Faculty Profile for Dr. Cindy L Royal

profile photo for Dr. Cindy L Royal
Dr. Cindy L Royal
Professor — School of Jrnlism & Mass Comm
OM 106D
phone: (512) 245-3481

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Dr. Cindy Royal is a Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, teaching digital and data-driven media skills and concepts. She has been teaching at Texas State since 2006, dedicating her career to preparing students to be innovative in their media endeavors. Dr. Royal completed Ph.D. studies in Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of Texas at Austin in May 2005. Her research focuses on data journalism, coding education and gender issues in technology. In 2020, Dr. Royal received Texas State’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Service. In 2013, Dr. Royal received Texas State’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching and the AEJMC/Scripps Howard Journalism and Mass Communication Teacher of the Year award. In 2018 and 2019, she was the recipient of Texas State's Everette Swinney Faculty Senate Teaching Award and was the University's nominee for Piper Professor in 2019. She was a 2014 Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, the first full-time academic to be accepted into this prestigious program. She enjoys live music, breakfast tacos and travel. Additional detail regarding her research, education and experience can be found at cindyroyal.com.

Teaching Interests

Digital innovation, product management, web design and advanced coding skills.

Research Interests

Data journalism, digital product management, coding education and gender issues in technology.

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Royal, C. L., & Kosterich, A. (2024). Coding Competencies Across Roles: Developing Computer Programming Practices in Media Organizations. Journalism Studies.
  • Royal, C. L. (2023). AI Changes Everything...and Nothing. Nieman Journalism Lab. Harvard University. Retrieved from https://www.niemanlab.org/2023/12/ai-changes-everything-and-nothing/
  • Kosterich, A., & Royal, C. L. (2023). Institutional Arbitrageurs: The Role of Product Managers as a Locus of Change in Journalism. Media and Communication.
  • Royal, C. L. (2023). Review of Vivid and Engaging: Effects of Interactive Data Visualization on Perceptions and Attitudes about Social Issues. MILab Journal: Adventures in Media Innovation. Retrieved from https://www.masscomm.txst.edu/media-innovation/milabjournal/vivid-engaging.html
  • Royal, C. L. (2023). Texas Tribune and the Analytics Hub. In Case Study Series - News Product Alliance. Retrieved from https://learning.newsproduct.org/casestudies/texas-tribune-and-the-analytics-hub/

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Everette Swinney Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching Award, Texas State University. 2023 - 2024
  • Award / Honor Nominee: Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award, Texas State University. 2023 - 2024
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Teaching Award of Honor, Texas State Alumni Association. May 22, 2022 - June 22, 2022
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Gene Barnwell Waugh Mentor Award,, Women Communicators of Austin. April 2021
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Presidential Award for Excellence in Service, Texas State University. 2019 - 2020

Selected Grants

  • Qasem, Apan Muhammad (Principal), Royal, Cindy L (Supporting), Hewitt, Barbara A (Supporting), Dolezel, Diane M (Supporting), Omana Sudhakaran, Pratheesh O (Supporting), Lollar, Jonathan Ernest (Supporting), Booth, Chad (Co-Principal), Roundtree, Aimee Kendall (Supporting), Ekin, Tahir (Supporting), Cordero, Rafael A (Supporting), Lopez, Omar S (Supporting), Ashford-Hanserd, Shetay Nicole (Co-Principal), Sriraman, Vedaraman (Co-Principal), Mendez, Francis A (Supporting), Forsythe, Michelle Elizabeth (Co-Principal). NSF Grant 22-611, STEM-CLEAR: Creating Contextualized Learning Pathways across Academic and Cultural Boundaries, National Science Foundation, Federal, $2646529. (Submitted: August 8, 2023, Funded: June 1, 2024 - June 2029). Grant.
  • Royal, Cindy L (Principal). Research Enhancement Grant, Texas State University, $8000. (Funded: May 2022 - Present). Grant.
  • Zmikly, Jonathan T, Royal, Cindy L. Teaching and Learning Technology Innovation Grant - Innovation Club, Instructional Technologies Support, Texas State University, $5000. (Funded: July 2019). Grant.
  • Royal, Cindy L. Texas State Service Learning Mini Grant, Texas State University, $500. (Funded: March 2019). Grant.
  • Royal, Cindy L. PhDigital Bootcamp Extension, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Private / Foundation / Corporate, $150000. (Funded: 2018 - 2020). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

News Product Alliance
Founding Director
Media Innovation Lab
Digital Media Short Course Series
SJMC Faculty Facebook Group
Digital Media Innovation Major