Photo: Jaelyn deMaría

Jaelyn deMaría

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Communication & Journalism

/ (505)463-6011

Curriculum Vitae


Jaelyn deMaría, Ph.D. is a Chicana place-based scholar and multimedia producer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her research agenda is community engaged and her practice is intended to be decolonial in nature. The research she does is transdisciplinary and she aims to uplift strengths-based community narratives and solutions with unique multimedia communication strategies. Her professional and lived experiences contribute to the research she does and guides her work. She learned from complex narratives of justice, histories and cultures in New Mexico through her work as a reporter for the Rio Grande Sun in Española, New Mexico and as a staff photojournalist at the Albuquerque Journal, the state’s newspaper of record. Her recent work is more scholarly, and, sometimes, artistic and poetic in nature. Her creative work appears in web-based interactive projects, gallery shows, archives, unique public installations, and exhibits, in addition to her record of publication in more traditional academic arenas.
Dr. deMaría’s research agenda includes focus on intentional aspects of narrative shift, especially in relationship to health communication; place-based narrative strategies; and environmental justice. She centers photography and oral history as methods to meet community goals. Her lived experiences as well as her own research are deeply rooted in the complex cultures and landscapes of the Southwest and she works to earn the privilege to conduct research in the region for the benefit and wellbeing of all living things connected to this landscape. Her lived experience as a Chicana woman and creator influence all aspects of her research and teaching.


Dr. deMaría teaches field-based, experiential courses that offer students opportunities to be creative and develop multimedia production capacities within the context of community and environment. She has more than fifteen years teaching experience at the University of New Mexico. She developed three field-based courses on community engagement, which are all successful collaborations of community and student-centered learning. She offers students real-world knowledge based on her experiences as a journalist, which was not only an experience in storytelling, but also a first-hand education with the landscape, politics and cultures in the Southwest region. Students value her ability to guide them in their navigation of cultural landscapes in New Mexico. She has also been successful teaching graduate level courses on digital media, on place, space and culture, on intercultural communication and qualitative methods and analysis. She encourages critical thinking and supports students in enhancing their ability to articulate and understand culture and environment. She challenges students to enlighten themselves by reaching for ways to make their education useful to their future goals and successes within the communities that surround them.


Dr. deMaría is a community engaged researcher and photojournalist with social and cultural ties to New Mexico communities. Her research and creative projects aim to uplift community-based stories and Indigenous land-based methods as the foundation for understanding. She was honored with the 2023 and 2018 University of New Mexico Sarah Belle Brown Faculty Community Service Award, which recognizes her outstanding service to communities in New Mexico. She is optimistic about opportunities to further develop field schools and service learning courses based in local communities. She believes that service to the community is an essential part of education and she is hopeful about providing more opportunities for students to serve local communities.