Department of Communication Studies, 432 Oldfather Hall, Lincoln NE 68588-0329, (402) 472-2069, comm.unl.edu
FIND A COMMUNICATION EXPERT
Department of Communication Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Updated July 2016
The UNL Department of Communication Studies serves as a resource to the media and community. We study human communication as it shapes and is shaped by relationships, institutions, technology, and culture—specifically the creation, analysis, and critique of messages ranging from face-to-face to digital media contexts.
Our main areas of expertise are: Interpersonal, Family and Intergroup Communication, Organizational Communication, Rhetoric & Public Culture. We list areas of expertise below, short bios, and contact information.
Our contact person is Department Chair Dawn O. Braithwaite firstname.lastname@example.org, 430 Oldfather Hall. Contact experts directly or she will help you locate one.
Dawn O. Braithwaite, Ph.D., Willa Cather Professor & Chair
Interpersonal & Family Communication
Communication during relationship and family change and challenges
Nontraditional Families (stepfamily, post-divorce, voluntary family [fictive, chosen])
Family routines, traditions and rituals
Privacy and Communication
Group and team communication
Work Phone: 402-472-2069
Dawn O. Braithwaite (Ph.D., University of Minnesota) is a Willa Cather Professor of Communication Chair of the department specializing in Interpersonal & Family Communication. Her research focuses on how those in personal and family relationships communicate during times of transitions and stress. She studies how nontraditional families communicate and become a family, gain acceptance, and how they communicate inside and outside the family to deal with challenges such as managing privacy, conflict, changing routines and rituals.
Dr. Braithwaite is the author of over 100 articles chapters. She received the National Communication Association’s Brommel Award for Outstanding Scholarship/Service in Family Communication and the UNL College of Arts & Sciences Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Achievement in the Social Sciences. She was named the Distinguished Scholar of the Western States Communication Association in 2014.Dr. Braithwaite was President of the 8,000-member National Communication Association in 2010 and is a Senior Research Fellow and Executive Board Member of the Council of Contemporary Families.
Kathy Castle. PhD, Director of Undergraduate Education, Assistant Professor of Practice
Business and Professional Communication, Interpersonal, Family, and Health Communication
Expertise Key Words:
Business and Professional Communication
Family Health Communication
Communication in Chronic Illness
Work Phone: 402-472-5658
Kathy Castle (MA., University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is the Director of Business and Professional Communication. This innovative flipped course educates approximately 1500 students each year with a focus on helping students become proficient in interpersonal communication, small group communication, and organizational communication competencies in the business environment. This course also teaches students how to organize, research, and present business presentations and Professor Castle has expertise in all these areas.
Kathy’s research is focused on improving the overall physical, mental, and relational health and well being of those experiencing and working within the context of chronic illness. Specifically, Kathy is interested in understanding how the way we talk in families and with medical providers shapes the stories we tell to understand the experience of chronic illness. Further, she is interested in the implications of the specific stories we tell in illness for facilitating self-management behavior in chronic illness along with overall individual and relational health.
Aaron Duncan, Ph.D. Director of Speech & Debate, Assistant Professor of Practice
Speech & Debate, Rhetoric & Public Culture
Expertise Key Words:
Speech and debate
Political Communication and elections
Popular culture and television
Work Phone: 402-472-6920
Aaron Duncan (Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is the Director of the UNL Speech & Debate program which placed 7th in the nation in 2013 out of over 100 college and universities at the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NEIT). He has coaches multiple national champions and dozens of state champions while at UNL.
Aaron’s research specializes in political communication and cultural studies. His focus is political communication, gambling, media interpretations of political events, and popular culture. He has published articles related to the growth of gambling in America, the changing nature of the American dream, the role of popular television shows in shaping public discourse, and the importance of video games in popular culture.
Jody Koenig Kellas, Ph.D., Professor
Interpersonal & Family Communication
Storytelling and narratives in relationships and families
Individual and relationship well-being
Communication and health
Sense-making in relationships
Work Phone: 402-472-2079
Jody Koenig Kellas (Ph.D., University of Washington) is an Associate Professor of Communication specializing in Interpersonal & Family Communication. She specializes in relational communication, family communication, and narratives of personal relationships. Her research focuses on the communicative ways in which people make sense of their relationships, including negotiating post-dissolutional communication, facework, attributions in marital relationships, as well as the interaction processes, identity negotiation, and relational qualities associated with individual and collaborative storytelling in families.
Dr. Koenig Kellas has published her research in several book chapters as well as in Communication Monographs, Human Communication Research, The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and The Journal of Family Communication. She has been the Chair of the Family Communication Division of the National Communication Association and she has won the division’s top article award.
Kathleen J. Krone, Ph.D., Professor
Organizing for social change
Cultural approaches to organizational change
Cultural approaches to leadership
Conflict and mediation
Work Phone: 402-472-6922
Kathleen J. Krone (Ph.D. The University of Texas-Austin), a Professor of Communication Studies specializing in of Organizational Communication. She has studied the use of upward influence tactics in organizations, patterns of influence in leader-member relationships, and the experience and expression of emotion in the workplace. She currently is studying managerial conflict in Sino-American joint ventures, stakeholder turning points in community consensus building, and leadership and organizing processes in transnational feminist networks.
Dr. Krone has published over 35 articles and book chapters in outlets such as Management Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Applied Communication Research, and the Handbook of Communication Science. She has served as Forum Editor for the journal Management Communication Quarterly and is a is a past Chair of the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association.
Ronald Lee, Ph.D., Professor
Rhetoric & Public Culture
Work Phone: 402-472-2255
Ronald Lee (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is a Professor of Communication Studies specializing in Rhetoric & Public Culture. He has been on the faculty at UNL since 1991. He publishes work dealing with contemporary American political discourse. His research projects have dealt with the rhetorical construction of presidential legacies, the discourses of poverty, the mythical use of American place in national politics, the evolving standards of journalistic coverage of religion, and the use of race in post-civil-rights era political discourse.
Angela Palmer-Wackerly, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Health, Interpersonal, & Intergroup Communication
Patient well-being and social support
Family treatment decision-making
Illness identity, self-disclosure, and stigma
Community engagement research
Work Phone: 402-472-5658
Angela Palmer-Wackerly (Ph.D., The Ohio State University) is an Assistant Professor specializing in health communication. She examines the ways in which interpersonal and intergroup communication processes can be used to improve health and well-being in sensitive health contexts and underserved communities. Specifically, her research explores identity, social support, and family decision-making during chronic illness. She uses mixed methods and community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles to seek interdisciplinary solutions to community-defined problems, such as support gaps during patients’ cancer and infertility treatment decision-making. Her studies have investigated self-disclosure, support, risk, literacy, culture, and illness identity in cancer, infertility, and HIV.
Dr. Angela Palmer-Wackerly has published her work in journals, such as Health Communication, The American Journal of Community Psychology, and Journal of Language and Social Psychology. She is currently serving as the secretary of the Intergroup Communication Interest Group of the International Communication Association.
Bill Seiler, Ph.D., Professor
Technology and instruction
Interviewing (employment, information gathering)
Personalized systems of instruction
Communication Apprehension—speech anxiety, fear of speaking in public
Difficult communication situations
Work Phone: 402-472-2197
Bill Seiler (Ph.D. Purdue University) is a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies specializing in Instructional Communication. He has been on the faculty since 1972 and was department chair for 21 years. He has an adjunct appointment in the UNL Teachers College as professor of Curriculum and Instruction. His expertise is in the areas of classroom communication, business and organizational communication, psycho-linguistics, statistics, and interviewing.
Seiler has authored three textbooks including Communication in Business and Professional Organizations, Communication for the Contemporary Classroom, and his third book, Communication: Making Connections, is now in its 9th edition, Communication: Making Connections is one of the best selling books in the communication discipline. Seiler won UNL’s 2003 Floyd Oldt Boss of the Year Award and was inducted into the Central States Communication Association Hall of Fame in 2013.
Jordan Soliz, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Interpersonal, Family & Intergroup Communication
Communication and aging
Work Phone: 402-472-8326
Dr. Jordan Soliz (Ph.D., University of Kansas) is an Associate Professor with a specialization in Interpersonal & Family Communication. His research focuses on how individuals in personal and family relationships manage differences based on their social identities such as age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc. He is also currently working on research investigating how our attitudes toward others and civic/community engagement is developed or fostered in the family.
Dr. Soliz has authored numerous scholarly journal articles and book chapters in this area and has received awards for his scholarship. He is past Chair of the Communication and Aging Division of the National Communication Association and was Chair of the Interpersonal and Small Group Division of the Central States Communication Association.
Charles Braithwaite, Ph.D., Center for Great Plains Studies, Communication Studies Department
International and Intercultural Communication
Expertise Key Words:
Nonverbal communication (body language, gestures, silence)
American Indians; Pakistan; Turkey; Russia; Costa Rica
Contact information: Dr. Chuck Braithwaite
Work Phones: 402-472-6178
Dr. Chuck Braithwaite (Ph.D. University of Washington) is a research professor in the Center for Great Plains Studies at UNL. He is the editor of the Great Plains Quarterly and is a lecturer in the Communication Studies Department. Dr. Braithwaite specializes in cultural and intercultural communication, and teaches courses on interviewing, nonverbal communication, and communication in international organizations. He was named a Master Teacher by the Western States Communication Association.
Dr. Braithwaite is Director of the Global Classroom Project, which links UNL classes via internet video conferencing to classrooms in Turkey, Russia an Costa Rica. His international experience includes serving as a North Vietnamese interpreter, and studying international business communication along the U.S./Mexican border. He has a special interest in Native American higher education, and has conducted research with the Navajo, Omaha, Santee, and HoChunk. Dr. Braithwaite was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Grant by the U. S. Department of State.