Lionnell "Badu" Smith

PhD Student

Office Hours
Contact for office hours or appointments
Lionnell Smith


Lionnell "Badu" Smith is an award-winning educator with nearly 10 years of experience in the classroom. He is a Fulbright-Hays Scholar and the 2018 recipient of the Monica Pombo Early Career Teaching Award. His research focuses on two areas of communication scholarship: a) critical intercultural communication studies with particular emphasis on language, race, and identity; and b) critical [communication] pedagogy. Using critical qualitative methods, Badu aims to address the cultural and linguistic hegemony that exists in academic discourse communities and the systems of power in education that oppress African American faculty and students. Drawing on the works Paulo Freire, Joyce King, Molefi K. Asante, and many others, Badu's research on critical [communication] pedagogy advocates for a fair and equitable curriculum of [communication] instruction in which students are exposed to a diversity of voices, especially those on the margins. Badu is a critical/(inter)cultural communication educator and scholar who has published in Departures in Critical Qualitative Research (DCQR) and Listening: Journal of Communication Ethics, Religion, and Culture. He is an active member of the Carolinas Communication Association, the Southern States Communication Association, and the National Communication Association where he has presented several peer-reviewed papers and has presented on a number of discussion panels. Badu earned his bachelors in Mass Communication from Voorhees College and his masters in Communication Studies from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He is currently student at the University of Memphis in the Department of Communication and Film pursuing the PhD in Communication Studies under the advisement of Dr. Andre Johnson.


Ph.D. in Communication Studies The University of Memphis, (In Progress)
M.A. in Communication Studies The University of Louisiana at Monroe, 2011
B.S. in Mass Communication Voorhees College, 2010