Janelle Ward PhD

Assistant Professor

Biographical Note

Janelle Ward's research and consultancy expertise is in digital communication. Her past research has examined digital media in political contexts, with a particular focus on political consumerism, or when people purchase products with ethical intentions. She has written widely on how organizations use digital media to mobilize citizens, particularly youth. 

She is committed to accessible academia and was a founding organizer of the academic track at the FairSay e-Campaigning Forum, helping to connect academic expertise to digital practitioners and activists. She works with the John Adams Institute, an American cultural organization based in Amsterdam, providing social media strategy. In 2012 she taught a course for their members on social media and the 2012 U.S. election. 

Janelle is currently studying personal connections made possible through digital media. Her research examines the matchmaking mobile application Tinder, focusing on how people create and manage impressions in a virtual environment.

During her time in academia she has presented and published more than 40 academic papers. Her book, “Communicating Citizenship Online," was published in July 2012 by Hampton Press. She teaches a variety of courses for bachelor and master students on digital media and research methods. 

Janelle received her master's and PhD degrees from the University of Amsterdam. She is based in the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She is originally from Minnesota and has lived in the Netherlands since 2001.