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Divya McMillin, Ph.D.

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International Communication and Cultural Studies
Indiana University Bloomington


Professor, Global Media Studies, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Global Engagement

Divya C. McMillin (PhD 1998, International Communication and Cultural Studies, Indiana University Bloomington; Innovation Masters Certificate 2019, Stanford University), is a leading scholar of global media studies and practitioner of participatory design and design thinking. She holds affiliate teaching appointments in the UW Seattle Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies South Asia Center and Center for Global Studies. She is Guest Lecturer in the London School of Economics. McMillin began her career in print (The Times of India) and broadcast journalism (All India Radio and National Public Radio). In her spare time, she enjoys playing bass and traveling the world.  


McMillin’s research on the impact of satellite television on audiences and the television format industry across the world, have led to three critically acclaimed books, International Media Studies (Wiley 2007), Mediated Identities: Youth, Agency, and Globalization (Peter Lang, 2009), and the anthology Place, Power, Media (Peter Lang, 2018). Her participatory design methodologies and her analyses of global cities, soft power, and the social impact of convergence technologies, are widely published in top tiered journals and anthologies, meriting her Top Paper Awards from the International Communication Association, and marking her as a postcolonial scholar who has shaped the field of International Cultural Studies. She is the only faculty at UW Tacoma to receive all three honors in research, teaching, and community engagement with a Distinguished Research Award (2012), Distinguished Teaching Award (2017), and Community Engagement Legacy Award (2021).

McMillin has taught across the undergraduate and graduate curriculum with courses on global media studies, media analysis and criticism, design thinking, and participatory design methodologies.


Divya McMillin has been featured as The Builder and Innovator for founding the Communication major (2000), the Global Honors Program Minors in Global Engagement (2011) and Innovation and Design, the Global Innovation and Design (GID) Lab (2018), and the Institute for Innovation and Global Engagement (2014, 2020).


Divya McMillin oversees the Global Innovation and Design Lab and is lead facilitator for innovation and design thinking workshops. Clients include the City of Tacoma, Economic Development Board of Pierce County, Tacoma Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Pierce County, Washington Student Achievement Council, Multicultural Child and Family Hope Center, Institute for Black Justice, Pacific Lutheran University, South Sound Together, Titus Will, Zenith West Gymnastics, and various units across the University of Washington Tacoma including the Office of the Chancellor. Please read here for a news feature on the Global Innovation and Design Lab, and below for:

McMillin has consulted on the global gig economy and outsourcing for Russell Investments, Siemens, and Philips. Most recently she created the Innovate Tacoma series through the Global Innovation and Design Lab, to assist organizations through the interrelated challenges of COVID-19, economic hardship, and systemic racism. McMillin has also served as consultant on global curriculum design and global civic engagement for the National Collegiate Honors Council and the Global Division of the American Association of Colleges and Universities. She is a reviewer for various international academic journals and book publishers.


McMillin is a sought-after speaker with invited presentations including the Founders Festival (2023), World Affairs Council of Tacoma (2023), South Puget Sound Research Forum (2022), Robert Pockrass Lecture at Penn State (2013), Prix Jeunesse International Festival (Munich, 2010), Fifth World Summit on Media for Children (Johannesburg, 2007), and Boston University Symposium on Globalized Television (2004). She is a regular presenter on the international circuit, at such conferences as the International Communication Association Conference, Australia/New Zealand Communication Association Conference, Geomedia Conference, International Conference on Technology, Knowledge, and Society; and the International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation.