Colleen Mihal holds a PhD from the College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado and a B.A. and M.A. in Communication from Virginia Tech .
Her research analyzes social movements, social media, digital journalism, media representations of class, race, and gender, surveillance and resistance, alternative media, media studies, communication, and rhetoric. Her doctoral dissertation, “The Domestic War on Terror: Surveillance, Media, and Police Militarization,” argues that police and media narratives about protest aligned during the so-called War on Terror in ways that delegitimized and criminalized dissent and, in doing so, justify increasingly militaristic police responses. Her current research focuses on the use of social media by activists and social movements for social change, specifically looking at the tensions between private surveillance and the needs of social movements to raise awareness.
Currently, Mihal teaches communication courses at the College of Marin in Kentfield, California. Previously she has taught media and communication at San Francisco State University, the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Virginia Tech.