B.S. Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Rural Sociology and Applied Economics and Management (cum laude)
M.A. University of California, Los Angeles, Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences
Pilar McKay, Ph.D. is a full-time professor of Public Communication. Trained as a social research methodologist, she worked in advertising and public opinion polling prior to teaching at SOC at American University. She has worked in communication research for clients in automotive, public health, higher education, social cause, water conservation, and business-to-business industries. Prof. McKay has a background in mixed-methods and has worked on both qualitative and quantitative research project in the private sector.
Prior academic research focused on studying the General Education Development (GED) preparation process through ethnography, auto-ethnography, and in-depth interviewing. Current research interests include how mass media influences how people think about their communities. She also has taught as an adjunct at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.