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Lanier Holt

Lanier Holt

Lanier Holt

Associate Professor



  • Ph.D., Mass Communication, Indiana University (2010)
  • M.A. Journalism, Indiana University (2007)
  • B.A., African American Studies/Ethnic Relations/Minor: Political Science, University of Minnesota (1993)

Professional Qualifications

Chicago Tribune
Indianapolis Star
Rochester Post-Bulletin
Minneapolis Spokesman-St. Paul Recorder

Honeywell World Headquarters
Honeywell Sensor and Guidance Products (Aerospace division)

Minneapolis NAACP

Area of Research

Examining the social and psychological effects media messages have on audiences’ perception of African Americans, women and other traditionally marginalized groups.

Brief Professional Sketch

Dr. Holt is an award-winning researcher, having earned top paper awards for both national conferences and journals. He is an award-winning teacher, having been named the discipline’s Top Communications educator by the National Communication Association, and the runner-up for the nation’s top Journalism educator by the Scripps-Howard Teacher of the Year, both in the same year. He has also earned the top teaching awards from both students and the administration at The Ohio State University. He was the inaugural J.P. Morgan Chase Faculty Fellow through the Office of Diversity & Inclusion for his outstanding service in mentoring students of color and women. Through the Holt Official Watch List (H.O.W.L.) program, which he founded, his students have gone on to many prestigious post-graduate programs, including law school at the University of Chicago, UCLA, the University of North Carolina and Notre Dame; the Fuqua Business School at Duke; the school of public affairs at Emory University, the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, and graduate school at Columbia University, the University of Southern California (USC), and a host of others.

Dr. Holt’s research sits at the confluence of Journalism, media effects and social psychology. Using framing, social dominance and social identity theories, he investigates the underlying psychological mechanisms that operate when audiences are exposed to race-related news media and how it influences their opinions about Blacks. As a former journalist, with an M.A. in Journalism and a Ph.D. in Journalism and Mass Communication, the specific questions his research seeks to answer are: How does the relationship between racial and ethnic identity operate differently for Blacks than Whites, and how does that influence individuals’ opinions about news stories on crime, healthcare, and their receptiveness to both racially-charged news stories (i.e., the Jena Six controversy) and racially-based social movements (e.g., Black Lives Matter)?  


Away from academia, Dr. Holt is an avid sports fan following Buckeye sports, mainly football and the women’s volleyball team. He also follows his graduate school alma mater, Indiana University, and the University of Minnesota’s men’s track team, for which he ran the 400 meters many, many moons ago.

In the professional sports, he is a fan of the perennially disappointing White Sox, a longtime Celtics fan and an equally longtime fan of the San Francisco 49ers.

For entertainment, he watches every episode of Jeopardy, loves sci-fi movies, and is big into astronomy, especially planetary science.

For culinary pleasure, he also spends an inordinate amount of time at Buckeye Donuts… An inordinate amount.