Research Labs and Collaborations

Research Labs

NARRATIVE NEBRASKA (Dr. Jody Koenig Kellas)

Research in the Narrative Nebraska lab seeks to investigate the links between storytelling and health and implement interdisciplinary, narrative-based interventions to improve caregiving, communication, and psychosocial well-being for families and care providers. Grounded in the theory of Communicated Narrative Sense-Making, we study the impact of stories; the process of storytelling; and the ways in which narrative research theory, and methods can be used to inform interventions for individuals and families coping with illness and other difficulties. Learn more here

HEALTH COMMUNICATION LAB (Dr. Angela Palmer-Wackerly)

Research in the Health Communication Lab explores communication about health and identity as it relates to the well-being of patients, supportive others, and health care providers. An ecological perspective is encouraged in this lab, in which participants consider communication from multiple levels (e.g., individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and mass communication/policy). Participants have looked at contexts, ranging from chronic and nonvisible illness to rural and cultural health, and investigated communication processes, such as disclosure, privacy, supportive communication, decision-making, community engagement, patient-family-provider communication.  Contact Dr. Palmer-Wackerly


Projects in the Communication and Identity Lab examine identity and difference in personal relationships, families, and communities with the goal of understanding how communication facilitates relational and community solidarity, development of worldviews and social attitudes, and individual well-being.  Learn more here


Along with scholars at Arizona State University and other programs studying discourses of family development and change, projects presently focusing on turning points, resilience, and forgiveness in positive stepfamilies and navigating fictive (voluntary) family relationships. Contact Dr. Braithwaite

Interdisciplinary Collaborations

Faculty in the Department of Communication Studies are actively involved in campus-wide interdisciplinary initiatives and program: