martin, K. N., & Gallagher, V. J. (2013). You Make it Amazing: The Rhetoric of Art and Urban Regeneration in the Case of The Public. Journal of Visual Literacy, 32(1).

Martin, K. N. & Murdoch-Kitt, K. M. (2013). A Visual World Demands Design Sense: Advocating for Visual Communication Across the Curriculum. The International Journal of Design Education.

Cos, G., & Martin, K. N. (2013). The Rhetoric of the Hanging Chair: Presence, Absence and Visual Argument in the 2012 Presidential Campaign. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(12) 1688–1703.

Gallagher, V. J., Zagacki, K. & Martin, K. N. (2013). Communicative Spaces and Rhetorical Enactments: How and Why Urban Parks Enhance (or Fail to Enhance) Civic Life. In G. Gumpert, S. Drucker, & M. Mattsaganis (Eds.), The Urban Communication Reader. New York, NY: Hampton Press.

Martin, K. N. (2012 - online). An Introduction to Visual Rhetoric. In E. Bell, S. Warren, & J. Schroeder, (Eds.), Inspire. An Online Companion to the Routledge text.

Gallagher, V. J., Zagacki, K. & Martin, K. N. (2012). Materiality and Urban Communication: The Rhetoric of Communicative Spaces. In J. Packer and S. Wiley (Eds.) Communication Matters: Materialist Approaches to Media, Mobility, and Networks, Routledge.

Gallagher, V. J., Martin, K. N., Ma, M. (2011). Visual Wellbeing: Intersections of Rhetorical Theory and Visual Design, Design Issues. 27 (2), 25-39.

Martin, K. N. & Johnson, M. (2010). Digital Credibility and Digital Dynamism in Public Relations Blogs. Visual Communication Quarterly, 17(3), 162-174.

Dannels, D.P., Gaffney, A. A. & Martin, K. N. (2010). Students’ Talk about the Climate of Feedback Interventions in the Critique, Communication Education, 59 (4), 453-472.

Berube, D.M., and Faber, B., Scheufele, D.A., with Cummings,
C.L., Gardner, G.E., Martin, K.N.,
 & Temple, N.M.
 (February, 2010) White Paper: Communicating Risk in the 21st Century.
 Sponsored by NSF NIRT #0809470 – Applied Nanoscience: Public Perception of Risk
 and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office.

Dannels, D.P., Gaffney, A. H. & Martin, K.N. (2008). Beyond Content, Deeper than Delivery: What Critique Feedback Reflects about Communication Expectations in Design Education. International Journal of SoTL, 2(2).

Dannels, D.P. & Martin, K. N. (2008). Critiquing Critiques: A Genre Analysis of Feedback Across Novice to Expert Design Studios. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 22, 135-159.