Janell Walther, PhD
Lecturer Communication Studies

DR. JANELL WALTHER is a Senior Research Manager at the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center and a Lecturer in Communication Studies. Dr. Walther is most interested in helping communicate complex ideas to publics and policy makers to help improve decision-making. Her research focuses on public and civic engagement, science communication, research and evaluation design, nonprofit organizing, and public policy. She teaches, offers training, and guest lectures in the areas of public and professional speaking, public engagement, nonprofit organizing, and facilitation. In addition, she is a Leadership Lincoln Fellow and served on the Board of Directors for the Junior League of Lincoln.


Research interests

Civic and public engagement, science communication, research design, nonprofit organizing, public policy, program evaluation

Selected publications and presentations

Selected, CV, and full list on the Public Policy Center website

Walther, J., PytlikZillig, L., Detweiler, C., & Houston, A. (2019). How people make sense of drones used for atmospheric science (and other purposes): hopes, concerns, and recommendations. Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems, 7(3), 219-234.

Iruka, I. U., DeKraai, M., Walther, J., Sheridan, S. M., & Abdel-Monem, T. (2020). Examining how rural ecological contexts influence children's early learning opportunities. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 52, 15-29.

Walther, J.C. (2016). Technically Speaking: Sharing complex information with juries. American Bar Association Expert Witness Newsletter, 11:1.

Hutchens, M.J., PytlikZillig, L.M., Muhlberger, P., Tomkins, A.J., Anderson, R.P., Walther, J.C., & Gonzalez, F.J. (2014, May). Message or process? Learning about nanotechnology through engaged deliberation. Paper presented at International Communication Association Annual Conference, Seattle, WA.

Garner, J., Kramer, M., Meisenbach, R.J., Mize Smith, J., Nichols, Z., & Walther, J.C. (2013, November). Connections through current theoretical approaches and interdisciplinary perspectives of volunteer research. Panel presented at the National Communication Association Annual Conference, Washington, DC.



Ph.D., University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Communication Studies (Rhetoric and Public Culture)