Kathy Castle
Associate Professor of Practice, Assistant Department Chair and Director of Undergraduate Education, Interpersonal and Family Communication Communication Studies

Dr. Kathy Castle studies and teaches in the areas of interpersonal, family, and organizational communication in personal, professional, and civic contexts. As an Associate Professor of Practice, Kathy is currently primarily focused on teaching. However, her research has been focused on improving the overall physical, mental, and relational health and well-being of those experiencing and working within the context of chronic illness. Communicated narrative sense-making is at the heart of her research with a focus on the role that it plays in identity (re)construction as patients, families, and medical providers communicate to make sense of and constitute the experience of chronic illness within a master narrative of restitution that fails to account for chronicity.

Current projects include:

  • the development and expansion of the Communication Center to support ongoing development of communicative competencies
  • the development of "The Empathy Project" – a curricular innovation aimed at supporting empathetic orientations in and through our communicative practices

Dr. Castle is a past Faculty Fellow for Student Success with the Executive Vice Chancellor's Office and a past Fellow and Chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Academy. Dr. Castle is the current course director for COMM 286: Business and Professional Communication.

Representative Work

Castle, K.M. & Gillespie-Hoffman, S.  (2022, November). (Re)Conceptualizing Rigor in Teaching: Centering the Learner for panel entitled Nurturing PLACE: Assessment Experimentation to Enhance Learning while Honoring Work & Life to be presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, New Orleans, LA.

Olson, E., Castle, K.M., Williamson, M., Harwood, D., and Nashleanas, K. (2020, July). Designing Your Course: Showcasing the College of Arts & Sciences flexible course models. Center for Transformative Teaching, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Castle, K.M., & Koenig Kellas, J. (2019). Narrative Sense-Making in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. In P. Kellett’s (Ed.) Narrating Patienthood: Engaging diverse voices on deeper cultural health narratives. Lanham, MD: Lexington Press.

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

Koenig Kellas, J., Castle, K.M., Johnson, A., & Cohen, M.Z. (2017). Communicatively constructing the bright and dark sides of hope: Family caregivers’ experiences during end of life cancer care. Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 7, 1-12. doi:10.3390/bs7020033

Castle, K.M., & Duncan, A. (2019, November). The basic course as a student survival manual: Transitioning to the college learning environment. Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association. Baltimore, MD.

Castle, K.M., Denker, K.,  & Hosek, A. (2019, November). Survival kit: Graduate assistant teacher training and mentorship as a lifeline in the basic course. Panel Chair and participant for panel presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association. Baltimore, MD.

Castle, K.M. (2017, October). Technology in pedagogy: Enhancing the business and professional communication classroom. Plenary speaker at the international meeting of the Association of Business Communication. Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.

Castle, K.M. (2011, November). Enabling student voice through technology: Moving your business and professional communication course online. Short Course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association. New Orleans, LA.


Please email Dr. Castle for more information on these courses.


  • COMM 286: Business and Professional Communication
  • COMM 310: Communication and Mentorship
  • COMM 371: Communication, Conflict, and Negotiation
  • COMM 372: Communication and Leadership
  • COMM 386: Organizational Communication
  • COMM 470: Interpersonal Communication Theory