Graduate Alumni Profiles

For the Graduate Division's listing of Department of Communication's Graduate Alumni job placements overall, and by different periods since graduation, please see


Kimberly Walsh McDermott

Senior Research Analyst, 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 in the School of Communication, The Ohio State University

Richard is an assistant professor in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. His research lies at the intersection of media psychology and cognitive neuroscience with a particular focus on how media content influence human cognition and behavior. Philosophically, this work understands the mind (and the communication phenomena it enables) as a physical property of the brain. From this multi-level view, neuroscientific research complements existing measures by providing an additional level of explanation for communication behavior (e.g., sociocultural, individual, biological, chemical, physical). It is from this perspective that Richard’s research investigates three core topics: attitude and behavior change, media enjoyment, 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. His research focuses on language and interpersonal/intergroup communication. Marko’s dissertation examined the role of processing fluency in the language attitudes process.


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 media 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

Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas, Little Rock

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

Course Evaluations Director and Metrics/Internal Systems Analyst, Educational Technology Services, UC Berkeley

Technology Services (ETS) develops, promotes and supports the effective integration of collaboration, learning, and communication technologies into the life and work of the UC Berkeley community and beyond.  The Course Evaluations service is intended to utilize modern survey tools and analytics to assist departments and instructors at UC Berkeley in using data to improve the quality of their teaching.  Additionally, my responsibilities include analyzing data on ETS' various systems and services for campus stakeholders.  My academic research involves the intersection of new media and interpersonal and group communication.  My areas of specialization include CMC, social support, and the pedagogical benefits of educational technology platforms and tools.

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, UC Santa Barbara

Desiree is currently a full-time lecturer in the Department of Communication. Desiree’s dissertation examined the impact that putative secrets, or a secret that has been discovered unbeknownst to the secret-keeper, have on romantic relationships over time. Her research interests also include family communication and relational communication with a special interest in exploring the ‘dark side’ of these close relationships. Desiree also received her Master’s degree in Interpersonal Communication from UCSB in 2009 and prior to that, she attended the University of Texas at Austin received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies in 2003. 

Courtney W. Davis

Assistant Professor, Pacific Azusa University

Her dissertation research examined the influence of past work experience in neophyte and experienced newcomers' socialization into new positions and organizations, as well as newcomers' willingness and ability to identify with a new organization.  More generally, her research interests include organizational socialization and assimilation, focusing primarily on organizational entry and exit, organizational identification, and intergenerational communication in the workplace. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, she worked for the late California State Assemblymember Mike Gordon (53rd Assembly District) as a field representative and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's 2006 successful campaign as her campaign fundraiser.

Bernadette Gailliard

Assistant Professor, Rutgers University

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

Jessica Gasiorek

Assistant Professor, University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Accommodation and Nonaccommodation, Social Cognition, Communication and Aging


Cia Bates DeMartino

Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, California Lutheran University

The Center's mission is to illuminate and educate on pedagogically sound uses of technology in the classroom, promote open dialogue on teaching and learning among the university community, and engage in and encourage the scholarship of teaching and learning. My research currently focuses on technology-augmented experiential learning in higher education. I also teach two Communication courses a year, serve the university through committee participation, and serve the community through volunteerism.

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, Ohio University

Stephanie's research examines the growing role of new media (e.g., social networking sites, mobile phones) in interpersonal relationships. Specifically, she focuses on ways in which the use of these media affect interpersonal processes such as disclosure, post-transgressional communication, relational maintenance, and expectation violations, spanning several relational types. Her MA thesis examined the role of cognitive and personality factors in parents' experiences of anxiety when adolescents delay responses to contact efforts. Her current work proposes and tests a new model accounting for the various structural features which affect confidants’ responses to disclosures, both online and offline.   Stephanie regards teaching and research to be equally important.  She was awarded the UCSB Dept of Communication’s Edwin Schoell Award for Excellence in Teaching as well as the UCSB Academic Senate Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Additionally, she received the ICA Interpersonal Division's Top Thesis Award and the George D. McCune Dissertation Fellowship.

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, 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 Communication Monographs, Western Journal of Communication, and Women's Studies International Forum. Amanda's 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 pick-up artists has also been written about on such websites as Jezebel and her research on pillow talk has appeared in Women's Health and Men's Health Magazines. Professor Denes teaches Interpersonal Communication, as well as Gender and Communication.

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 two top paper awards from the health communication divisions. With interests in health communication, media, and obesity, 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

My research explores the social and psychological effects of the media. I am particularly interested in pro-social media effects, media enjoyment, and entertainment-education. I am currently working as an Instructional Designer designing online training for a software company in Irvine, CA. In this capacity, I get to examine how the incorporation of interactivity and the use of narrative help improve online training.

Katy Pearce

Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Katy E. Pearce is an assistant 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:


Mary Brinson

Instructor, San Diego University; 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, California State University

Tenzin Dorjee is Associate Professor at the Department of Human Communication Studies, California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). 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 the Sino-Tibetan conflict, intergenerational communication context, and others. CSUF has awarded him with the 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 the Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity in 2016.  He is also a published author of articles, and translated works of Tibetan Buddhism and culture into English.  He has translated for many pre-eminent Tibetan Buddhist masters including His Holiness the Dalai Lama  in India and U.S.A.

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, University of Texas-Austin

Jennifer Brundidge's research and teaching interests lie mainly at the intersection of democratic theory and the empirical study of the contemporary media environment. Her most recent research examines Internet use in context of the "public sphere" and in particular, the extent to which online news use and online political discussion contributes to people's exposure to political difference.


Shari Ross Altarac

Lecturer, Business, California State University, Chanel 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

Assistant 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

Assistant 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, City University of Hong Kong

My primary research deals with the question of how the use of new media technologies may influence, and be influenced by, individual's cognitive and behavioral tendencies. I am also interested in the broad socio-political environment in which interactive media are created and cultivated. My current research focuses on Internet users' perception of the medium and issues surrounding online privacy and security.


René Dailey

Assistant 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

Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Center Hertzliya, Israel

Dr. Keren Eyal received her PhD in communication from the University of California, 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, Cal ifornia 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

Associate Professor, USC Marshall School of Business

Bob McCann teaches advanced managerial communication and professional development for leaders in the Marshall full time MBA program, as well as global management in the international MBA (IBEAR) program. He is also the Faculty Director in the USC Marshall Executive Education Management Development Program. Bob recently received the Golden Apple Teaching Award from the Marshall full time MBA class. His core areas of research include managerial communication, workplace ageism, and intergroup communication.

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

Assistant Professor, Indiana University

B.S., New York University; M.A., University of Miami (FL), Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara. His research and teaching interests include First Amendment Law and Policy, the effects of sexual messages in the media, Media and sports, and evolutionary psychological explanations for media effects.

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

Associate Professor, Albion College



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

Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut

Research in the area of effects of the mass media on individuals. Specific interests include the effects of the mass media on adolescent socialization. Current research focuses on the effects of televised portrayals of sexual intercourse on young people and the effects of different contextual features of violent video games on aggression related outcomes.

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 C


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, University of California, Los Angeles

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. Much of Dr. Dixon's work has been focused on racial stereotyping in television news. His new 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's research interests primarily have been in the areas of media and children, media policy, and First Amendment law, particularly government attempts to regulate offensive content (such as indecency, pornography, or hate speech) in broadcast media and on the Internet. However, her current focus is in teaching communication to undergraduates.  She specializes in large introductory communication courses, including research methods and theory.  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

Interpersonal communication, group communication, persuasion, interpersonal conflict, multicultural folktales and storytelling, friendships and romances.


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 comapnies 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, andManagement 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.