Graduate Alumni Profiles




Monica Cornejo

Assistant Professor in Interpersonal Communication in the Department of Communication at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Dr. Cornejo’s research uses qualitative and quantitative methodologies to examine the structural barriers that lead to inequities among undocumented immigrants, how undocumented immigrants draw on communication identity management and advocacy strategies to challenge those barriers, and how those strategies relate to undocumented immigrants’ health and wellbeing.

Her research has been published in leading journals in the field of Communication such as Journal of Communication, Health Communication, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and Journal of Applied Communication Research. In addition to publishing in flagship and top tier journals in and outside the field of Communication (e.g., Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology), Dr. Cornejo has received a top paper award from the Interpersonal Communication Division at the International Communication Association and another one from the Health Communication Division at the National Communication Association. As a doctoral student, Dr. Cornejo received 12 different funding opportunities (e.g., grants, scholarships, fellowships), totaling $104,000.

Matt Giles

LEW Zi Jian

Assistant Professor, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Dr. Lew Zi Jian (Zijian) is an assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Among other areas, his research deals with self-effects via social media, or how the sending of messages can influence the message senders themselves.

Debora D. Pérez Torres

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, California State University, San Bernardino

Dr. Debora Pérez Torres (She/Her/Ella) is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the California State University, San Bernardino. She holds a BA in Journalism and Media Studies from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), an M.A. in Communication from the University of Utah, and a PhD from UCSB. Her research focuses on emotion, social identity, and media effects, particularly in the context of minority populations, namely Latinos. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Applied Communication Research, Health Communication, and Media Psychology. She teaches courses on strategic communication, media effects, global communication, organizational communication, and research methods. She lives in Oakland with her marvelous husband Dr. Ben K. Smith and delightful daughter Olivia J. Smith.


Camille G. Endacott

Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina Charlotte

Camille received her Ph.D. from the Department of Communication in 2021. She is currently an assistant professor in communication studies and organizational science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research focuses on how people construct their identities at work, especially with and around emerging technologies. She primarily uses qualitative and field-based research methods. Dr. Endacott has published her research in outlets such as Communication Research, Management Communication Quarterly, and Communication Studies. Her work has received recognition from the Academy of Management, International Communication Association, the National Communication Association, and the Western States Communication Association. She and co-author Paul Leonardi won a top student-led paper award at the OCIS division of the Academy of Management for "Identity-Based Motivations for Providing the Unpaid Labor That Makes AI Technologies Work”.

Afsoon Hansia

Researcher, OMNI Institute, Denver, CO

Afsoon currently works as a researcher at the OMNI Institute, a public health consultancy agency based in Denver, Colorado. Her research focus revolves primarily around community health and behavioral health areas, supporting projects that revolve around HIV prevention and evaluation, substance use treatment programs, and homelessness through her expertise in quantitative data analysis. Afsoon has long been interested in public health issues, focusing on the cognitive triggers of intimate partner violence for her dissertation.

Frederic Hopp

Assistant Professor, Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Frederic is currently Assistant Professor in the Amsterdam School of Communication Research at the University of Amsterdam. His research leverages brain imaging, computational methods, and behavioral experiments to investigate how humans create, process, and respond to moralized messages. Frederic’s research has appeared in Journal of CommunicationCommunication Monographs, Behavior Research Methods, and other top journals in communication, media, and psychology research.

Gavin Kirkwood

Technology Consultant

Gavin is based out of the Washington Metro Area (WMA) and researches the impact of emerging technologies for a variety of stakeholders. Gavin has special expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), algorithmic managers, and exoskeletons designed for industrial and manufacturing industries. His work can be found in publications including Frontiers in Psychology, Communication and Social Media, and Communication Studies.

Chelsea Lonergan

Chelsea’s main research interests are in Media Neuroscience, Media Effects, Video Games, Sex and Gender. Her undergraduate research focused on the video game preferences of females in relation to their spatial ability as well as the video games’ gender themes and spatial demands.

Roselia Mendez Murillo

Assistant Professor, University of Texas, Austin

Roselia conducts culturally-grounded, communication research that can enhance minoritized communities’ academic, relational, and mental wellbeing. She has studied the ways in which family members and mono-English speakers communicate support to Latinx language brokers. She is also further exploring the experiences of separated Latinx immigrant families who have undergone stepwise migration. Ultimately, her goal is to uncover assets and resources at multiple levels (e.g., intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, institutional, and policy) that can reduce academic and health inequities among Latinx communities in the United States.

Yoo Ri Yang

Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Technology Management Program at UCSB

Before coming to UCSB for her MA and PhD, Yoori earned her Bachelor's Degree in Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania, and worked as a market researcher/analyst in the marketing department of IBM in Seoul, South Korea. Her research primarily focuses on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the context of globalization and digital ubiquity. Specifically, her interests are in understanding institutions and pressures created by global civil society organizations and NGOs that shape global CSR practices in multi-national corporations and correct corporate irresponsibility. By integrating institutional perspective, she explores communicative practices of civil societies and NGOs in their digital networks, to develop macro-level understanding of how CSR is enacted and practiced transnationally. Many of her research address issues in South Korean context. Her other interests are social movements, collective action and connective action in digital social media.


Jacob T. Fisher

Assistant Professor, College of Media, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Jacob Fisher received his Ph.D. from the Department of Communication in 2020 (M.A. Texas Tech University). He is currently an Assistant Professor in the College of Media at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His research leverages brain imaging, computational methods, and behavioral experiments to investigate how the design of digital technologies influences our attention and self-control. Jacob’s research has appeared in Journal of Communication, Communication Monographs, Behavior Research Methods, and other top journals in communication, media, and psychology research.


Avigail McClelland-Cohen

Social Science & Humanities Teacher, The Buckley School - Los Angeles, California

Avi McClelland-Cohen’s research focused on organizational communication in the realm of grassroots political organizing. Specific topics included the communicative constitution of constituent-based civic organizations and the negotiation of shared identities among networked groups of social movement activists. While at UCSB she taught a range of classes in Communication and Writing and mentored a team of undergraduate research assistants. Her research team presented multiple conference papers and won a Top Student Paper Award at the National Communication Association in 2019 for a student-led project. Avi is now pursuing her passion for teaching as a Social Science and Humanities teacher at The Buckley School, a college preparatory school in Los Angeles.

Spencer Nicholls

Content Producer (Technology), LinkedIn Learning - Carpinteria, California

Spencer Nicholls currently works as a Content Producer in the technology library at LinkedIn Learning ( He works with instructors and subject matter experts to help take their expertise and translate it into high-quality, instructionally sound, and engaging videos that allow individuals build their understanding of technology, data science, security, and other systems through LinkedIn’s online learning platform.

Rachyl Pines

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biomedical Innovation for the Transplant Education and Resource Center - Los Angeles, California

Rachyl Pines is a Research Scientist at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. After completing her PhD in Communication from University of California, Santa Barbara, she completed a postdoctoral research fellowship with the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation and University of California, Los Angeles under the direction of Dr. Amy Waterman. Rachyl conducts research in behavioral health, population health, pediatrics, and communication topic areas to improve patient education and care. Rachyl serves as an executive officer for the Intergroup Communication Interest Group for the International Communication Association, and for the International Association of Language and Social Psychology. 

Jiyoung Suh


Quinten Bernhold

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Quinten Bernhold received his Ph.D. from UCSB's Department of Communication in 2019. Broadly, his research focuses on family communication, intergenerational communication, and health communication. More specifically, he is interested in the ways in which older adults might optimize their successful aging through their interactions with a variety of relational partners, including romantic partners, children, and grandchildren.

Kathryn Harrison

User Experience Researcher, Blizzard Entertainment

Kathryn Harrison is a User Experience Researcher for the Corporate Applications team at Blizzard Entertainment. She works with a variety of teams to ensure that the company's internal tools work well for employees so that they can continue to create the amazing products that Blizzard is so well known for. Her team leads company-wide initiatives, aims to be a force for positive change, and directly impacts all employees by supporting them in the quest to deliver epic games. 

David Stamps

Assistant Professor, Manship School of Mass Communication Louisiana State University

David Stamps received his Ph.D. in the Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2018 and his M.A. from California State University, Northridge in 2016. His research focuses on representations of marginalized groups in mass media and the impact of mass media imagery on audience members. David’s research appears in the Howard Journal of Communications, Communication Quarterly, and The Kentucky Journal of Communication. David has presented at several conferences including the National Communication Association, Broadcast Education Association, and Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture conference. David's published work includes, "The social construction of the African American family on broadcast television: A comparative content analysis of The Cosby Show and Blackish," in Howard Journal of Communication and multiple book chapters on race in media including the forthcoming book chapter titled "My Brother from Another Mother: Black Brotherhood in Martin, The Wayans Bros., and Malcolm & Eddie" in Representations of African American Professionals on TV Series Since the 1990s (McFarland Press). A former public relations/media practitioner and grant writer, he also holds a B.A. from Columbia College Chicago. You can find him on Twitter at @dlsdanz2.

Nicole Zamanzadeh

Nicole Zamanzadeh (she/her/hers) is a User Experience (UX) Survey Methodologist at Facebook. Today, Nicole serves as a survey expert, working with various teams to help Facebook understand people's attitudes, perceptions and sentiment through developing methodologically robust survey instruments. She received both her MA (2016) and PhD (2019) in Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara, focusing at the intersection of stress, family dynamics, and media use and earning an emphasis in Quantitative Methods & Social Sciences (QMSS) for her interests in measure development and validation. Her dissertation funded by the Arthur Rupe Foundation validated an ecological momentary assessment instrument, the Media Multitasking Intensity Questionnaire (MMTIQ), among parents and teenagers, which won ICA's Dordick Dissertation Award in 2020.


Andrea Figueroa Caballero

Assistant Professor, University of Missouri

Abel Gustafson

Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati

Abel received his PhD in Communication from UCSB (2018), his MA from the University of Hawaii (2013), and his BA from the University of Minnesota-Duluth (2011). During his time as a graduate student, his research focused on science communication, environmental communication, persuasion, social influence, cognitive psychology, and public opinion. His dissertation, under the guidance of Dr. Ron Rice, developed a new conceptual structure of distinct types of uncertainty frames in science communication and tested their effects on attitudes and behaviors in topics like climate change and GMO foods. He continues to study how, in many topics, the norms of public science communication and inherent elements of cognitive psychology combine to create persistent barriers between science and the public.

Ben H. Smith

California State University, East Bay



Aubrie Adams

Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Aubrie Adams (Brie) received her PhD from UCSB (2017) and M.A. from Sacramento State University (2013). Brie’s research focuses on the intersection of New Media and Interpersonal Communication with an emphasis in the influence of technology on society.  Her thesis examined student perceptions of teachers utilizing emoticons and her dissertation assessed a digital learning game, VERITAS, which was designed to teach law enforcement officers deception detection skills.  Brie was the recipient of the UCSB GSA Excellence in Teaching Award (2016) and the Dean’s Mentoring Award (2017).  Her research has been featured on 4 separate top-paper panels at regional and national communication conferences.  She has worked as a co-editor for two edited book collections published by Rowman & Littlefield Education: 100 Greatest Video Games Franchises and 100 Greatest Video Game Characters. These collections explore the ways that video game franchises/characters influence how people live and play.  Brie also served as the Chair of the Communication and the Future Division of the National Communication Association.  At Cal Poly, she teaches courses in areas such as Communication Theory and Media Effects.
Becky Robinson Ford

Becky is a research project manager at the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute, the research arm of the county hospital in Minneapolis, MN.  She works with a team researching team working on projects related to equity in access health care, particularly in the context of housing stability and criminal justice involvement. Becky is interested in cross-sector data analysis that can be used inform evidence-based practice in health care and public policy.

Kristin Hocevar

Lecturer in Public Health, University of California at Merced

Kristin Hocevar received her PhD and MA in Communication from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and her BA (magna cum laude) from Connecticut College. She has worked in television, documentary film, and web production for multiple Public Broadcasting Service stations and affiliated organizations, and has also worked in institutional advancement and strategic communication research for the United States Department of Defense. Her current research focuses on online health information sharing, selection, and evaluation, and the social and health implications of the interactions, communities, and pooled information facilitated by the Internet. Kristin teaches classes on the topics of persuasion/behavior change, health communication, health promotion, and digital media/communication technology.

Lauren Keblusek

Lauren is interested in the intersection of evolutionary theory and human communication, with a focus on indirect or social forms of aggression, including gossip. Her dissertation examines conditions under which the perceived juiciness and maliciousness of gossip--along with one's memory for gossip and their likelihood of sharing it with others--might be heightened or reduced. Lauren received a B.A. in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology (with an emphasis in language and cognition) at Washington University in St. Louis and an M.A. in Communication from UCSB. She currently lives in Seattle, WA. 
Samantha Rae Powers
Assistant Professor, Strategic, Legal and Management Communication, Cathy Hughes School of Communications, Howard University
Samantha earned her B.S., M.A., and J.D. at University of Florida and is a licensed attorney in Florida, where she practiced employment law and consumer financial services litigation for seven years prior to her doctoral studies at UCSB.  Her scholarship is interdisciplinary, drawing upon research in organizational, health, and interpersonal communication, as well as organizational psychology and management.  Her research interests include occupational stress and well-being, work-related emotional communication, vocational and organizational socialization, and workplace discrimination in professional institutions and occupations, as well as gender differences in conflict transformation and negotiation.

DaJung "DJ" Woo

Assistant Professor in the School of Communication Studies, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville 

DJ received her PhD in Communication from UCSB, MA from Kansas State University, and BA from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. Broadly, DJ's research interests focus on how people from different groups and organizations can learn to work together successfully despite their differences. Her dissertation examined the ways in which organizations from diverse fields and sectors initiate, maintain, and end collaborative relationships through communication in regional planning processes. At The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, she teaches courses in areas such as Communication Theory and Organizational Communication. 


Kimberly Walsh McDermott

Research Leader, Truven Health Analytics, an IBM Company, Santa Barbara, CA

Kim received her PhD from UCSB (2016) and her MA from UMass Amherst (2012). Broadly, Kim's research interests surround children, adolescents, and the media. During her graduate school career, she studied representations of school bullying in entertainment and news media; implemented and evaluated K-12 media literacy interventions; and conducted experiments related to the effects of stereotypical media depictions. Her dissertation focused on television depictions of illicit drug use. Specifically, the study assessed the role of audience interpretations in predicting attitudes, beliefs, and behavioral intentions related to cocaine. Now, as a health services researcher, Kim applies her background and experience to large-scale research studies for the Federal Government and State agencies.

Richard Huskey

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of California Davis

Richard's research lies at the intersection of media psychology and cognitive neuroscience with a particular focus on understanding how media content influence human cognition and behavior. This emerging research area is known as Media Neuroscience. As a media neuroscientist, Richard adopts a multi-level perspective that understands the mind (and the communication phenomena it enables) as a physical property of the brain. Accordingly, Richard's use of neuroscientific research techniques complements existing measures by providing an additional level of explanation for communication processing and behavior (e.g., sociocultural, individual, biological, chemical, physical). It is from this perspective that Richard's research investigates three core topics: motivation and media engagement, attitude and behavior change, and the influence of moral narratives.


Marko Dragojevic

Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Kentucky

Marko Dragojevic is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky. He studies language and interpersonal/intergroup communication. In particular, his research focuses on the communicative significance of linguistic variation – that is, differences in language use, including the use of different accents, dialects, and languages. His research tries to answer three broad questions: (1) How do we evaluate different language varieties and the speakers who use them? (2) How do those evaluations influence our own and others’ communicative behavior? (3) What are the cognitive and affective processes underlying those effects? He pursues these questions in three related lines of research: language attitudes, linguistic accommodation, and linguistic framing in persuasion.


Theresa de los Santos

Assistant Professor of Communication, Pepperdine University

Theresa is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Pepperdine University in Malibu. Her research interests focus on news effects and emotion. Theresa's dissertation examined how discrete emotions (anger, hope, and fear) influence the selection, processing, and sharing of online news information.

Ryan Fuller

Associate Professor, California State University - Sacramento

Ryan Fuller is Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communication at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. His research interests focus on conflict framing, negotiations, labor unions, and organizational communication.  His doctoral dissertation centered on how entertainment unions frame changes in a disruptive and conflict-ridden industry. He teaches conflict management at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and organizational communication at the graduate level.

Lisa Leombruni

Development Associate, NOVA / WGBH Educational Foundation; Program Manager, UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Lisa works in the NOVA Science Unit to help develop ideas and raise money for new science television programs for PBS; she also oversees research and evaluation studies on NOVA programming. Additionally, she lectures at UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management on strategic environmental communication and media. She received a Master of Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in 2009 and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Brandeis University in 2005.

Justin W. Lipp

Director of the Faculty Center, Sonoma State University

Justin directs the Faculty Center at Sonoma State University, a collaboration between Academic Affairs and Information Technology. The Faculty Center serves as a hub for innovation and support for educational technology, course and program assessment, and faculty development. The Center also supports a variety of internal and external grants in faculty professional development and instructional innovation.

Ryan Medders

Assistant Professor, California Lutheran University

Ryan is an Assistant Professor of Communication at California Lutheran University. His research addresses the social and psychological effects of the media with a focus on credibility and news. He teaches courses in mass communication, research methods, political communication, and international media. His dissertation examined the influence of credibility and need for cognition on selective exposure to partisan news on the Internet.

Anne Merrill

Post-Doctoral Lecturer, Penn State University

Anne is a post-doctoral lecturer in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at Pennsylvania State University and will start a tenure-track assistant professor position there in 2015.  Her research interests lie within interpersonal, relational, and family communication, focusing on processes such as information regulation (i.e., topic avoidance, disclosure, secrecy, and privacy), conflict, uncertainty, stress, and coping.  Anne’s dissertation examined the extent to which romantic partners’ sense of couple identity predicts their communicative and physiological management of stress and conflict in their relationship.

Christopher Seaman

Survey Research Analyst, UC Santa Barbara

Christopher is a Survey Research Analyst for the Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment (IRPA) group in the Office of the Assistant Chancellor, Budget & Planning. He is responsible for all aspects of survey research projects conducted by IRPA on behalf of the University's Senior officers, administrators, and academic departments conducting surveys for assessment. This includes consultation, questionnaire design, programming, survey administration, data processing, data analysis, and report writing.  In addition, he works as a freelance consultant providing data analysis services and research solutions to a variety of clients from diverse backgrounds. Past projects have included GIS data analysis, survey questionnaire feedback and construction, and descriptive and inferential statistical analysis of survey and experimental data.

Chan Thai

Cancer Research Training Award Post-Doctoral Fellow, National Cancer Institute

Chan is a post-doctoral fellow in the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute where her work focuses on physical activity and nutrition attitudes and behaviors among children and their parents in the United States.  Her research interests include health and cancer communication, program evaluation, media literacy, and information processing and outcomes such as dietary behavior, food purchasing behaviors, and physical activity.  Chan's dissertation focused on the initial development of a measure for media literacy based on Potter's Cognitive Model of Media Literacy. 


M. Desiree Aldeis

Lecturer, University of California Santa Barbara

Desiree is a Lecturer in the Department of Communication at UCSB. Her research interests include the dark side of interpersonal and family communication. Desiree’s dissertation examined the effects of discovering putative secrets in romantic relationships.

Courtney W. Davis

Assistant Professor, Azusa Pacific University

Courtney’s research interests include organizational membership, specifically focused on organizational entry and exit, in addition to intergenerational communication and organizational identification.  Having fully enjoyed her collegiate experience at the University of Southern California and doctoral work at UC Santa Barbara, Courtney is passionate about coaching and equipping undergraduate students for their post-collegiate endeavors, engaging others in research with practical and meaningful implications, and encouraging growth in people, groups, processes, and organizations.

Bernadette Gailliard

Assistant Professor, Rutgers University

Organizational Communication, Race, Gender, Class, Identity Negotiation, Identification, Member Assimilation

Jessica Gasiorek

Assistant Professor, Department of Communicology, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Dr. Gasiorek is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Communicology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her research focuses on message processing and its effects on perceptions of communication, social dynamics, and people’s subjective well-being. She pursues three related lines of research, focusing on (1) communication (non)accommodation and message processing; (2) the role of communication in experiences of successful aging; and (3) problematic communication in cross-cultural and cross-linguistic medical interactions. Her published work includes both empirical articles and book chapters on these topics, and she is the 2014 recipient of International Association of Language and Social Psychology (IALSP)'s James J. Bradac Early Career Award. She is also actively involved in NCA's Communication and Aging Division, ICA's Intergroup Communication Interest Group, and IALSP.

For more information, see:

Cynthia DeMartino

Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, California Lutheran University

As the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, a researcher, and a professor, my goal is to advance the use of techniques and technologies that promote student learning. I achieve this via rigorous research in the scholarship of teaching and learning, and by implementing teaching development workshops for Cal Lutheran faculty. My areas of research and faculty support include culturally responsive teaching, blended learning, and supporting graduate student writing.

Rebekah Pure

Survey Manager, National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago

Bekah earned her B.A. in Speech Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007, and her M.A. in 2010 from UCSB. Her master’s thesis looked at the psychological consequences of online and offline victimization. Rebekah’s current research looks at online privacy behavior and the constitutional issues surrounding online privacy, credibility in a social media environment, and aggression in the digital age. 

Stephanie Robbins

Assistant Professor, School of Communication Studies, Ohio University

Stephanie (Robbins) Tikkanen, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University. Dr. Tikkanen’s research program focuses on the growing role of new media (e.g., social networking sites, mobile phones) in interpersonal relationships. Specifically, she takes a theoretical and quantitative approach to understanding the way in which channel and structural features interact with individual and relational motivations to affect interpersonal processes across relational types, including families, romantic partners, and friends. Her work has been published in outlets such as Journal of Communication, Health Communication, Journal of Language and Social Psychology, and Communication Research Reports, as well as competitive papers presented at national conferences. In 2011, Dr. Tikkanen was awarded the Top Thesis Award from the Interpersonal Communication Division of ICA, and won the 2014 Top Dissertation Award from the Human Communication and Technology Division at NCA. She values her role as a teacher-scholar and holds a Certificate in College and University Teaching from UCSB and has been awarded department-level and university-wide recognition for excellence in teaching. At OU, she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on topics such as interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication, empirical research methods, and social media.

Amber Westcott-Baker

Assistant Professor, University of Maryland

Persuasion, Health Communication, Media Enjoyment, Media Cognitive and Emotional Processes

Jinguang (Andrew) Zhang

Assistant Professor, University of Hawai'i at Manoa   

Intergroup and Media Communication


Amanda Denes

Assistant Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Communication, University of Connecticut

Amanda Denes is an Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on communication in various types of interpersonal relationships such as romantic relationships, parent-child relationships, and friendships. Much of her work looks at the association between communication in interpersonal relationships and people’s physiological, psychological, and relational health. In particular, she is interested in why individuals disclose information about themselves to others, how they disclose that information, and the effects of such disclosures on individuals and their relationships. Her research has been published in such outlets as Human Communication Research, Communication Research, and Personal Relationships, and her study on pillow talk published in Communication Monographs is listed as one of the journals top 10 most read articles. Dr. Denes’ research looking at the relationship between communication, hormones, and sexuality has been funded by such organizations as the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Her research on pillow talk has been featured in over 100 news and media outlets, such as Women’s Health Magazine, Men’s Health Magazine, ABC News Radio, CNN Health, Jezebel, Refinery29, and Discovery News.

Jody Jahn

Assistant Professor, University of Colorado-Boulder

Jody holds a PhD in Organizational Communication from UC Santa Barbara. She worked a year as a postdoc with the UCSB Department of Communication before joining the CU faculty. Her current research examines how wildland firefighting workgroups collectively develop techniques for navigating hazards. This research is driven by theories of high reliability organizing (HRO) and communication constitutes organization (CCO). Jody was the 2012 recipient of the UCSB Lancaster Dissertation Award for the Social Sciences, and the 2013 recipient of the W. Charles Redding Dissertation Award from the Organizational Communication division of the International Communication Association. Jody earned an MA in Communication from UCSB (2008) and a BS in Communication from University of Idaho (2001). Prior to graduate school, she spent eight boreal summers as a wildland firefighter and two austral summers in Antarctica working in a logistical support capacity for the US Antarctic Program.

Andrea Joseph

Paul Kang

Abigail Prestin

Was Social Scientist, Center for Tobacco Products, Federal Drug Administration (deceased)

Abby’s research focused on the use of media and technology to engage psychological, social, and behavioral processes that reduce cancer risk. Within this area, she explores the influence of cognition and emotion on persuasive outcomes of health communication, the utility of emotion theory to inform the design of empowering health messages, and the implications of social media for health communication. Abby completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute prior to beginning her current position as a social scientist in the Office of Science at the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. In this role, she conducts research on issues related how communication about tobacco products (e.g., labeling, advertising, marketing, health warnings) affects consumers’ knowledge, attitudes, and use of those products. She also provides scientific support in the development and evaluation of youth-targeted anti-tobacco public education campaigns. Her master’s thesis won the 2009 Thesis of the Year Award from the ICA/NCA Health Communication Division, and her dissertation was awarded the 2013 Kyoon Hur Dissertation Award from ICA’s Mass Communication Division.

Jiyeon So

Assistant Professor, University of Georgia

Her dissertation was entitled "Risk convergence model: A model of media's influence on self-other social distance and personal risk perceptions." Dr. So was the recipient of Thesis of the Year Award from the Health Communication Divisions of the National Communication Association (NCA) and International Communication Association (ICA). She has also won three top paper awards from NCA and ICA. With interests in health communication, media, and risk communication, Dr. So has a steady track record of publishing theory-driven research in top journals in communication in general as well as in health communication journals.

Kimberly Stoltzfus


Grace Anderson

Assistant Professor, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama

My research interest is two pronged. First, I research intercultural communication and how the (cultural) groups to which people belong shape their behavior and communication patterns. Second, I research the way women become aggressive towards other women, many times indirectly or by exploiting a mutual social group. These forms of aggression include gossip, spreading rumors, and social exclusion. Both lines of my research utilize evolutionary theory to explain human behavior. Many of the factors that influenced our human ancestors still influence our behavior in present day. For instance, women tend to communicate indirect aggression rather than physical aggression typical of men because women are more likely to experience injury from physical aggression in comparison to men. Physical strength or brawn does not influence aggression among women, rather I found that women's physical attractiveness in comparison to their rival will predict their aggression. Women become aggressive towards rivals who are less attractive because they feel entitled to succeed during competition over mates. In terms of intercultural communication, my research (in collaboration with others) has found that humans avoid those of different nationalities when in environments high in pathogens because they do not share similar immunity to pathogens. A person from another country may be immune but in fact carry pathogens that could make a person of another nationality very ill, perhaps fatally ill. This evidence suggests that humans have evolved to avoid foreign others when primed by pathogens in the environments. These are some of the ways in which ancestral factors predict human communication in the present day, and this will continue to be the focus of my research about gender and intercultural communication in the future. Dissertation Title: Aggression among Women is Calibrated by Physical Attractiveness, Machiavellian Intelligence, but not Ovulatory Fertility: An Experimental Test of the Recalibration Theory of Anger.

Beverly Bondad-Brown

Director of Academic Technology, California State University, Los Angeles

Beverly A. Bondad-Brown, Ph.D. is currently the Director of Academic Technology at California State University, Los Angeles.  As the Director of Academic Technology in the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (CETL), she provides strategic leadership in employing technology to advance teaching and learning at Cal State LA.  This includes faculty development for the campus learning management system, the campus’ active learning classrooms, and overseeing programming for faculty who wish to redesign courses to the flipped, hybrid, and/or fully online formats. Dr. Bondad-Brown received her B.A. in Communication from the University of California San Diego, an M.A. in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Communication from UC Santa Barbara in 2011.

Katy Pearce

Associate Professor, University of Washington

Katy E. Pearce is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington and also holds an affiliation with the Ellison Center for Russian East European, and Central Asian Studies. She specializes in technology and media use in the Former Soviet Union. Her research focuses on social and political uses of technologies and digital content in the transitioning democracies and semi-authoritarian states of the South Caucasus and Central Asia, but primarily Armenia and Azerbaijan. She has a BA in Armenian Studies and Soviet Studies from the University of Michigan, an MA in International Studies from the University of London School for Oriental and African Studies, and a PhD in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and was a Fulbright scholar (Armenia). Blog:

Spencer Nicholls

Content Producer (Technology), LinkedIn Learning - Carpinteria, California

Spencer Nicholls currently works as a Content Producer in the technology library at LinkedIn Learning ( He works with instructors and subject matter experts to help take their expertise and translate it into high-quality, instructionally sound, and engaging videos that allow individuals build their understanding of technology, data science, security, and other systems through LinkedIn’s online learning platform.


Mary Brinson

Instructor, University of San Diego; and National Accounts, SayNoMore! Productions

Mary Brinson's current research focuses on media coverage of terrorism and anti-Muslim bias in the media. She has engaged in both quantitative and qualitative research projects including online experimental design, content analysis, and discourse analysis. These projects included analyzing media coverage of terrorism in the U.S., U.K., the Middle East, and India. In addition, she has investigated the implications that varying media frames of terrorism have on identity based policies. Her dissertation investigated the impact of negative Muslim media portrayals on intergroup relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in America as well as its impact on identity, esteem, and acculturation preferences of Muslim Americans. 

Charles Choi

Assistant Professor, George Fox University, Portland, Oregon

His primary research interest focuses on communication accommodation in a variety of intergroup settings. These specific contexts include police/civilian relationships as well as communication and aging. Another area of interest is the intrapersonal communication process that occurs as an individual approaches various communicative settings. Specifically, how an individual can refine his/her own behavior, and communicate both credibility and group identity, by utilizing imagined interactions.

Jill Helmle

Customer Research Analyst, Citrix Systems

Lyudmila (Lucy) Popova

Assistant Professor, Georgia State University

Lucy Popova's dissertation examined how people perceive reality of different media messages and tested the dimensional structure of reality perceptions in the U.S. and Japan. Her other research interests include media psychology, the role of audience interpretation in media effects, health communication, and research methodology. Prior to graduate school she worked in public relations and fundraising for the American Red Cross and served as a Red Cross spokesperson during several national disasters. She has also lived and worked internationally, including Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Japan. Lucy currently is a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Medicine, University of San Francisco where she is applying her training in communication theory and methodology to the analysis of smokeless tobacco marketing strategies and development of counter-messages.  Dr. Popova currently is an assistant professor in the Division of Health Promotion and Behavior at Georgia State University, School of Public Health.


Tenzin Dorjee

Associate Professor, Department of Human Communication Studies, California State University, Fullerton (CSUF)

Tenzin Dorjee (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara) is Associate Professor at the Department of Human Communication Studies, California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). He is recently appointed as a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (see profile at His primary teaching and research interests are in intergroup, intercultural, intergenerational communication, identity issues, peace building, and conflict resolution. He has authored and co-authored peer-reviewed articles and chapters on Tibetan culture, identity, and communication, nonviolence and middle way approaches to SinoTibetan conflict, intergenerational communication context, and others. He was awarded Faculty Teacher-Scholar Award in 2011, Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity in 2013, Annual Author Award in 2014, Faculty Recognition Service: Extraordinary and Sustained Service in 2015, and Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity in 2016 by CSU Fullerton. He worked as a translator at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala, India, for over 13 years. He is a prominent native translator of Tibetan Buddhism and translated for many pre-eminent Tibetan Buddhist masters including His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India and U.S.A. He has published many articles on Tibetan Buddhism and culture and translated more than six books of Tibetan Buddhism into English. He served as a Member-At –Large in the Executive Council of the Western States Communication Association (WSCA), Chair of WSCA’s Distinguished Teaching Award Committee, and Basic Course Director of the Department of Human Communication Studies, CSUF, and President of the Tibetan Association of Southern California. He has served on the Dalai Lama Trust Graduate Scholarship Selection Committee and Board of Advisors of Sera Jey Buddhist Culture Center, New York, of the Sera Jey Monastic University, India. In the summers of 2013 and 2016, he volunteered in India at the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, taught at the College for Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarah, and the Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education, Bengaluru, and also gave series of invited talks on a wide range of topics such as Tibetan culture and identity, teaching pedagogy, translation methodology, and social science research methodology at the Tibet Policy Institute, Central Tibetan Administration Staff, Tibetan Library, Tibetan Children’s Village, Tibetan AstroMedical College, Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, and College of Higher Tibetan Studies Sarah. In the summer of 2015, he taught intercultural communication at the Foreign Trade University in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Mikaela Marlow

Associate Professor,  University of Idaho

My research interests include intercultural and intergroup communication interactions. Specifically, I assess the ways that speech and social interactions shape perceptions of identity and evaluations of others. Within this area, I explore the ways that people make sense of, and respond to, critical comments about speech and/or communication. My dissertation project enabled me to develop and validate the Speech Criticism Response Scale, which was published in my book: Race, Power, and Language Criticism: The Case of Hawai'i. Current research has enabled me to expand the Speech Criticism Response Scale to include the cognitive and emotional responses that ensue following speech criticism, evaluations of the critical person, and a typology of "best practices" for delivering speech criticism (in progress). The scale has been modified and is currently being applied to people who are learning English as a Second Language in the United States.  Ideally, this research will provide valuable information and skill sets for educational and organizational practitioners who must routinely deliver criticism about speech, non-verbal performance, and/or other communication interactions.

Paul Myers

Director, Emergency Preparedness, Save the Children

Paul leads Save the Children's emergency preparedness work in the United States. In his role he supervises programs that help emergency managers, schools, child care providers, families and other child-focused stakeholders get better prepared to meet the needs of children in disasters. Paul also teaches emergency management classes as a UCLA instructor.

John Yudelson

Lecturer, CSU Channel Islands

Dr. Yudelson has over 25 years' experience in business as an analyst, trainer, Learning and Development manager, and a management and organizational development consultant. He has given conference presentations throughout the US and Canada and has published articles in business journals, primarily on the impacts of trust, reciprocity, reputation, uncertainty, and networking on deal-making. He is currently working on projects dealing with entrepreneurship and creativity, the impact of communication satisfaction on multiple organizational outcomes, women in governance and leadership, social business, and motivation of college students.


Mirit Shoham

Dr. Mirit Shoham is interested in network influence and attitudinal contagion. Her research deals with various social contexts, including relationships and group interactions, that situate identification and cohesion.  Along these lines, she has taught courses in persuasion and information diffusion, exploring the symbiotic relationship that individuals have with their social environment.

Jennifer Brundidge

Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, California State University, Chico

Jennifer Brundidge's research and teaching focus on how advances in communication technology impact the goals of diversity and equality associated with ‘‘deliberative’’ and “participative” models of democracy. My most significant studies use survey and content analysis, as well as theory based methods to understand the influence of the contemporary media environment on (1) selective exposure to diverse and cognitively complex political perspectives and (2) the equality of democratic processes.


Shari Ross Altarac

Lecturer, Business, California State University, Channel Islands

My research interests include globalized media and how countries around the globe adapt imported television programming to fit their local culture.

Sahara Byrne

Associate Professor, Cornell University

Sahara Byrne’s overarching communication interest is in message disruption processes, a theoretical construct known as noise. She examines why strategic messages are sometimes ineffective or result in the opposite effect than was intended. Her research aims to explain why the ‘boomerang effect’ is likely to occur in response to many types of strategic messages, especially those that are pro-social such as health campaigns and efforts to prevent negative effects of the media on children. She is currently testing theoretical mechanisms for the deliberate disruption of messages.

Carmen Lee

Assistant Professor, San Diego State University

Dr. Lee is a communication scholar specializing in cross-cultural and intercultural communication. Her areas of interest include cultural variability, interethnic and intercultural attraction, and tourism and intergroup relations. She is presently researching intercultural interactions which take place within international youth hostels as well as how individuals’ travel accommodation choices affect their overall interactions with, and perceptions of, members of different cultural groups. Dr. Lee also conducts research in the area of interpersonal communication. Currently she is developing a relational continuum upon which casual sexual relationship can be assessed.

Daisey Lemus

Associate Professor, Cal State University Northridge

Daisy’s current research explores communication processes during retirement planning. Her research interest in organizational communication, however, extends to the areas of group communication and technology, organizational change, group argument, and the use of mixed methods in organizational communication research.

Karyn Riddle

Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

My research focuses on the psychology of media effects with an emphasis on the effects of exposure to media violence. Most recently, I have been studying memories for violent media seen in the past, as well as children's fear reactions to violence in the news.

Emily Moyer-Gusé

Associate Professor, Ohio State University

My research focuses on understanding how and why entertainment media influence individuals. My primary line of research examines how entertainment narratives influence viewers' attitudes and behaviors regarding health and social issues. For example, I have examined how viewers respond to television storylines about topics such as teen pregnancy, safer sex, sexually transmitted infections, organ donation, and environmental issues. At the most basic level, my research explores how people are influenced by messages about these and other serious topics when they are embedded in a television narrative. Much of my research has focused on young people and developmental differences in media effects. For instance, I have conducted several studies on children’s emotional reactions to news and entertainment programming as well as age-related differences in parents’ use of coping strategies to alleviate their child’s TV news induced fears.


Jennifer Fortman


Charles (Chad) Mahood

Assistant Professor, University of Texas-San Antonio, TX

My primary focus deals with the effects of violence in video games.  A growing literature in this area has demonstrated a link between violent video game play and aggression.  My work has focused on going beyond this general link in three ways: examining specific genres of violence (such as violence against police officers), examining increasingly realistic depictions of sex in video games, and exploring the mediating effects of how players play the game (such as the differing levels of frustration and provocation that players receive during the game play experience).  In general, I believe that the context of game play is just as important as the content itself.

Mary McIlrath

Partner and SVP of Research, C&R Research, Chicago

My career spans academia and industry.  My academic background centers on children's developing understanding of advertising messages.  Currently, I oversee the qualitative division of a mid-size, privately held market research firm in Chicago.  I conduct research for a wide variety of clients, spanning food, personal care, retail, entertainment, travel and leisure, and financial services categories.  I also serve on the academic advisory board for the Children's Advertising Review Unit.

Mike (Zhengyu) Yao

Associate Professor, College of Media, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mike Yao’s research focuses on the social and psychological impacts of interactive digital media. He conducts research and writes on a variety of topics such as online behavior, digital literacy, and computer-mediated communication. His current interest is in how users perceive and manage personal boundaries on social media. Specifically, he examines people’s attitudes, beliefs and self-protective behaviors related to online privacy from a psychosocial perspective by considering the influence of cognitive appraisal, social norm, and individual differences. A second area of Mike’s active research is the psychological impacts of digital media use. He examined the influence of various interactive media, such as video games and social media, on users’ online and offline social behavior. He is currently trying to extend this line of research to developing an integrated theory of digitally mediated human behavior.


René Dailey

Associate Professor, University of Texas-Austin

Dr. René Dailey is interested in communication in families and dating relationships. Regarding family communication, her research focuses on how acceptance and challenge from parents and siblings are related to children's psychosocial adjustment (e.g., self-esteem, identity), communication patterns (e.g., openness), and more recently, weight management. Regarding dating relationships, she is currently investigating communication in on-again/off-again relationships and how communication in these relationships differs from other dating relationships. Her work has appeared in journals such as Communication Monographs, Human Communication Research, and Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. She also co-edited a book with Dr. Beth Le Poire entitled Applied Interpersonal Communication Matters: Family, Health, and Community Relations. Dr. Dailey teaches courses in personal relationships and nonverbal communication.

Nicholas A. Palomares

Associate Professor, UC Davis 

Dr. Palomares' research emphasizes message production and processing in two primary areas of communication in social interaction: language use and conversational behavior. His conversational-behavior research examines the goals individuals pursue in their interactions with others and the factors associated with goal pursuit. Specifically, he seeks to understand how individuals detect others' goals and what consequences individuals' inferences of others' goals have on both goal detectors and goal pursuers. His research on goal detection highlights the cognitive mechanisms that influence the accuracy of goal inferences. His language-use research focuses on the cognitive structures and processes responsible for producing gender-based language differences and similarities (e.g., emotional language, tentative language, etc.) between men and women in face-to-face and mediated social interactions, as well as the consequences that emerge from such language. For more information, see

Jennifer Waldeck

Associate Professor, Chapman University-Orange, CA

Jennifer Waldeck specializes in instructional and organizational communication research, with an emphasis on the effective use of new and emerging technologies for learning purposes. Her research has appeared in such journals as Communication Monographs, Communication Education, The Journal of Applied Communication Research, Communication Research Reports, and The Journal of Business Communication. She has contributed to several edited volumes including Communication Yearbook, New Directions in Group Communication, and the Handbook of Instructional Communication. She has earned "Top Three" Paper designations at the National Communication Association, International Communication Association, and Eastern Communication Association. She has authored several instructional manuals and texts and recently coauthored a textbook entitled Business and Professional Communication in the Digital Age, to be published by Wadsworth Cengage in 2012.


Carrie Cropley Hutchinson

Assistant Professor, Santa Barbara City college

Carrie Cropley Hutchinson is a tenured Assistant Professor and the Course Director for Interpersonal Communication, Mediated Interpersonal Communication, Business/Professional Communication, and Mediated Business Communication. She obtained her M.A. from California State University, Fullerton with an emphasis in Interpersonal Communication, and her Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara with an emphasis in Interpersonal and Intergroup Communication. Dr. Hutchinson enjoys traveling, and especially leading students on study abroad programs. Recent destinations through SBCC include Australia, India, and Rwanda.  Dr. Hutchinson has published two textbooks in her areas of expertise and enjoys writing about human communication for both business and pleasure.

Keren Eyal

Senior Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Center Hertzliya, Israel

Dr. Keren Eyal received her PhD in communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her specializations are media content and effects, with a focus on the media's role in youth socialization.

Jennifer Molloy

Carolyn Shepard (Baham)

Program Director, Innovative Learning, LLC, College of Applied Human Services


Jessica R. Abrams

Associate Professor, California State University Long Beach

Jessica studies intergroup communication. She is particularly interested in understanding the relationship between communication and identity and how mass media shape perceptions of minority groups. She is currently developing a series of investigations that examine the social psychological processes and effects of disparaging intergroup jokes. Dr. Abrams has published articles in a variety of communication journals.

Ashley Duggan

Associate Professor, Boston College

Dr. Duggan's main research interests include nonverbal, relational, and health communication. She is currently working on projects examining interpersonal control tactics in romantic couples including one depressed individual, emotional experience and expression in provider-patient contexts, nonverbal communication behaviors in conversations about physical and mental health, and family communication surrounding illness.

Christopher Hajek

Associate Professor, University of Texas-San Antonio

Dr. Christopher Hajek's research is grounded in intergroup communication, with foci at the intersections of health, aging, and social stigma. His work has also explored relationships between group identity and police/community interaction outcomes. His teaching interests in intergroup and intercultural communication developed during his work as an intern for CNN and The Associated Press in Rome, and his Peace Corps experience in Rwanda preceding that country's genocide. His teaching has also been influenced by his experience as a trained mediator in community-based alternative dispute resolution.

Robert McCann

Professor, UCLA Anderson School of Management

Dr. Robert M. (Bob) McCann (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara) is a professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.  At UCLA Anderson, Bob creates, directs, and teaches management communication and leadership classes across virtually all of UCLA Anderson's MBA degree programs.  Dr. McCann is also the President of The McCann Group, Incorporated, a consulting firm that specializes in the training of executives and professionals in persuasion, leadership, workplace diversity, and all aspects of the strategic use of communication in business settings. 

Dr. McCann's primary areas of research include strategic communication, persuasion, workplace ageism, intergroup communication, and intercultural communication.  In these domains, he has been published in several major refereed communication journals and has won numerous research awards. Bob also serves on the executive editorial board of the Journal of Asian Pacific Communication. His latest book is entitled Ageism at Work: The Role of Communication in a Changing Workplace. The book is available in three languages (Spanish, Catalan, and English).

Hee Sun Park

Associate Professor, Michigan State University

Dr. Park's teaching topics include Organizational Communication and Research Methods and Statistics at undergraduate and graduate levels. Her recent research focuses on multilevel analyses of group and organizational communication and cross-cultural communication in various contexts. Specifically, she is interested in examining the processes of how people build shared understanding through communication.

Bryant Paul

Associate Professor of Media Science, The Media School, Indiana University. 

Bryant Paul joined IU's Department of Telecommunications in 2003 (B.S., New York University; M.A., University of Miami (FL), Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara). Research and teaching interests include the nature and effects of sexual messages in the media, media and sexual socialization, evolutionary psychological explanations for media effects, and First Amendment law and policy.  Recent research has focused primarily on the nature and effects of online sexually explicit material. Aims to undertake empirical research that is intellectually interesting, but which also has practical applications in the non-academic world.  Has undertaken research that has been cited by the US Supreme Court in decisions related to the regulation of adult businesses, worked with multiple companies in product and message development, and served as a Co-producer of the Netflix Emmy-nominated documentary Hot Girls Wanted.

Paul Wadleigh

Lecturer, Washington State University

International advertising and media; social identity; intergroup, intergenerational, and intercultural communication. 


Dawna Ballard

Associate Professor, University of Texas-Austin

Dr. Dawna Ballard is interested in how our working lives shape our experience of time in multiple ways, both personally and professionally.  As examples, she has studied the relationship between working time (including fast-paced work environments, multi-tasking, long-term planning, and time-management issues) and related outcomes (including job satisfaction, relational quality, communication in meetings, and information overload).  Her interests are reflected in two related lines of research: one focused on differences in time across varied occupational groups, the other centered on the role of technology in shaping the pace and timing of our work.   Most recently, she has studied the way that members of different occupational groups manage multiple aspects of time in their day-to-day and long-term activities.  Her latest project on this issue examines time in the athletic career.  Additionally, she is interested in issues of time and space associated with new communication technologies and related work practices (such as virtual teams and bloggers) and recently completed a study on early adopters of

Karen Erlandson

Department Chair, Professor, Communication Studies, Albion College

Karen Erlandson is a Department Chair and Full Professor in the Communication Studies Department at Albion College in Michigan.  She was appointed here in 2002 just after graduation from UCSB with her Ph.D. in Interpersonal Communication.

Jennifer Hallett

Chair and Associate Professor, and Faculty Athletics Representative, Young Harris College, Georgia

Dr. Hallett's teaching interests focus on intergroup and interpersonal communication topics including: language and social interaction; gender, family, nonverbal, intercultural, deception, relational, social dominance and conflict management. Her research agenda has been guided primarily by intergroup issues including gender and (mis)communication as well as language and intergroup communication.

Margaret Prescott

Jiro Takai

Professor, Nagoya University, Japan

Lara Zwarun

Associate Professor, University of Missouri, St. Louis

Dr. Zwarun's scholarly interests are in persuasion, particularly in how the media are used to convey messages about risky behaviors. Her research has analyzed how alcohol advertising is processed by viewers, if the tobacco and junk food industries adhere to self-regulatory guidelines for their marketing, and how substance use is portrayed in celebrity gossip via Twitter. She is also interested in the use of media literacy as a health prevention strategy, and how multitasking affects narrative persuasion. She enjoys teaching mass communication and research methods classes.


Valerie Barker

Lecturer; Chair - Digital and Social Media Research Task Force; San Diego State University

Her most recent research focuses on the social identity processes associated with social networking sites. In this context she has investigated the role of gender, culture, and age. Dr. Barker's current research involves intergroup surveillance and contact via social media (i.e., lurking on Facebook). Other research strings focus on two broad areas of intergroup communication: the role of language in social identity, and intergenerational communication from an intergroup perspective.

Kirstie (Cope) Farrar

Associate Professor, Department of Communication, University of Connecticut

Kirstie M. Farrar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. She also holds a research affiliation with UConn’s Center for Health Intervention and Prevention. Her research interests include the effects of the mass media on individuals, particularly concerning violent video games and aggression. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Communication, Media Psychology, Mass Communication & Society, Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments and the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.

Hiroshi Ota

Professor, Aichi Shukutoku University, Japan

Intergenerational Communication across cultures, Communication and motivations for second/ foreign language acquisition, communication and physical appearances, Intergenerational communication, intergroup/intercultural communication, Beliefs about intra-and intergenerational communication in Japan, the Philippines, and the United States: Implication for older adults subjective well-being.


Stacy Smith

Associate Professor, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, University of Southern California

For the last five years, Dr. Smith has been working with a team of undergraduate and graduate students to assess portrayals of males and females in popular media.  Over a dozen projects have been completed, assessing gender in films (e.g., 500+ top-grossing movies from 1990 to 2009, 150 academy award best picture nominations from 1977 to 2006), TV shows (e.g., 1,034 children’s programs, two weeks of prime time shows), video games (e.g., 60 best selling), and point-of-purchase advertising (e.g., jacket covers of DVDs, video games).  Smith’s recent research (with Rene Weber & Marc Choueiti) has focused on the economic success at the box office of feature films with women on screen and behind-the-scenes as well as interviewing over 110 content creators (i.e., directors, writers, producers, executives, etc.) about the reasons for the under representation and hypersexualization of girls and women in popular movies.  The Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism has funded some of Dr. Smith’s studies and See Jane, a program started by Academy Award winner Geena Davis, has funded others.  Currently, Dr. Smith is building a research-driven initiative at ASCJ on Media, Diversity, and Social Change.  The initiative will continue producing cutting-edge, timely, and theory-driven empirical research on different entertainment-based minority groups.  Educators, advocates, and activists can access and use the research to create sustainable industry change on screen and behind the camera.


Catherine Boggs

Cathy Boggs served as Director of Education Programs and Communication of UCSB’s Center for Nanotechnology in Society, and the Associate Director of UCSB’s Carsey-Wolf Center. Prior to that, she was Research Communications Coordinator for UCSB's Center for Information Technology and Society (CITS), where she organized the 2006 Santa Barbara Forum on Digital Transitions. In addition to teaching appointments in UCSB’s Department of Communication and UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Business, her prior experience includes five years in Washington, DC as a communications policy analyst, conference organizer and public relations consultant.  She has consulted on workplace communication issues for a variety of non-profit, for-profit, and government organizations.

Travis Dixon

Associate Professor of Communication. University of Illinois

Professor Dixon is a media effects scholar dedicated to investigating the prevalence of stereotypes in the mass media and the impact of stereotypical imagery on audience members.  He has been honored as a faculty fellow with UIUC's Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society and he was the 2013 Visiting Philanthropy Faculty Scholar at the Clinton School of Public Service.  Dr. Dixon has received 7 top paper awards from the National Communication Association and the International Communication Association. He has also received a top article award from the National Communication Association. Dr. Dixon serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Howard Journal of Communications, Media Psychology, and the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. Much of Dr. Dixon's work has been focused on racial stereotyping in television news. His more recent investigations examine the content and effects of stereotypes and counter-stereotypes in major news events, online news, and musical contexts.

Dorothy Imrich Mullin

Continuing Lecturer, Department of Communication, UC Santa Barbara

Dr. Mullin is a Continuing Lecturer in the Department of Communication at UCSB. Her published research has been in the areas of media and children, media policy, and First Amendment law. However, her current focus is in teaching communication to undergraduates. She specializes in large introductory communication courses, including research methods and theory, and she has been recognized for her efforts with a Distinguished Teaching Award. She also trains and supervises graduate student teaching assistants, working to develop and promote excellent teaching skills among the professors of the future.


Professor, Santa Clara University, CA

Teaches interpersonal communication, persuasion, multicultural folktales, friendships and romances, and the science of happiness. She has written five books for LexisNexis about jury dynamics and deliberations and a book on Peer Groups for Sage. She won her university's award for best research across five years that makes a difference. She has served on the Editorial Boards of five communication journals. She has an international following for her tweets about the social brain (@TheSocialBrain).


Robin Gurien

Training and Development Coordinator, University of Northern Iowa

Anna Laura Jansma

Continuing Lecturer, Department of Communication, UCSB

Community members know Jansma as a liaison and consultant who unites peace and community enthusiasts from a multitude of orientations. Her interests in peace-building communication, intentional community, and gender also guide Jansma's teaching style and research focus at UCSB. As an organizational and personal consultant, Jansma translates fundamentals of communication theory and research and customized them into practical communication skills for her clients. She designs and conducts workshops and needs assessments, facilitates discussions, and provides one-on-one coaching for those looking to align their actions with a higher purpose.

Dean Krikorian

President and CEO, GroupScope, Inc., San Luis Obispo, CA



Aaron Cargile

Professor, California State University Long Beach

His research interests include language attitudes, interracial dialogue, and the physiological bases of intercultural communication. His publications include over 30 articles, reviews, and book chapters, most recently in the International Encyclopedia of Communication, the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, the Journal of Asian American Studies, The Educational Forum, and the International Journal of Intercultural Relations.  His website includes a freely-accessible, web-based intercultural reader and student-produced ethnographies:

Timothy Cole

Associate Professor, DePaul University, Chicago

Areas of interest and specialization include deceptive communication, romantic relationships, interpersonal communication, evolutionary psychology, and research methods. His work has been published in Communication Theory, The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and The Journal of Language and Social Psychology.

Patrick O'Sullivan

Director - Center for Learning, Teaching, & Technology, Illinois State University

Patrick’s scholarly work includes topics such as strategic uses of communication technologies in relationships, “masspersonal” communication, “flaming” and other problematic online communication, strategic social use of channel selection (i.e., “channelesics”), and mediated immediacy.


Jon Busch

Director, Research Data Development, Truven Health Analytics, Santa Barbara, CA

Served as principal investigator, project director, or project manager for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the National Library of Medicine, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Develops systems of data repositories, Web-based documentation, electronic surveys, and reporting systems that include relational, analytic (e.g., SAS), and hierarchical (e.g., XML) data structures; collects and analyzes data from States, Federal agencies, and other entities. Currently is the project manager for the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)—under his leadership, the project cut processing time in half, increased the research capacity of the research team through hiring and subcontracting, promoted the use of HCUP by the research community, and developed My Own Network, powered by AHRQ (MONAHRQ). Designed, produced, and disseminated over 20 technical reports and other documents.

Charles Mullin

Continuing Lecturer, Department of Communication, UC Santa Barbara

Dr. Mullin’s research pursuits over the years have mostly concerned the intersection of mass media and the law in some way. He has published research on the nature of and effects of various forms of pretrial publicity and crime-related information.

Laura Leets

Adjunct Associate Professor, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Exclusion, hate speech, cyberhate 

B. Christine Shea

Professor, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA

She is the author of more than 30 papers, articles, and book chapters on organizational behavior, communication, and gender issues. Her current research interests include fairness in the workplace and women's employment, organizational communication, gender issues, and social science research methods. Dr. Shea serves on the board of directors for the San Luis Obispo Rape Crisis Center and is involved in educating the public about violence prevention. In addition to teaching Communication Studies courses, Dr. Shea teaches courses for the Women's Studies Department. 


Susan Fox

Adjunct Faculty, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University; Community Organizer

Since 9/11/2001 Susan has led efforts to create online and offline networks of people who can support each other and the community. Susan was chosen as one of the District Attorney’s Brooklyn Extraordinary Women for 2009 and a Woman of Distinction in 2010 by New York State Senator Eric Adams. Susan founded Park Slope Parents in July, 2002. The group supports each other online by sharing information about parenting (e.g., “does anyone know a pediatric cardiologist?”) and urban living (“how can I keep my toddler safe around my apartment steam pipe?”). There is also a strong offline component as well, including a Spring Fling, kids’ music concerts and clothing swaps. There are also partnerships with non-profit organizations to provide child-related items (e.g., clothing, cribs, blankets) for needy families. She teaches a graduate course in Interpersonal Communication at NYU as well as consults companies in strategic marketing and communications.

Jake Harwood

Professor, University of Arizona

Jake Harwood's research focuses on intergroup communication with a particular focus on age groups. He is interested in the ways in which cognitive (e.g., stereotypes) and societal (e.g., mass media) representations of groups relate to communication processes. This includes research on intergroup contact (including how attitudes about groups are influenced by direct and indirect contact with those groups), and issues such as how stereotypes of age influence and are influenced by grandparent-grandchild relationships. He also examines portrayals of groups in the media, and how those portrayals influence attitudes about groups. His research draws on theories of social identity, intergroup contact, and communication accommodation.

Laurie Lewis

Professor and Dept. Chair, Rutgers University, New Jersey

Dr. Lewis is a recognized expert in communication processes during organizational change. She recently published her first book “Organizational Change: Creating Change Through Strategic Communication."  Her research has appeared in Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Business Communication among others.  She current serves as Associate Editor for Management Communication Quarterly, and has served on the editorial boards of Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, and Management Communication Quarterly and Journal of Applied Communication Research.  She is an active member of the National Association of Communication, International Association of Communication, Academy of Management, Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, and the National Association of Planning Councils.

Audrey Weiss

Researcher, Truven Health Analytics, Santa Barbara, CA

Dr. Weiss has nearly 15 years of health care industry experience. She specializes in research design, data collection, data analysis, and management of large-scale research studies for the Federal Government and private sector. Task leader for the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP); Generates rapid-cycle estimates of trends in inpatient hospitalizations; Develops concise statistical summaries of focused health care topics; Project director for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) demonstrations; Senior Risk Reduction; Cancer Prevention and Treatment; Project director for CMS Medicare Episode Grouper project.

Angela Williams

Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom

Social psychological approaches to language and communication. Communication across the life-span, the communication of agism, perceptions of elder and teenage communicators, Eastern and Western perspectives on intergenerational communication. Media images of elders and teenagers.