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Stef Woods

Professorial Lecturer Critical Race, Gender and Culture Studies Collaborative

Additional Positions at AU

  • Professorial Lecturer, American Studies
  • Co-Chair, Faculty Senate Committee on Information Services
  • Online Learning Leadership Council
Stef Woods is a full-time faculty member with the American Studies Program at American University. She specializes in social media, American popular culture, sexuality, nonprofits, and activism.

Stef has been featured in numerous print and online publications, including The Daily Beast,, Fast Company, Associated Press,, Cosmopolitan,, Washingtonian,, and USA TODAY College. She was interviewed for her 50 Shades Trilogy and Hunger Games curricula by MSNBC, WTOP, and FOX 5 DC. Her courses also have been highlighted by The New York Times' Education Life section, Entertainment Weekly magazine, Buzzfeed and Business Insider. Stef was profiled as a breast cancer survivor in Women's Health and On Health magazines, and on WebMD and

In 2015, she lectured on politics, class and marketing in The Hunger Games at The Smithsonian. She followed up that program with 2016 and 2017 talks at the Smithsonian on politics and ethics in House of Cards. Stef is a frequent panelist on nonprofits, branding, activism, health and social media.

Stef received the Dean's Award for Exceptional Innovation in Teaching in 2016. She serves on the Provost's Online Learning Leadership Council and as co-chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on Information Services. In 2012, she received the AU Jack Child Teaching with Technology Award.

Prior to teaching, Stef practiced immigration law with a focus on deportation, U-visa and VAWA cases. She writes about motherhood and health on her website, Stef’s most important role is as a mom to her four-year-old daughter, Roya.


BA (Political Science/English): Wellesley College; MALS (International Affairs): Georgetown University; JD: American University

Favorite Spot on Campus

Download Resume (PDF)

CAS - Critical RGC Studies
Battelle Tompkins - T-18
M & Th 2:15p-5:15p
Contact Info

Send email to Stef Woods

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.
See Also

Partnerships & Affiliations

  • Maryland State Bar Association


  • St. Jude Heart of Fashion


  • American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT)

    Supporting Member


  • Spring 2018

    • AMST-330 Contemporary American Culture: Politics, TV Series & Ethics
    • Description
    • AMST-340 Commun Activism & Regional Std: Sexuality and Social Media
    • Description
  • Fall 2018

    • AMST-330 Contemporary American Culture: The Shonda Rhimes Experience
    • Description
    • CORE-107 Complex Problems Seminar: Social Media for Social Good
    • Description

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

Summer Scholars and Artists Undergraduate Research Fellowship Faculty Mentor, 2017

College Dean's Award for Exceptional Innovation, 2016

Jack Child Teaching with Technology Award, 2012

Selected Publications

"Sexuality and Social Media." Essay in Momentum, Making Waves in Sexuality, Feminism and Relationships, edited by Tess Danesi, Dee Dennis and Inara Luna, 2012. Electronic

"Remedying the Flaws of the Temporary Protected Status Program," Writing Across The Curriculum, Volume V, Georgetown University, 297-311.  


Media Appearances


"US Adults See a Better Year Ahead in 2018," by Anna Gronewold, Morning Consult

"CVS's Megadeal to Change US Health Care Faces Stiff Challenges," by Zach Tracer, Bloomberg.

"Snapchat Tops Facebook as Teens' Number One Choice for Social Media," by Arash Arabasadi, Voice of America.

"How Surviving Breast Cancer Changed One Woman's Dating Life," by Maria Del Russo, Refinery29.

"Early Symptoms of Breast Cancer from Women Who Experienced Them," by Jessica Migala,

"When Is Love Not Enough?" by Suzannah Weiss, Bustle.

"12 Ways to Spice Up Your Relationship," by Julia Malacoff, Best Life.

"With Drama in Washington, TV Shows Find It Hard to Compete," by Story Hinckley, Christian Science Monitor. 

"11 Etiquette Rules You Need for Dealing with Death on Social Media," by Kimberly Hiss, Reader's Digest.

Refer to above CV for full list of press and interviews.

Grants and Sponsored Research

AU Open Educational Resources Course Redesign Grant, 2015

AU Online Course Development Grant, 2012

Professional Presentations

2017 Off-Campus

Lecture, "Popular Culture in the 1920s." Sponsored by The Center for Civic Leadership and Responsibility, Camden County College, Camden, New Jersey.

Lecture, "FDA Proposed Social Media Guidelines." Sponsored by the Graduate School of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Lecture, "Law, Race and Identity in Orange Is The New Black." Sponsored by the Women in the Law Program, Washington College of Law, Washington, DC.

Panel, "Social Media, Storytelling and Political Activism." Sponsored by New Story Leadership, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC. 

Panel, "Grassroots Advocacy: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." Sponsored by OneVoice, George Washington University, Washington, DC. 

Lecture, "House of Cards: Part II." Sponsored by The Smithsonian Associates, Washington, DC.

Refer to above CV for full list of presentations.

AU Expert

Area of Expertise:

American Studies, social media, pop culture

Additional Information:

Stef Woods specializes in social media, American popular culture, sexuality, nonprofits, and activism. Stef writes about relationships, sexual health, motherhood and breast cancer on her website, Prior to starting her blog, she practiced law for an immigration legal services organization.

Media Relations
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.