Faculty Profile for Dr. Kristen Sussman

profile photo for Dr. Kristen Sussman
Dr. Kristen Sussman
Assistant Professor — School of Jrnlism & Mass Comm
phone: (512) 245-2656

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Kristen L. Sussman (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) leverages her expertise in native and third-party social media platforms to connect, monitor, and assess consumer behavior. Her research focuses on the impact of online communications and artificial intelligence (AI) and aims to uncover important relationships between advancements in generative AI and media effects, consumer behavior, and social network engagement.

Using a combination of language analysis and behavioral trace data, Kristen applies social science methods in the domain of computational advertising to investigate advertising processing and explore the effects of different social and psychological framing techniques. Her expertise has contributed to research areas of emotion and media use, advertising effectiveness, technology adoption, health communication, and understanding underserved populations. Sussman is dedicated to producing research that is grounded in theory, applicable, and impactful.

Combining her practical experience with her academic pursuits, Sussman brings a unique perspective to her research and a deep understanding of real-world marketing challenges. From 2011 to 2019, she owned and operated an award-winning agency, Social Distillery. Sussman and her team serviced a diverse range of clients, including local, national, and global organizations across B2B and B2C sectors. Notable clients included Facebook (now Meta), Dairy Queen, Chuy's Restaurants, Micro Focus (now HPE), Spredfast (now Khoros), Farm Credit Bank of Texas, Jive Software, KVUE-TV, among many others. In 2019, the agency was acquired.

Sussman's teaching experience includes academic lecturing appointments at The University of Texas at Austin and St. Edward's Bill Munday School of Business as well as corporate communications building curriculum in enterprise tech and continuing education in online advertising.

Sussman has been published in the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, International Journal of Advertising, Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing, and Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness. She regularly presents her work at academic conferences and is a member of the American Academy of Advertising (AAA) and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

Teaching Interests

Kristen's teaching interests are in advertising strategy, new media, engagement, data analytics, and computational methods.

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Hotker, P., Garg, R., & Sussman, K. L. (2023). Strategic Social Media Marketing: An Empirical Analysis of Sequential Advertising. Production and Operations Management, 32(12). https://doi.org/10.1111/poms.14075
  • Sussman, K. L., Bouchacourt, L., Bright, L., Wilcox, G., Mackert, M., Norwood, A., & Altillo, B. (2023). COVID-19 topics and emotional frames in vaccine hesitation: A social media text and sentiment analysis. Digital Health, (9). https://doi.org/10.1177/20552076231158
  • Sussman, K. L., Bright, L., & Wilcox, G. (2022). Digital consumer engagement: examining the impact of native advertising exposure in a social network. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-10-2021-0265
  • Anderson, J. T., Bouchacourt, L. M., Sussman, K. L., Bright, L. F., & Wilcox, G. B. (2022). Telehealth adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic: A social media textual and network analysis. Digital Health. https://doi.org/10.1177/20552076221090041
  • Lee, J. A., Sudarshan, S., Sussman, K. L., Bright, L., & Eastin, M. (2021). Why are consumers following social media influencers on Instagram? Exploration of consumers’ motives for following influencers and the role of materialism. International Journal of Advertising, 41(1), 78–100. https://doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2021.1964226

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Nominee: Presidential Awards for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities, School of Journalism & Mass Communication, Texas State University. January 12, 2024 - Present
  • Award / Honor Recipient: American Academy of Advertising (AAA) Ad-hoc Graduate Committee, American Academy of Advertising (AAA). January 2021 - May 2022
  • Award / Honor Recipient: ANA Educational Foundation’s Future Visiting Professor Program, ANA Educational Foundation’s Future Visiting Professor Program. 2021
  • Award / Honor Recipient: W3 Award Creative Award, W3 Award. 2015 - 2018
  • Award / Honor Nominee: Big Wig Educator of the Year, American Advertising Federation - Austin Chapter. 2017

Selected Grants

  • Sussman, Kristen Leah. Multilingual AI-Assisted Emergency Preparedness: Enhancing Resilience and Equity in Underserved Communities during Climate Change-Induced Weather Events, City of Austin, State, $10200. (Funded: September 2023 - August 2024). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

Reviewer / Referee
Journal of Interactive Advertising
February 2024-Present
Reviewer / Referee
Journal of Current Issues in Research in Advertising
February 2024-Present
Grad Committee Meeting
October 13, 2023-Present
SJMC Brown Bag Research Meeting
September 29, 2023-Present
Texas State Athletics (Fan)
August 2023-Present