School of Communication & Journalism

Joan R. Harrell

Joan R. Harrell Lecturer and Diversity Coordinator
106 Tichenor Hall
(334) 844-2727

Office Hours

  • Tuesday 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Wednesday 2:30-3:30 p.m.


Joan R. Harrell is a Lecturer and inaugural Diversity Coordinator in the School of Communication and Journalism. She teaches courses in magazine feature writing, history of journalism, covering faith communities, diversity and democracy, literary journalism and the intersectionality of media ethics and vulnerable populations.


Before entering academia, Dr. Harrell worked in local television markets as an award-winning journalist including news anchor at ABC, NBC and CBS television affiliates in GA, SC, and MO; researcher and field producer at the ABC News Bureau in London, England; assignment editor at the CBS News Bureau and CSPAN in Washington, DC; associate producer for Alvin Perlmutter and correspondent and associate producer for Bill Moyers in New York City. 


Her writing and public relations skills and expertise also afforded her the opportunities to work as the Senior Vice of Programming in the Women’s Division of World Space Corporation, Vice President Walls Communications and Vice President of Media Relations for Hill and Knowlton Public Affairs Worldwide in Washington, DC. She is the former associate senior editor of the Journal of Healthcare Science and the Humanities and freelance writer for Christian Century, The Huffington Post and Sojourner’s Blog.


The Rev. Dr. Harrell is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church, a Cohort in the Henry Luce Foundation Public Theology and Racial Justice Institute at Vanderbilt University Divinity School. She is the author of numerous professional journal publications; her scholarship focuses on the intersectionality of narrative ethics, phenomenology, vulnerable populations, xenophobia, womanist theology, religion, alterity, and public health.


  • DMIN, Chicago Theological Seminary
  • MDiv, Interdenominational Theological Seminary
  • MS. Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
  • BS, Stephens College

Last Updated: January 14, 2019