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More about me

I am a communication expert and organizational leader. Currently, I hold the position of professor of communication studies at East Tennessee State University, where I have been head of the Department of Communication and Performance, formerly the Department of Communication, since 2010. Previously, I directed the ETSU's Women's Studies Program for ten years.

I am the director of graduate studies for ETSU's Communication and Storytelling Studies master's degree program. I teach a variety of graduate and undergraduate communication courses, and work to provide strong leadership for my department, in collaboration with my staff and colleagues.

I am a consultative and resourceful leader, a program builder, a faculty/employee advocate, and a skilled and motivating communicator.  I have experience in vision and mission building, strategic planning, policy making, and diversity/inclusion.

My work inside and outside the classroom is focused on communication and story as they relate to interpersonal interaction, health and well-being, workforce effectiveness, and human equity. 

I am a partner, mother, sister, and daughter. I live in Johnson City, Tennessee with my partner Patrick, our two dogs, Maggie and Reggie, and our foster dog, Brodie. In my spare time, I am a Tennessee real estate agent with Keller Williams Johnson City.

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Food and Communication

I lead a grant-funded project utilizing focus group research to study mothers' perspectives on family meal provision. I also teach a Food and Communication course online at ETSU.

A.A. in general studies 

from Broward Community College


Maternal Well-being, Mother Studies

Since the late 1990s, my research with mothers has used interview, narrative, and focus group approaches to studying maternal well-being, identity, and experience. 

Communication in Health and Aging

I worked on a research team lead by Dr. Kelly Dorgan that used story circles as a way to study women's cancer survivorship in Southern Appalachia. I also worked on a team lead by Dr. Ronald Hamdy that created guides for healthcare professionals to better assist family caregivers manage aberrant behavior in people with dementia.


Ph.D. in Communication

from Purdue University

M.A. in Communication

from University of South Florida

B.A. in Communication

from University of South Florida

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