The 2018 Harron Family Endowed Chair in Communication

We are pleased to welcome Heidi Campbell, PhD, as our 2018 Harron Chair.  

Heidi Campbell is the 2018 Harron Family Endowed Chair

Heidi Campbell, PhD, is a professor of Communication and affiliate faculty in Religious Studies at Texas A&M University, where she teaches in media studies, popular culture and religion. She earned her doctorate from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and her research focuses on religion and new media and the influence of digital and mobile technologies on religious communities. She also directs the Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies.

Her work has appeared in more than 90 publications including the Journal of the American Academy of ReligionNew Media and SocietyJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication and Journal of Contemporary Religion. She is author of Exploring Religious Community Online (Peter Lang, 2005), When Religion Meets New Media (Routledge 2010) and co-author of Networked Theology (Baker Academic 2016). She is editor of Digital Religion: Understanding Religious Practice in New Media World (Routledge 2013), co-editor of A Science and Religion Primer (Baker Academic, 2009) and Playing with Religion in Video Games (University of Indiana Press, 2014), and editor of Routledge’s Studies in Religion and Digital Culture book series.

Dr. Campbell has held research fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Studies-Durham University (UK), Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research-TAMU, Caesarea Rothschild Institute for Interdisciplinary Applications of Computer Science-University of Haifa (Israel), Institute for the Advanced Studies-University of Edinburgh (UK) and Wycliffe Hall-Oxford University (UK). She has also received the Religious Communication Association Scholar of the Year Award, the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies Junior Scholars Award and TAMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence Transformational Teaching Award. Heidi has been widely quoted as an expert on religion and the internet in media outlets including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles TimesHouston Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and on PBS’s Religion & Ethics NewsweeklyAustralian ABC Radio and the BBC Radio World Service.


The Harron Family Endowed Chair in Communication is a yearly visiting position during the fall semester. Previous scholars holding the position are Dr. Raka Shome, Dr. Yves Winkin, Dr. Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Dr. Raymie McKerrow, Dr. Lance Strate, and Dr. Bruce Henderson.


The Harron family has been associated with the field of communication since the turn of the twenty-first century. Through the endowment of scholarships for students demonstrating academic achievement and financial need and support of the University’s highly regarded One Book Villanova program, the Harron family has also been a leader in philanthropic efforts at Villanova University.  The Harron Family Endowed Chair in Communication honors the Harron family's accomplishments in the field of communication, their philanthropic legacy, and the Department's commitment to excellence in communication education, scholarship, and practice.