Laura Ruel teaches multimedia journalism in the visual communication sequence at UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Before coming to UNC in July of 2004, she was the inaugural executive director of the Edward W. Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media, an educational organization in the School of Communication at the University of Denver. She is coordinator of the SND.ies, the Society for News Design's Best of Multimedia Design competition. She also is a project leader for the Poynter Institute's Eyetrack III research, a study that examines online news consumer behavior in the age of multimedia.
Before joining the academic world in Fall of 2000, she worked for more than 15 years in the journalism industry as a reporter, editor,
designer and manager at a number of newspapers and magazines including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Omaha World-Herald and the Denver Rocky Mountain News. Laura has taught journalism at the University of Denver, Creighton University and the University of Maine, and was part of a faculty team who trained the Web staff of China's Guangzhou Daily News Group in 2001. She is a board member and a regular speaker for the Society for News Design. She is the recipient of local, state and national awards for her reporting and design work. Her research interests include examining user behavior and cognitive processes in the age of multimedia journalism. She also has studied ethical implications of new technologies in the field of journalism.