Dr. Kelly L. Winfrey became Interim Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program in August 2022. She is also an associate professor and Director of Graduate Education in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Her research focuses on gender and political campaign communication. She published Understanding How Women Vote: Gender Identity and Political Choices (Praeger) in 2018, and she has published journal articles and book chapters on gender group identification voters, the effects of gender in presidential and U.S. Senate campaigns, perceptions of candidate image by debate viewers, online self-presentation strategies of political candidates, media coverage of women candidates, and the content and effects of presidential campaign television ads.
Winfrey teaches classes on political campaigns, gender and leadership, public relations, and research methods. She also regularly mentors undergraduate and graduate students interested in researching gender and politics. Winfrey was previously the coordinator of research and outreach for the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, where she oversaw the Archives of Women’s Political Communication, Women in Iowa Politics Database, Gender Balance Project, and Ready to Run® Iowa: Campaign Training for Women.
Winfrey is originally from the Kansas City area and visits family regularly. She has a son in elementary school, a supportive spouse, and a cat named Apollo. She received her Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Kansas in 2012. In her free time, she serves on the Ames Community School District school board, reads thrillers, and watches scary movies.