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College of Information and Communications

Faculty and Staff

Andrea Hickerson, Ph.D.

Title: Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Associate Dean, College of Information and Communications
College of Information and Communications
Phone: 803-777-4979
Fax: 803-777-4103
Office: School of Journalism and Mass Communications
800 Sumter Street, Room 322B
Columbia, SC 29208
Resources: Deepfake Project
Dr. Andrea Hickerson


B.A., Journalism and International Relations, Syracuse University
M.A., Journalism, University of Texas at Austin
M.A., Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Ph.D., Communication, University of Washington


Prior to joining UofSC, Dr. Andrea Hickerson was the director of the School of Communication at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. A foundational faculty member in the journalism program, she distinguished herself by building interdisciplinary and community partnerships and by obtaining external funding.


Hickerson conducts research on journalism routines, with emphasis on the use of technology, and political communication, particularly in transnational and immigrant communities.

Funded Research

The Ethics and Governance in AI Initiative, a joint project from MIT Media Lab and Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, 2019. Co-PI on an interdisciplinary team led by Dr. Matt Wright at RIT developing a tool for journalists to detect deepfakes. $100,000

NSF I-Corps National Science Foundation, 2017-2018. Principal Investigator on an interdisciplinary RIT team in a national cohort of researchers learning how to take products to market.  $50,000

John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, 2013 -2016. Co-PI with Dr. Vic Perotti, Saunders College of Business, RIT, establishing a digital journalism incubator. $148,171

John S. & James L. Knight Foundation,  Presidential Grant, 2011. Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Vic Perotti, Saunders College of Business, RIT, building a journalistic experiment in live event coverage designed for mobile devices and interactive billboards. $155,000


Hickerson's teaching and research are informed by the American philosopher John Dewey. Dewey argued that an informed citizenry is a necessary prerequisite for a functional democracy. Like Dewey, Hickerson is a proponent of learning by doing. During her career she has regularly taught newswriting courses and co-taught with colleagues in business and computing. 

Recent Publications

Chintha, A., Thai, B., Sohrawardi, S. J., Bhatt, K., Hickerson, A., Wright, M., and Ptucha, R. (2020). “Recurrent convolutional structures for audio spoof and video deepfake detection.” EEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing. doi:10.1109/JSTSP.2020.2999185.

Kothari, A. and Hickerson, A. (forthcoming, 2020). “Challenges for journalism education in the era of automation.” Journal of Media Practice and Education.

Dunsmore, K. & Hickerson, A. (forthcoming, 2020).  “Refugees and national identity in letters to the editor.” International Journal of Communication.

Hickerson, A. & Elahi, B. (2019). Journalist memoirs and the Iranian diaspora: Truth, professional ethics, and objectivity between political and personal narratives. Iran Namag, 3(4),

Hickerson, A. (2018). Convergence through conflict: A case-study of a U.S. Spanish-language publication’s efforts to grow a national audience. Crossing: Journal of Migration and Culture, 9(1), 13-27.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.