Graduate students in the Department of Communication participate in research in a variety of ways. In addition to developing their own projects, they collaborate with faculty, with other graduate students, and with undergraduate students as well. Here is a sample of current research projects in the department:


Current Dissertation Projects, 2014-15

Ryan Blum, "Playing at Perfection: Discourses of Twentieth Century American Utopias." Advisor: James Hay.

George Boone, "Technological Contexts and the Remediation of Fantasy Narratives in Role Playing Games." Advisor: Ned O'Gorman.

Courtney Caudle Travers, "Jacqueline Kennedy and the Politics of Popularity." Advisor: John Murphy.

Kristin Drogos, "The Relationship Between Social Network Sites and Adolescent Identity Development." Advisor: Barbara Wilson.

Jermaine Martinez, "Radical Sadness: The Rhetorical Use of Memoirs about Depression in an Age of Authenticity." Advisor: Ned O'Gorman.

Liesel Sharabi, "Modality Switching in Online Dating: Identifying the Communicative Factors that Make the Transition from an Online to an Offline Relationship More or Less Successfull." Advisor: John Caughlin.

Jillian Klean Zwilling, “‘Caught in a Web of Indifference': U.S. Legislation, Birth Control, and the Rhetoric of the Lysol Douche.” Advisor: Cara Finnegan.

Complete List of All Dissertations Completed in the Department of Communication, 1951-2012



Some Current Research Projects Featuring Student-Faculty Collaboration

"A Contingency Theory of Organizational Response to Paradoxical Requirements: A Study of Emergency Response Organizations." Scott Poole, John Lammers, Elizabeth Carlson (Ph.D., 2014), & Natalie White Lambert (doctoral student). Funded by the National Science Foundation.

"Multiple Interpretations of Institutional Messages: A Case Study of the Institutionalization of MABAS." John Lammers & Natalie White Lambert (doctoral student).

"Communication Between Emergency Department Physicians and Specialists." Natalie White Lambert (doctoral student) and John Lammers.

"GroupScope: Instrumenting Research on Interaction Networks in Complex Social Contexts." Scott Poole, Melissa Dobosh (Ph.D., 2014), Natalie White Lambert, & Stacy Kim (M.A., 2013). Funded by the National Science Foundation.

"Market Maker, an online business-to-business web application." Scott Poole & Kristen Guth (M.A., 2012). Funded partly by I-CHASS.

"Bridging the Divide: Exploring Native Approaches to Science Through Analysis of Implementation of a Complex Information Technology in Alaska Native Communities." Scott Poole & Kate Cooper (Ph.D., 2014). Funded by the National Science Foundation.

"Research on the Process of Development of Virtual Research Environments." Scott Poole & Kate Cooper (Ph.D., 2014). Funded by the National Science Foundation.

"Virtual Worlds Exploratorium." Scott Poole & Andy Pilny (doctoral student). Funded by Bolt, Baranek, and Newman and the Army Research Laboratory Network Science Collaborative Technology Alliance.

“Communication and Information Challenges for Adult Children Coping with a Parent's Lung Cancer.” Ashley Middleton (Ph.D., 2012), Anne Stone (Ph.D., 2011), Sylvia Mikucki-Enyart (Ph.D., 2012), John Caughlin, & Laura Brown (M.A., 2010). Funded by the Campus Research Board.

“In Close Relationships, It’s Both Online and Face-to-Face Communication, Not Online versus Face-to-Face Communication.” John Caughlin & Liesel Sharabi (doctoral student).

“Measuring Interpersonal Interaction.” John Caughlin & Erin Basinger (doctoral student).

"Media Patterns and Preferences in Different Stages of Romantic Relationship Development." John Caughlin & Liesel Sharabi (doctoral student).

“Interpersonal Interaction in Primetime Television.” David Tewksbury, Julius Riles (doctoral student), Kira Varava (doctoral student), Andrew Pilny (doctoral student), Eric Weimer (undergraduate student), & Sage Markgraf (undergraduate student).

"News About the HPV Vaccine: How the Gender of the Vaccinated Influences News Discourse." Rebecca Ashton Smith (master's student), Julius Riles (doctoral student), Eric Weimer (undergraduate student), & David Tewksbury.

"Media Use and Social Networks." Julius Riles (doctoral student), Andrew Pilny (doctoral student), Eric Weimer (undergraduate student) & David Tewksbury.

“Relational Turbulence Among Couples With Depression.” Leanne Knobloch, Amy Delaney (doctoral student), Liesel Sharabi (doctoral student), & Samantha Surrane (M.A., 2012). Funded by the Campus Research Board.

"Study of Military Couples After Deployment." Leanne Knobloch, Kelly McAninch (doctoral student), Erin Basinger (doctoral student), Erin Wehrman (doctoral student), & Bryan Abendschein (doctoral student). Funded by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

"Origin Stories and Dreams of Collaboration: Rethinking Histories of the Communication Course and the Relationships Between English and Speech." Cara Finnegan & Marissa Lowe Wallace (doctoral student).

"Nurses' Use of Technology: Implications for Nurse-Patient Communication." Marian Huhman, Heather Zupancic (M.A., 2013), & Ashley Snick (M.A., 2013). Funded by the Campus Research Board.

"A Comparison of Direct Mail Organ Donation campaign." Brian Quick & Nicole LaVoie (doctoral student). Funded by Health and Human Services Division of Transplantation.

"A Direct Mail Organ Donation campaign Targeting Illinois, Iowa, and New York 50-55-Year Olds." Brian Quick & Natalie White Lambert (doctoral student). Funded by Health and Human Services Division of Transplantation.

"Baseball and Steroids." Brian Quick and Natalie White Lambert (doctoral student).

"Is Psychological Reactance an Outcome of Fear-Control Processing?" Brian Quick, Nicole LaVoie (doctoral student), Macarena Pena Y Lilo (doctoral student), & Natalie White Lambert (doctoral student).

"The Rhetoric of Video Games." Ned O'Gorman & George Boone (doctoral student).



Mentoring Through Research and Practice: Undergraduate Research Opportunities

MTRP is a program that pairs undergraduate students with graduate students to provide undergraduates with hands-on, practical research experience and the opportunity to develop a close, working relationship with a graduate student mentor. For more information on the program and to see examples of recent grad/undergrad research collaborations, see the Undergraduate Research Opportunities page.