Jody Koenig Kellas

Jody Koenig Kellas
Department Chair and Willa Cather Professor, Interpersonal, Family, & Health Communication Communication Studies

Research Gate Profile
Personal website

Dr. Jody Kellas conducts research and teaches classes on interpersonal, family, and health communication. The overarching purpose of her research program is to study the ways in which narratives, storytelling, and related forms of communicated sense-making can help individuals and families understand, negotiate, and improve communication and coping within the context of difficulty and illness. Her research lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln - NARRATIVE NEBRASKA - seeks to implement interdisciplinary, narrative-based interventions to improve caregiving, communication, and psychosocial well-being for families and care providers.

Representative Publications

Koenig Kellas, J., Morgan, T., Taladay, C, Minton, M., Forte, J., & Husmann, E. (2020). Putting CNSM Theory into action: Translational storytelling in the context of parenting. Journal of Family Communication, 20, 360-376. DOI: 10.1080/15267431.2020.1826485

Koenig Kellas, J., Baker, J., Cardwell, M., & Minniear, M. (2020, advanced online publication). Communicated perspective-taking (CPT) and storylistening. Testing the impact of CPT in the context of friends telling stories of difficulty. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Doi: 10.1177/0265407520955239

Koenig Kellas, J. (2018). Communicated Narrative Sense-Making Theory: Linking storytelling and health. In D. O. Braithwaite, E. Suter, & K. Floyd (Eds.) Engaging theories in family communication, 2nd ed (pp. 62-74). New York: Routledge.

Koenig Kellas, J., Castle, K., Johnson, A., & Cohen, M. Z.  (2019). Cancer as Communal: Understanding communication and relationships from the perspectives of patients, survivors, family caregivers, and health care providers. Health Communication. Doi: 10.1080/10410236.2019.1683952. 

Flood-Grady, E., & Koenig Kellas, J. (2018). Sense-making, socialization, and stigma: Exploring narratives told in families about mental illness. Health Communication. Advanced online publication. Doi: 10.1080/10410236.2018.1431016.

Holman, A., & Koenig Kellas, J. (2018). “Say something instead of nothing”: Adolescents’ perceptions of memorable conversations about sex-related topics with their parents. Communication Monographs, 85:3, 357-379, DOI: 10.1080/03637751.2018.1426870



  • COMM 971: The Dark Side of Interpersonal and Family Communication
  • COMM 973: Narratives, Storytelling, and Health
  • GRDC 900A, B, D: Preparing Future Faculty


  • COMM 283: Interpersonal Communication
  • COMM 354: Health Communication
  • COMM 373: Narratives and Health
  • COMM 471: The Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication


Ph.D., University of Washington, 2002