Key Note Speaker for CCA 2021

How to Have an Adventure in Communication

Shayla Thiel-Stern, Ph.D., started her career on the digital news team that launched The Washington Post to the web 25 years ago and since then has worked in academia, digital marketing, nonprofit organizations, public media, music and more.

In this keynote talk, she will discuss the importance of understanding what fulfills you as a communicator, researcher and human who constantly moves among different worlds – particularly the academic, the “professional” and the personal. Navigating these worlds, maintaining responsibilities to your field, your profession, your friends and family and yourself and not burning out is probably an impossible proposition. So, what can you do about it? Might the answer be in the pivot?

Thiel-Stern reflects on her career, shares wisdom based on her experiences and gives you the peptalk you may not have known that you needed when you signed up for this conference.


Dr. Thiel-Stern is the Director of Content Strategy for Level2, a health-tech startup company helping people put type 2 diabetes into remission. Previously, she has been Vice President of Content Marketing for ServeMinnesota/AmeriCorps, Editorial & Content Director at PBS Next Avenue, Senior Digital Strategist at Fast Horse, Content Producer at, Weekend Announcer at Iowa Public Radio, and Affiliate Sales Manager for She was an Associate Professor in the University of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication and an Assistant Professor in the DePaul University College of Communication. Thiel-Stern earned a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Iowa. She has published extensively in popular and academic media, including two books – From the Dance Hall to Facebook: Teen Girls, Media and Moral Panic, 1905-2010 (U. of Massachusetts Press 2014) and Instant Identity: Adolescent Girls and the World of Instant Messaging (Peter Lang, 2007). She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her family, dogs and cats.

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