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Dr. Williamson was born in Detroit and raised in the suburb of Canton Township, Michigan, where she first developed her love for media and film.  She was active at her high school radio station, which sparked her interest in attending Central Michigan University to study Broadcast & Cinematic Arts.  After graduating with her B.A.A. she went on to work at commercial radio stations across the state for approximately a decade.  Later, she returned to CMU and earned her M.A. (1999) in Broadcast & Cinematic Arts.  Shortly after graduating with her master’s degree, Patty began teaching at CMU and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Mass Media from Michigan State University in 2007.  In August of 2022, Patty was named Interim Honors Director.  Dr. Williamson’s research and teaching interests revolve around media depictions of gender, race and sexuality, glass ceiling effects experienced by women in the media industry, television binge-watching, parasocial relationships, and reality television.  


Recent Research and Creative Work

Williamson, P. A., Biss, A. & Piwowarski, M. Depth of Field. (2021-2022). Podcast.

Williamson, P. A. & Kolek, E. A. (2020). The underrepresentation of women on commercial FM-radio stations in the top 20 markets. Journal of Radio & Audio Media. DOI: 10.1080/19376529.2020.1751632

Williamson, P. A. & Limarenko, E. A. (2018).  Breaking the Sound Barrier (2018). Documentary film.  83 min. Available at: Password: Radio

Williamson, P., Stohlman, T., & Polinsky, H. (2017). Me, my “selfie” and I: A survey of self-disclosure motivations on social media. IAFOR Journal of Cultural Studies, 2(2), 71-85. 

Williamson, P. A. (Nov 28, 2014) "The Power of Pretty: Reappropriating the Gaze and Feminine Agency in Spring Breakers" The IAFOR North American Conference on Film, Media and Cultural Studies Official Conference Proceedings.

Williamson, P. A. (2009) "Parents Speak: Parental Utilization of and Satisfaction with the Motion Picture Association of America's Film Rating System." The Journal of Family Life.

More about Patricia Williamson

Ph.D: 2007, Michigan State University
MA: 1999, Central Michigan University
BAA: 1992, Central Michigan University
  • Representations of gender race and sexuality in media
  • Binge-watching and parasocial interactions
  • Media censorship
  • Reality television
  • Film Studies

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Honors
  • Film Genre/Film Directors
  • Electronic Media Criticism
  • Mass Media Theory
  • History & Appreciation of Cinema