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Valerie Kretz
valerie kretz

Valerie Kretz

Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies
Communication + Media Studies920-403-2906

Valerie Kretz teaches courses across the media studies curriculum in her role as an associate professor of communication and media studies at St. Norbert College. She encourages students to create and analyze media messages in light of relevant research. She also aims to help students explore their own personal and professional interests. Kretz was a strategic communications professional for many years prior to earning her doctorate, and those experiences inform her college teaching and advising.

Leveraging her passion for media psychology, Kretz's scholarship lies at the intersection of media and personal relationships. She uses social scientific methods (both quantitative and qualitative) to explore two primary subjects: 1) media and romantic relationships, and 2) parasocial relationships. Her work has focused on topics such as fans' responses to the death of a beloved television character, how movie and television viewing are associated with beliefs about romance and why people watch romantic movies.

Kretz also enjoys collaborating with students on research projects and often supervises independent study and directed research courses.

  • COME 124 Mass Media
  • COME 316 Intimate Relationships and Media
  • COME 317 Netflix: Disruptive Entertainment
  • COME 352 Media Psychology
  • COME 468 Media Studies Capstone

  • B.S. – Drury University
  • M.A. – Marquette University
  • Ph.D. – University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Media psychology
  • Media and romantic relationships
  • Parasocial relationships

Kretz, V. E. (2024). “It’s a fun escape from reality”: Why viewers watch Hallmark romance movies. In Carlen Lavigne (Ed.), Countdown to Hallmark. Routledge.

Hefner, V. & Kretz, V. E. (2021). Does the glass slipper fit? The links between viewing Disney princess films and endorsement of romantic beliefs, relationship contingent self-esteem, and traditional courtship attitudes. Journal of Media Psychology, 33(3), 125-133. https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-1105/a000290 

Kretz, V. E. (2020). McDreamy is McDead: Fan responses to a parasocial breakup. Journal of Fandom Studies, 8(2), 147-163. https://doi.org/10.1386/jfs_00014_1 

Kretz, V. E. (2020). Who feels all the feels? Individual differences in emotional responses to and enjoyment of romantic relationship depictions. Iowa Journal of Communication, 52(2).

Kretz, V. E. (2020). Social comparison theory. In J. Van den Bulck (Ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology. Wiley-Blackwell.

Kretz, V. E. (2019). Television and movie viewing predict adults’ romantic ideals and relationship satisfaction. Communication Studies, 70(2), 208-234. https://doi.org/10.1080/10510974.2019.1595692