Tori Smith Ekstrand has worked at Carolina for more than 10 years in a variety of roles, most recently as the Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Distinguished Professor for Graduate Education, in which she helps to lead the Royster Society of Fellows. She is an associate professor in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, where she teaches media law and the First Amendment.
UNC Research caught up with Ekstrand as part of their “Rooted” series, which interviews long-standing members of the Carolina community who are experts in their field.
Ekstrand originally came to Chapel Hill as a doctoral student in the 1990s. After receiving her doctorate, she became an assistant professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, before returning to UNC as faculty in 2011.
“I’ve been able to see what Carolina produces as both a former student and now a faculty member and administrator,” said Ekstrand. “I’ve watched my Carolina graduate school cohort become accomplished scholars and administrators in so many institutions across the U.S. and the world. And now, watching the lifecycle of a Carolina-student-turned-scholar is an amazing transformation. I feel so lucky to be a part of that every day I’m here.”