Professors Tamara and Walid Afifi Rejoin Department of Communication

Professors Tamara Afifi and Walid Afifi rejoin the Department, after several years at University of Iowa.

Tamara Afifi is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California-Santa Barbara.  Her research focuses on communication patterns that foster risk and resiliency in families and other interpersonal relationships, with particular emphasis on:  (1) how people communicate when they are stressed and the impact of these communication patterns on personal and relational health and (2) information regulation (privacy, secrets, disclosure, avoidance, stress contagion).  Her work centers on families as communicative systems of stress and resilience.  She is the editor of Communication Monographs.  She has received numerous research awards, including the Young Scholar Award from the International Communication Association in 2006 and the Brommel Award for a distinguished career of research in family communication from the National Communication Association in 2011.  In addition, she received the Franklin Knower Article Award in 2004 and 2012 from the Interpersonal Communication Division, the Distinguished Article award in 2013 from the Communication and Social Cognition Division, and the Distinguished Article Award from the Family Communication Division in 2008 from the National Communication Association.  Her research has appeared in numerous news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Men’s Health, the Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and Family Circle.  She is also incredibly passionate about teaching and has received several teaching awards, including a university-wide Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2009. 

Walid A. Afifi (PhD, University of Arizona) is an author on over 70 articles, chapters, and books, recently served as Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa (2013-2016), occupied the role of Associate Editor for both the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and Personal Relationships, and was elected as chair of the Interpersonal Division for both the National Communication Association and the International Communication Association. His program of research revolves around uncertainty and information-management decisions and has led to the development and refinement of the Theory of Motivated Information Management.  That work has increasingly focused on immigrant communities and/or communities experiencing trauma.  He teaches classes related to interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication, relational communication, and uncertainty.  He is committed to research, teaching, and service that involves and empowers all communities, and has been recognized for that commitment by UCSB’s Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity through an Esteemed Ally Award. His program of life revolves around, and the (usually) calming influence on his personal experiences of uncertainty are, his wife, Tammy, their two children (Leila and Rania), and two dogs (Maddi and Charles Jackson).