Avery E. Holton
  • Executive Committee, Communication
  • Co-Research Coordinator, Center for Excellence in ELSI Research
  • Student Media Advisor, Communication
  • Associate Chair, Communication
  • Assistant Professor, Communication
  • Associate Professor, Communication
  • Humanities Scholar, College Of Humanities


  • Doctor of Philosophy, College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin (William Powers Fellow)
  • Doctoral Certification, Disabilities Studies (Texas Center for Disabilities Studies), The University of Texas at Austin


Avery is an Associate Chair in the Department of Communication, where his research navigates the intersections of digital and social media, news and information, and constructs of health, identity, and ability. He also serves as the University's Student Media Advisor and is an appointed Humanities Scholar, working with first year students as they transition from high school into Humanities courses at the University. He also serves as a Research Co-Coordinator for the University of Utah's Center for Excellence in Ethical, Legal, Social Implications Research (UCEER), which is currently funded by a $4.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.


He makes his home in Salt Lake City with his wife, Katy, who is the director of a national trade education program, and their rescue dogs, Dezi and Roark.


Avery was selected in 2018-2020 as a Vice President's Clinical and Translational Research Scholar for his work in the areas of journalism, social media, and health communication. He concurrently served as the Undergraduate Journalism Sequence Coordinator in the Department of Communication and additionally served as a Digital Journalism Research Fellow with Oslo Metropolitan University in 2019.


He was named a 2018 National Humanities Center Fellow for his work in the area of genetic information and its translation into digital and social media. This work is part of a larger collaborative project run through UCEER, which has been supported by two multi-million dollar grants  ($3.8 million for 2017-2020 and $4.1 million for 2021-2024) from the National Institutes of Health and the National Human Genome Research Institute.


His research has appeared in more than 80 journal articles and book chapters and has been published in Communication Theory, Mass Communication & Society, Journalism Studies, and Health Communication, among others, helping him earn Faculty Researcher of the Year in 2014 and the 2018 Rising Star in the Humanities Award.


Avery's courses focus on digital and social media, innovative technology, and Journalism. He previously collaborated on an H2 Honors Fellowship, helping construct and teach courses in the University of Utah's Honor College. He again served the Honors College in 2019-2020, serving as a co-instructor for an Honors Praxis Lab focused on misinformation and society.


He joined the Department of Communication faculty in 2013 after completing his doctoral dissertation as a William Powers Fellow in the College of Communication at the University of Texas Austin. In additonal to his PhD, he also received a Doctoral Certification for his work on disabilities studies.


Avery is a former journalist (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram) and communications specialist (Houston Astros organization).