Kelly Martin Headshot

Kelly Martin

School of Communication
College of Liberal Arts

Office Location

Kelly Martin

School of Communication
College of Liberal Arts


BA, John Carroll University; MS, Ph.D., North Carolina State University


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


Currently Teaching

3 Credits
This course introduces students to the managing and planning of advertising and public relations campaigns. It takes a team project approach thereby helping students learn how to work together in class as well as in a competitive agency. Service-learning will be used to expose students to community causes.
3 Credits
This course is an introduction to the study of visual communication. The iconic and symbolic demonstration of visual images used in a variety of media is stressed. The major goal of the course is to examine visual messages as a form of intentional communication that seeks to inform, persuade, and entertain specific target audiences.
0 Credits
One semester of full-time paid work experience in a professional setting related to the communication major.
3 Credits
An introduction to the discipline of communication and the fields of advertising, journalism, and public relations. Topics include: the history and evolution of the discipline, major theories, principles of ethics, methods of research, writing styles, digital portfolio development, professional organizations, and potential careers. Students meet professors in the School, explore opportunities to engage with the professional and academic community beyond the classroom.

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Martin, Kelly Norris, et al. "Spewing Nonsense [or not]: Communication competence and socialization in optics and photonics workplaces." Communication Education 67. 4 (2018): 414-437. Print.
Leak, Anne E., et al. "Hidden factors that Influence Success in the Optics Workforce." Physical Review Physics Education Research 14. 1 (2018): 010136-1-010136-12. Web.
Hora, Matthew T., et al. "Exploring the Situated and Cultural Aspects of Communication in the Professions: Implications for Teaching, Student Employability, and Equity in Higher Education." WCER Working Paper 11. (2018): 1-37. Web.
Murdoch-Kitt, Kelly, Denielle Emans, and Kelly Norris Martin. "Sustainability at the Forefront: Educating Students Through Complex Challenges in Design and Communication." Interdisciplinary Environmental Review 16. 2/3/4 (2015): 285-315. Print.
Martin, Kelly Norris and Hinda Mandell. "Faces of Political Sex Scandal: Investigating Pathways to Penance, Remedy and Resolution through Iconic Scandal." Visual Communication Quarterly 21. 4 (2014): 236-247. Print.
Johnson, Melissa and Kelly Norris Martin. "When Navigation Trumps Visual Dynamism: Hospital Website Usability and Credibility." The Journal of Promotion Management 20. 5 (2014): 666-687. Print.
Martin, Kelly Norris. "A Mixed Methods Approach for Analyzing the Imagery of a Novel Science." Visual Methodologies 2. 1 (2013): 1-20. Web.
Martin, Kelly Norris and Victoria J. Gallagher. "You Make it Amazing: The Rhetoric of Art and Urban Regeneration in the Case of The Public." Journal of Visual Literacy 32. 1 (2013): 51-72. Print.
Martin, Kelly Norris. "A Visual World Demands Design Sense: Advocating for Visual Communication Across the Curriculum." The International Journal of Design Education 6. (2013): 1-12. Print.
Cos, Grant and Kelly Norris Martin. "The Rhetoric of The Hanging Chair: Presence, Absence and Visual Argument in the 2012 Presidential Campaign." American Behavioral Scientist 57. 12 (2013): 1688-1703. Print.
Gallagher, Victoria J., Kelly Norris Martin, and Magdy Ma. "Visual Wellbeing: Intersections of Rhetorical Theory and Visual Design." Design Issues 27. 2 (2011): 25-39. Print.
Dannels, Deanna, Amy L. Housley Gaffney, and Kelly Norris Martin. "Students Talk About the Climate of Feedback Interventions in the Critique." Communication Education 60. 1 (2011): 95-114. Print.
Zwickl, Ben. Workplace Contexts for Math and Communication Preparation. By Kelly Norris Martin and Anne Emerson Leak. 13 May 2018. 2018 STEM For All Video Showcase, online. Performance.
Published Conference Proceedings
Young, Nicholas T., et al. "Models of Math Use in Non-Academic Workplace Settings." Proceedings of the Physics Education Research Conference 2017 Part of the PER Conference series. Ed. American Association of Physics Teachers. Cincinnati, Ohio: n.p., 2018. Web.
Zwickl, Benjamin M., et al. "Characterizing analytical and computational mathematics use during PhD research." Proceedings of the Physics Education Research Conference 2017 Part of the PER Conference series. Ed. American Association of Physics Teachers. Cincinnati, Ohio: n.p., 2018. Web.
Zwickl, Ben, et al. "Preparing Students for Physics-intensive Careers in Optics and Photonics." Proceedings of the 2015 Physics Education Research Conference. Ed. Alice D. Churukian, Dyan L. Jones, and Lin Ding. College Park, MD: n.p., 2015. Print.
Book Chapter
Martin, Kelly Norris. "Navigating the Scattered and Fragmented: Visual Rhetoric, Visual Studies and Visual Communication." Routledge Companion to Visual Organization. Ed. E. Bell, S. Warren, and J. Schroeder. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014. 188-201. Print.
Gallagher, Victoria J., Kenneth Zagacki, and Kelly Norris Martin. "Communicative Spaces and Rhetorical Enactments: How and Why Urban Parks Enhance (or Fail to Enhance) Civic Life." The Urban Communication Reader. Ed. G. Gumpert, S. Drucker, and M. Mattsaganis. New York, NY: Hampton Press, 2013. 35-52. Print.
Gallagher, Victoria J., Kenneth Zagacki, and Kelly Norris Martin. "Materiality and Urban Communication: The Rhetoric of Communicative Spaces." Communication Matters: Materialist Approaches to Media, Mobility, and Networks. New York, NY: Routledge, 2012. 107-120. Print.
Martin, Kelly Norris. "An Introduction to Visual Rhetoric." Inspire: Researcher Development Initiative. London, UK: Economic and Social Research Council, 2012. online. Web.