Valica has a professional background in both journalism and marketing communication.
She has worked as a news writer and photojournalist for a variety of news publications, including the Associated Press in Minneapolis, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and the Grand Rapids Press in Michigan. She also covered news in northern Michigan for The Detroit Free Press, Associated Press and The Detroit News. Additionally, she covered local government and wrote editorials for the alternative newspaper, The Icon.
She has also worked in marketing communication in the healthcare setting, and in higher education. She did many things in her marketing communication jobs; publication design, media relations, strategic planning, event planning, and writing and photographing for a variety of marketing collateral material and trade publications.
As a researcher, Valica is interested in cultural communication and media representation of cultural values. She researches communication methods that facilitate genuine diversity in communication, which encompasses varied perspectives in areas such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and religion. She also researches media coverage of suicide and mental illness, and where they intersect with cultural values.
B.A. University of Minnesota—Double Emphasis News Editorial/Visual Communication
M.A. University of Iowa—Journalism
Ph.D. University of North Dakota—Communication and Public Discourse