Noel McGuire, Ph.D.

Insights Whiz

Costa Mesa, CA

Noel brought her gifts to Smarty Pants in early 2024. As an Insights Whiz, she leverages her talents in both qualitative and quantitative methods to perform primary and secondary research for clients across a myriad of industries – namely, toys & games, wellness and entertainment.

Though she has expertise across a variety of disciplines – including family and interpersonal communication, media studies and organizational management – Noel’s true passion is exploring how kids, teens and parents interpret and utilize stories to understand themselves and the world around them. Accordingly, she applies her skills in narrative analysis and message design to create insights and deliverables for clients interested in learning more about the power of storytelling.


In her past life, Noel served as Digital Content Manager at the Hollywood Compassion Coalition, a non-profit that strives to demonstrate how television and film content impacts the world. Her primary responsibility was to translate positive media psychology and health communication scholarship into short articles that inform content creators, producers, executives and talent about the emotional, cognitive and behavioral influences their art has on viewers and communities.

Additionally, Noel held a leadership role within the Development and Communication team at Asian Health Services, a non-profit organization based in the San Francisco Bay area which provides health, social and advocacy services to underserved Asian communities in over 15 languages. In her position, she trained and supervised the team’s interns, led the organization’s fundraising efforts and played an active role in stakeholder relations.

Noel is also a savvy educator who refined her skills while teaching undergraduates at Chapman University. As an instructor, she created and implemented course syllabi across a myriad of topics, including mass communication, intercultural communication and business communication.


Before joining Smarty Pants, Noel earned her Ph.D. in Media and Communication Technology at Chapman University. During her time as a graduate student, she designed and executed a rigorous research agenda centered around one goal: to understand how media and digital technologies impact families, young people and the communities in which they live. Using a multiphase, mixed-method design, her dissertation investigated how media narratives have become an integral source for identity negotiation. Noel’s theory-driven approach contributed to a growing and exciting area of research on how media engagement can foster well-being among stigmatized and seldom represented demographics.

Noel (aka Dr. McGuire) also holds a master’s degree in Health Communication and a bachelor’s degree in Strategic and Corporate Communication from Chapman University. Talk about Panther pride!


Noel resides in Orange County with her crazy orange cat, Goose (yes, like Top Gun). When she isn’t conducting research or spoiling her fur baby, she can be found hiking and rock climbing her way across southern California – despite her strong distaste for bugs. On the rare occasions when the weather is unfit for outdoor adventures, Noel spends her time reading, baking and playing Teamfight Tactics.

Fun Facts

  • Has a knack for learning song lyrics after hearing a song only a few times
  • Is convinced that she was a red panda in another life since she shares their love of warm weather, naps and eating grapes
  • Loves to travel and can be frequently found in Japan
  • Is not allowed to volunteer at the pet shelter because she would bring all the animals home