Academics who conduct research in the field of communication may do so to advance our understanding of how humans communicate or how advances in technology are changing the way we communicate. These researchers attempt to prove or disprove theories and models using varies types of communication research methodologies. There are also academics who conduct research with the goal of translating their findings into actionable outcomes that can be used for increasing social advocacy or fighting social injustices, improving communication between patients and providers in healthcare settings, or exploring how diversity and intercultural communication can impact and improve businesses.

To illustrate the exciting areas that communication scholars have explored through their research, and the impact their research has had on their communities, MastersinCommunications.com created this Scholarly Interview Series. In these interviews, we talk with professors and researchers who have published articles and books on their topics of expertise, who teach courses and developed innovative curricula in communication, and who are passionate about mentoring future generations of scholars in their field. Our goal is to help prospective students see the breadth and diversity of areas that can be studied in the field of communication and to connect them to professors currently conducting research in these areas.

Disclaimer: These interviews are meant to introduce prospective graduate students to research in the field of communication studies. The perspectives shared within these interviews are those of the interviewee and not MastersinCommunications.com, its parent company, or its affiliates.


Critical / Cultural Studies Research Interviews:

Interview with Samantha Frost, Ph.D. – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Samantha Frost is Professor of Political Science, Gender, and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an award-winning scholar who has combined research in materialism with feminist theory and the life sciences.

Interview with Javon Johnson, Ph.D. – University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Dr. Javon Johnson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he also serves as Director of African American and African Diaspora Studies. He is a slam poet and filmmaker, a scholar of performance, and an advocate for youth artists.

Interview with Amber Lauren Johnson, Ph.D. – Saint Louis University

Dr. Amber Johnson is Professor of Communication and Co-Founder of the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity at Saint Louis University, where they study race, gender, sexuality, and social justice through a critical/cultural lens.

Interview with Dr. Lore/tta LeMaster, Ph.D. – Arizona State University

Dr. Lore/tta LeMaster is Assistant Professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University, where she researches queer and transgender embodiment and the construction of cultural difference through critical perspectives in performance studies, cultural studies, and rhetorical criticism.

Interview with Marina Levina, Ph.D. – The University of Memphis

Dr. Marina Levina is Professor of Communication Studies and Director of Graduate Studies, where her critical work explores rhetorics of health and disease, cultural representations of monstrosity, and the politics of embodiment and cultural difference.

Interview with Kimberly Moffitt, Ph.D. – University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Dr. Kimberly Moffitt is Professor of Language, Literacy & Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Explore Dr. Moffitt’s research on mediated depictions of Black identities, the politics of the Black hair, Black body, and colorism, and more.

Interview with Torin Monahan, Ph.D. – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Torin Monahan is Professor in the Department of Communication at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Discover Dr. Monahan’s critical work in science and technology studies and surveillance studies, including his new book Crisis Vision, which explores the potential for art to resist surveillance.

Interview with Mark Orbe, Ph.D. – Western Michigan University

Dr. Mark Orbe is Professor of Communication & Diversity at Western Michigan University where he researches the importance of culture to a variety of communication contexts, including interpersonal communication, media representations, and higher education.

Interview with Catherine Knight Steele, Ph.D. – University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. Catherine Knight Steele is Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Learn more about Dr. Steele’s research on Black women’s engagements with media, her new book Digital Black Feminism, her work as Director of the Black Communication and Technology Lab, and more.

Interview with Armond R. Towns, Ph.D. – Carleton University

Dr. Armond R. Towns is Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University. Dr. Towns is an important scholar of race and culture, a leading thinker in Black media studies, and the inaugural editor of the National Communication Association Journal Communication and Race.

Interview with Gust Yep, Ph.D. – San Francisco State University

Dr. Gust Yep is Professor of Communication Studies at San Francisco State University, where he applies intersectional perspectives on gender, sexuality, and race to the study of intercultural communication and critical pedagogy.

Health Communication Research Interviews:

Interview with Jeffrey A. Bennett, Ph.D. – Vanderbilt University

Dr. Jeffrey Bennett is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Vanderbilt University. Explore Dr. Bennett’s research on the rhetoric of health and communication, the unique salience of these rhetorics for the LGBTQ communities, and his recent book Managing Diabetes: The Cultural Politics of Disease.

Interview with Angela F. Cooke-Jackson, PhD, MPH – California State University, Los Angeles

Dr. Cooke-Jackson is an Associate Professor at CSU-LA, where she teaches classes in health communication and helped develop a new Health Communication concentration. She conducts research in communication’s role in community health amongst disadvantaged populations.

Interview with Katharine J. Head, Ph.D. – Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Dr. Katherine J. Head is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Director of the Ph.D. Graduate Program in Health Communication. Dr. Head is committed to public and community engagement through her research and serves on the Health Communication Working Group at the American Public Health Association.

Interview with Elizabeth A. Hintz, Ph.D. – University of Connecticut

Dr. Elizabeth A. Hintz is Assistant Professor of Health Communication at the University of Connecticut. Discover Dr. Hintz’s research on pain communication, chronic and misunderstood illnesses, communication surrounding people who are voluntarily childfree, and more.

Interview with Gary L. Kreps, Ph.D., FAAHB, FICA – George Mason University

Dr. Kreps is University Distinguished Professor of Communication at George Mason University and a pioneer of health communication research and advocacy. He is also the Director of the Center for Health & Risk Communication at George Mason University.

Interview with Yachao Li, Ph.D. – The College of New Jersey

Dr. Yachao Li is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Communication Studies and Public Health at The College of New Jersey. Explore Dr. Li’s research on dimensions of health communication and interpersonal communication that are unique for the LGBTQ+ community.

Interview with Susan E. Morgan, Ph.D. – University of Miami

Dr. Susan Morgan is Professor and Vice Dean for Research and Creative Activity for the University of Miami’s School of Communication. Her research concerns health communication and campaigns, as well as clinical trial communication and misconceptions.

Interview with Margie Skeer, ScD, MPH, MSW – Tufts University

Dr. Skeer is an Associate Professor at Tufts University’s School of Medicine. Her research centers on adolescence substance abuse prevention and interventions, with a particular focus on how family communication can prevent and mitigate substance use in youth.

Interview with Bryan Whaley, Ph.D. – University of San Francisco

Dr. Bryan Whaley is a Professor of Communication and the Director of the Health Studies Minor at University of San Francisco. His research focuses on effective health care messaging and patient education, interpersonal message design and delivery, and analogy argumentation.

Interview with Elaine Wittenberg, Ph.D. – California State University, Los Angeles

Dr. Wittenberg is an Associate Professor of Health Communication at California State University, Los Angeles, and a co-founder of the COMFORT Communication Project. She specializes in family-caregiver-provider interactions and health care team communication.

Interview with Zhiwen Xiao, Ph.D. – University of Houston

Dr. Xiao is an Associate Professor of Health Communication at the University of Houston, where she teaches courses in health communication, health campaigns, health literacy and behavior change, and the intersection of health care, race, and culture.

Interpersonal Communication Research Interviews:

Interview with Steven Beebe, Ph.D. – Texas State University

Dr. Beebe is Regents’ and University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Texas State University, and a prolific author of books on interpersonal, instructional, business, and public communication. He also served as President of the National Communication Association in 2013.

Interview with Monica Cornejo, Ph.D. – Cornell University

Dr. Monica Cornejo is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Cornell University. Discover Dr. Cornejo’s research on the experiences of undocumented immigrants, especially college students, their advocacy communication strategies and family communication, and the relationship between their undocumented status, communication, and well-being.

Interview with Yachao Li, Ph.D. – The College of New Jersey

Dr. Yachao Li is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Communication Studies and Public Health at The College of New Jersey. Explore Dr. Li’s research on dimensions of health communication and interpersonal communication that are unique for the LGBTQ+ community.

Media and Technology Studies Research Interviews:

Interview with Anirban Baishya, Ph.D. – University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Anirban Baishya is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Discover Dr. Baishya’s research, which explores the politics of digital technologies from presidential campaigns to drone photography during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interview with Pablo Boczkowski, Ph.D. – Northwestern University

Dr. Boczkowski is Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor at Northwestern University’s School of Communication, where he studies digital global media and the impact that technology has on the information ecosystem that people interact with daily.

Interview with Shira Chess, Ph.D. – University of Georgia at Athens

Dr. Shira Chess is Associate Professor at the University of Georgia at Athens where she researches the gendered politics of video games, feminist media studies, and the politics of leisure.

Interview with Robin Means Coleman, Ph.D. – The University of Virginia

Dr. Robin M. Coleman is Professor of Media Studies and African and African American Studies at The University of Virginia. Explore Dr. Coleman’s scholarship on race and genre cinema, the reception practices of Black audiences, and her trailblazing work on the Black horror genre.

Interview with Mia Consalvo, Ph.D. – Concordia University Montreal

Dr. Mia Consalvo is Professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University. Explore Dr. Consalvo’s work in game studies, including her scholarship on video games culture, live streaming, and feminist and class-based perspectives game criticism.

Interview with Samantha Frost, Ph.D. – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Samantha Frost is Professor of Political Science, Gender, and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an award-winning scholar who has combined research in materialism with feminist theory and the life sciences.

Interview with Myria Georgiou, Ph.D. – London School of Economics and Political Science

Dr. Myria Georgiou is Professor in the Department of Media and Communication at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she conducts fieldwork-based research on media representations of migration and how migrants engage with digital media.

Interview with David Karpf, Ph.D. – The George Washington University

Dr. David Karpf is an Associate Professor in the School of Media & Public Affairs at The George Washington University, where he studies how the internet and digital communication technologies have impacted political communication, social movements, and advocacy.

Interview with Alice E. Marwick, Ph.D. – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Marwick is an Associate Professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of Communication, where she studies and teaches courses on the effects of digital media technology on culture and politics.

Interview with Kimberly Moffitt, Ph.D. – University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Dr. Kimberly Moffitt is Professor of Language, Literacy & Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Explore Dr. Moffitt’s research on mediated depictions of Black identities, the politics of the Black hair, Black body, and colorism, and more.

Interview with Torin Monahan, Ph.D. – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Torin Monahan is Professor in the Department of Communication at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Discover Dr. Monahan’s critical work in science and technology studies and surveillance studies, including his new book Crisis Vision, which explores the potential for art to resist surveillance.

Interview with Rachel Plotnick, Ph.D. – Indiana University Bloomington

Dr. Rachel Plotnick is Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. Discover Dr. Plotnick’s critical media history scholarship, which explores the politics of interfaces like buttons, typewriters, and touch screens.

Interview with Jennifer Slack, Ph.D. – Michigan Technological University

Dr. Jennifer Daryl Slack is Distinguished Professor of Communication and Cultural Studies at Michigan Technological University’s Department of Humanities. She is a prominent scholar on the role of technology in human understanding and culture.

Interview with Catherine Knight Steele, Ph.D. – University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. Catherine Knight Steele is Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Learn more about Dr. Steele’s research on Black women’s engagements with media, her new book Digital Black Feminism, her work as Director of the Black Communication and Technology Lab, and more.

Interview with Silvio Waisbord, Ph.D. – The George Washington University

Dr. Silvio Waisbord is Professor and Director at The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. Explore Dr. Waisbord’s important research on disinformation, populist movements, and journalism in the United States and Latin America.

Interview with Brooke Foucault Welles, Ph.D. – Northeastern University

Dr. Brooke Foucault Welles is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University. Learn about Dr. Welles’ innovative applications of network science and computational methods to communication studies, including her scholarship on digital media and hashtag activism.

Organizational Communication Research Interviews:

Interview with Rebekah Fox, Ph.D. – Texas State University

Dr. Rebekah Fox is a Professor of Communication Studies at Texas State University, where she studies rhetorical criticism’s applications in organizational communication, health communication, firefighting and fire safety, and free speech.

Interview with Sarah J. Tracy, Ph.D. – Arizona State University

Dr. Tracy is Professor and School Director of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication and has made invaluable contributions to organizational communication by studying emotional labor, workplace bullying, employee burnout, and more.

Performance Studies Research Interviews:

Interview with Robin M. Boylorn, Ph.D. – The University of Alabama

Dr. Robin Boylorn is Full Professor of Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication at The University of Alabama, where her research uses ethnographic and autoethnographic methods to study the lived experiences of Black women and their complex representations in media and popular culture.

Interview with Javon Johnson, Ph.D. – University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Dr. Javon Johnson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he also serves as Director of African American and African Diaspora Studies. He is a slam poet and filmmaker, a scholar of performance, and an advocate for youth artists.

Interview with Amber Lauren Johnson, Ph.D. – Saint Louis University

Dr. Amber Johnson is Professor of Communication and Co-Founder of the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity at Saint Louis University, where they study race, gender, sexuality, and social justice through a critical/cultural lens.

Interview with Dr. Lore/tta LeMaster, Ph.D. – Arizona State University

Dr. Lore/tta LeMaster is Assistant Professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University, where she researches queer and transgender embodiment and the construction of cultural difference through critical perspectives in performance studies, cultural studies, and rhetorical criticism.

Interview with Julie-Ann Scott-Pollock, Ph.D. – University of North Carolina Wilmington

Dr. Julie-Ann Scott-Pollock is Director of Performance Studies for the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Department of Communication. She is a celebrated scholar of performance ethnography who advocates for storytelling and embodied performance as paths to diversity acceptance and social justice.

Political Communication Research Interviews:

Interview with Ann Burnette, Ph.D. – Texas State University

Dr. Burnette is an Associate Professor at Texas State University, and a prominent scholar of American speech, political communication, presidential rhetoric, and public discourse. Her work as a scholar and instructor has earned her numerous awards and accolades.

Interview with Lisa M. Corrigan, Ph.D. – University of Arkansas

Dr. Corrigan is a Professor of Communication at the University of Arkansas, where she also directs the Gender Studies program. She is an award-winning author of research on racial justice, political movements, gender politics, and the role of rhetoric in social progress.

Interview with Ashley Hinck, Ph.D. – Xavier University

Dr. Ashley Hinck is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Xavier University. Explore Dr. Hinck’s fascinating work on alternative forms of political participation and digital rhetorics, including her work on the politics of fandoms.

Interview with Joel Penney, Ph.D. – Montclair State University

Dr. Joel Penney is Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. Discover Dr. Penney’s work on political communication and political media, from how citizens act as marketers for political campaigns to the politics of entertainment journalism.

Rhetorical Studies Research Interviews:

Interview with Joshua Trey Barnett, Ph.D. – The Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Joshua Trey Barnett is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University. Explore Dr. Barnett’s work on environmental and ecological rhetorical criticism, including his most recent book on ecological grief, his scholarship on queer theory and LGTBQ+ perspectives in communication, and more.

Interview with Jeffrey A. Bennett, Ph.D. – Vanderbilt University

Dr. Jeffrey Bennett is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Vanderbilt University. Explore Dr. Bennett’s research on the rhetoric of health and communication, the unique salience of these rhetorics for the LGBTQ communities, and his recent book Managing Diabetes: The Cultural Politics of Disease.

Interview with Carole Blair, Ph.D. – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Carole Blair is Professor Emerita in the Department of Communication at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she studies the rhetoric of U.S. commemoration in the form of art, memorials, museums, and other artifacts.

Interview with E Cram, Ph.D. – The University of Iowa

Dr. E Cram is Assistant Professor at The University of Iowa in the Department of Communication and the Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies. Discover Dr. Cram’s innovative scholarship, which brings together perspectives in rhetorical criticism, queer studies, ability studies, and environmental cultural studies to study the relationship between the environment, sexuality, and ability.

Interview with Greg Dickinson, Ph.D. – Colorado State University

Dr. Dickinson is the Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Colorado State University, where he manages curriculum design, oversees graduate and undergraduate student advising, supports faculty, and teaches courses as a Professor.

Interview with Rebekah Fox, Ph.D. – Texas State University

Dr. Rebekah Fox is a Professor of Communication Studies at Texas State University, where she studies rhetorical criticism’s applications in organizational communication, health communication, firefighting and fire safety, and free speech.

Interview with Whitney Gent, Ph.D. – University of Nebraska Omaha

Dr. Whitney Gent is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she researches rhetorics of homelessness in public policy, media, and popular culture and teaches courses in research methods and argumentation.

Interview with Roseann M. Mandziuk, Ph.D. – Texas State University

Dr. Mandziuk is University Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies at Texas State University, where she researches the rhetoric of political advocacy, gender discourse, and social equality. She is also the Second Vice President of the NCA.

Interview with Carolyn Rae Miller, Ph.D. – North Carolina State University

Dr. Miller is the Founding Director of the M.S. in Technical Communication and the Ph.D. in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media at NC State University, where she served as SAS Institute Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Technical Communication until she retired in 2015.

Interview with Brian Ott, Ph.D. – Texas Tech University

Dr. Ott is a Professor in the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University. He specializes in rhetorical studies, political communication, and the impact that a message’s form has on its function and social impact.

Social Movement Communication Research Interviews:

Interview with Elizabeth Brunner, Ph.D. – Utah State University

Dr. Elizabeth Brunner is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and Philosophy at Utah State University. Discover Dr. Brunner’s scholarship on environmental activism in China and her applied work for Idaho National Lab.

Interview with Karma Chávez, Ph.D. – The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Chavez is Chair of the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches courses as an Associate Professor and studies activism of women of color, queer migration politics, and racial justice’s connection to health.

Interview with Lisa M. Corrigan, Ph.D. – University of Arkansas

Dr. Corrigan is a Professor of Communication at the University of Arkansas, where she also directs the Gender Studies program. She is an award-winning author of research on racial justice, political movements, gender politics, and the role of rhetoric in social progress.

Interview with Shiv Ganesh, Ph.D. – The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Shiv Ganesh is Professor in the Department of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin, where he researches organizational communication, the dynamics of digital social movements, and collective and connective action.

Interview with Michael Lechuga, Ph.D. – The University of New Mexico

Dr. Lechuga is an Assistant Professor at The University of New Mexico. He studies Xicano/a/x media, and is invested in the ways that rhetoric impacts social and racial justice and the acceptance and/or marginalization of immigrants in the United States.

Sports Communication Research Interviews:

Interview with Michael L. Butterworth, Ph.D. – The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Butterworth is the Founding Director of the Center for Sports Communication & Media at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is also Chair of the Texas Program in Sports & Media and teaches courses in sport and communication as a Professor.