PhD in Cultural Studies

Felicia L. Carr, 2003

Felicia L.  Carr

Felicia Carr is a born communicator. One of her earliest memories is sitting at her little desk writing pretend stories on a piece of paper with a popsicle stick. She took that early love of storytelling into a career in communications and marketing with a focus on non-profits, advocacy organizations, and higher education.  

Carr designed her first website for the Film and Media Studies program at Mason in 1996. She has been hooked ever since on connecting people and social advocacy organizations through technology. Working in the D.C. advocacy space for nearly 30 years on a variety of causes, she provided strategic communications advice, built digital platforms, and wrote the stories and calls to action to mobilize members and supporters.  

At the National Parks Conservation Association, she and her team grew the base of individual online supporters and activists from 36,000 to 700,000 and increased yearly online donations from $75,000 to $1.2 million. At the American Council on Education, she and her team launched a new digital tool so higher education leaders could urge Congress to support DACA and the Dreamers. Additionally, Carr created the communications plan for a national campaign—Moving the Needle,—which educated senior leaders about the value of women in senior leadership roles on campus.  
More recently Carr came back to the home of her PhD program, George Mason’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) and served as the assistant dean of marketing and strategic communication. She supported Dean Ann Ardis in her goals of ensuring our community understands the value of a degree from CHSS and supporting our faculty and staff in their work.  

Now retired from her full-time job, Carr has moved into the classroom, excited to allow the passions that brought her to the university in the first place—teaching, advocacy, and research—to flourish again and to pay it forward to the next generation of students by introducing them to digital literacy. 

All of these contributions were made possible by her education. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in English at George Mason University. Her passion for social justice, and a desire to make change in the world, brought her back to Mason again to earn her PhD in Cultural Studies in the program’s inaugural class.  

She is grateful to all who assisted her along the way, but is particularly thankful to her husband, Chet, and her doctoral committee members, Barbara Melosh (chair), Katrina Irving, and Lawrence Levine, for their support, guidance, and tough love. Her committee, along with the faculty of the Cultural Studies program, changed her life and launched her career.