Communication Ph.D.’s on the Job Market
Jaclyn K. Brandhorst (B.A.s, Communication Studies & International Political Studies, Drury University, 2012; M.A. Communication, Missouri State University, 2014) is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri. Her scholarship focuses on mental health, resilience, and overall well-being at work with an additional focus on strategic communication during crisis. Jaclyn’s dissertation focuses on the communicative construction of mental health in correctional work, specifically how correctional officers manage mental health challenges and seek help from resources such as Employee Assistance Programs. Jaclyn has been invited to present her scholarship at national and international conferences including the European Group for Organizational Studies, the National Communication Association, and the Central States Communication Association. She was also competitively selected to participate in Wayne State’s Doctoral Seminar on Resilience in Careers. Her research has been published in Public Relations Review. Jaclyn is a passionate teacher who has helped develop and teach courses in Crisis Communication (in an online and seated format), Public Speaking, and Survey of Communication Studies. Throughout her graduate career she has dedicated herself to pedagogical training and will graduate with an additional minor in college teaching. Jaclyn values connecting with organizations in the community and has been invited to give trainings on professional communication and conflict management to the Missouri Afterschool Network, the Federal Bureau of Prisons at AUSP Thompson, Rainbow House Children’s Emergency Shelter, the University of Missouri’s Summer Welcome Leadership Training, and Student Affairs at MU. Jaclyn currently serves as the undergraduate advisor for Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association’s undergraduate honors society, and as an editorial assistant for the Journal of Applied Communication Research.
Nettie A. Brock is a doctoral candidate in the department of Communication at the (B.A., Broadcasting and Electronic Media: Film Techniques and Technologies, Eastern Kentucky University, 2008; M.A., Cinema Studies, San Francisco State University, 2012). Her research examines the relationships between popular culture and narrative forms, as well as how those narrative forms shape and influence representation. Nettie’s dissertation project theorizes a new approach to genre. Rather than conceiving of genres as discrete, independent categorizations, Nettie suggests that genre is actually an intricate rhizome of traits and cultural influences. By theorizing genre in this way, Nettie sees that all generic programs can be conceptualized on a similar level, and some texts are not privileged above others. Nettie has published chapters in A Sense of Community and Seeing Fans. Nettie has experience teaching a variety of classes in a variety of university settings. She has worked in large lectures, small break-out style discussion sections, and stand-alone seminars. She has worked as a teaching assistant and instructor for classes such as Public Speaking, Media and Society, Film History, and Television Criticism and Analysis.
Calvin R. Coker is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri (B.A.s, History & English Literature, Washburn University, 2012; M.A. Communication, Missouri State University, 2014). His research focuses on the articulation of marginalized groups in political discourse, with specific interest in how political subjects and political conflicts are rhetorically constructed in the public sphere. Calvin dissertation project examines the ideological history of the term “political correctness,” culminating in an analysis of the rhetoric of the 2016 election cycle. Calvin’s solo-authored scholarly work has been featured in Argumentation and Advocacy, Speaker and Gavel, Southern Communication Journal, and Western Journal of Communication, and he has co-authored work appearing in American Behavioral Scientist and Communication Studies. At the University of Missouri, Calvin has taught courses in Political Communication, Communication Theory and Practice, and Public Speaking (including Honors). Additionally, Calvin works with the research team at the Political Communication Institute in the Department of Communication. He plans to defend his dissertation in March 2018 and is seeking a tenure track position to begin in the fall of 2018.
Molly M. Greenwood, PhD, is an instructor in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri (B.A., Communication, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 2007; M.A., Communication Studies, Marquette University, 2009). The primary goal of her research is to produce knowledge concerning political polarization in today’s mass-mediated environment. One of her primary aims is to improve our theoretical understanding of how mediated political communication messages affect individuals’ political learning and political engagement, particularly within social media contexts. Her dissertation explores how political posts on social media create social pressure to conform, thereby influencing political polarization, political engagement, and political interest. Her co-authored research has been published in journals such as Computers in Human Behavior, Argumentation and Advocacy, and American Behavioral Scientist. She has also published research in books such as AlieNATION: The Divide & Conquer Election of 2012 and Communication in the 2008 U.S. Election: Digital Natives Elect a President. Additionally, Molly has presented research at the annual meetings of the International Communication Association, the National Communication Association, and the Central States Communication Association. At the University of Missouri, she has taught Survey of Political Communication and Public Speaking (both regular and Honors sections). Additionally, she has served as a teaching assistant for a writing intensive course, Survey of Communication Theories. Molly has also served as a graduate student advisor for Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association’s undergraduate honor society. In May 2017, she received the Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award from the University of Missouri’s Department of Communication.
Michelle E. Funk is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri (B.A., Telecommunications: Design & Production, Indiana University, 2012; M.A., Telecommunications: Mass Communication, Indiana University, 2015). Michelle’s research focuses on media effects and social identity. The specific aims of her research are to (1) examine the means through which intersecting social identities affect and are affected by media use and exposure, (2) identify relationships between online media habits, attitudes, and cognition, and (3) devise praxis for educators to promote media literacy. Her work has been featured in Communication Studies, Psychology of Women Quarterly, and Archives of Sexual Behavior, with many other studies underway. Michelle’s dissertation project examines intergroup conflict between polarized social identities in online political communication, focusing specifically on social cognitive processes and outgroup stereotyping in the role of decision-making. She is a research associate for the Media & Diversity Center and the Political Communication Institute in the Department of Communication. During her doctoral studies, she has taught courses such as New Technologies and Communication, Media Communication in Society, and Public Speaking. She is currently an inaugural member of the Committee for Pedagogical and Classroom Development, and is dedicated to integrating communication theory into interdisciplinary practices to foster curiosity and independence in her students and mentees.
Freddie J. Jennings is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri (B.A. Communication & Political Science, University of Arkansas, 2005; M.A. Communication, University of Arkansas, 2006). His research focuses on strategic political communication, information processing, and political dialogue in a new media environment. Freddie’s dissertation investigates the role of partisan social identity and mental elaboration on the effects of political messages. His scholarly research has been presented at the International Communication Association, National Communication Association, National Association of African-American Studies and Affiliates, and Central States Communication Association’s annual conferences, where his research has been awarded multiple top paper honors. Freddie’s research has been published in a number of books and journals, including American Behavioral Scientist, Journal of Intercultural Disciplines, and Public Relations Review.
Freddie has taught courses—including Public Speaking, Introduction to Communication, and Research and Theory in Persuasion—at three universities. He currently serves as chair of the Committee for Pedagogical and Classroom Development and works as a research fellow for the Political Communication Institute. He plans to defend his dissertation by Spring of 2018 and is seeking a tenure track position to begin in the Fall of 2018.
Leslie R. Nelson (B.A. Communication Studies, University of Nebraska, 2012; M.A. Communication, University of Missouri, 2014) is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri. Her research examines how communication affects and reflects diverse family forms. Specifically, Leslie’s work focuses on how family communication: (1) creates, maintains, and deconstructs family identity, (2) promotes sense-making and coping during relational transitions, and (3) impacts individual and relational well-being in diverse family structures. Much of her current work seeks to advance theoretical and practical knowledge of foster family communication. Leslie’s dissertation project focuses on how foster youth communicatively reconcile family relationships after aging out of care. Specifically, her dissertation work provides an awareness of how aged out foster youth socially (de)construct family ties and captures the complex communicative qualities inherent to the family estrangement process. Leslie’s work has been published in Communication Monographs, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Communication Quarterly, Journal of Family Communication, and Journal of Family Theory and Review. Her research has been supported with grants from the University of Missouri (i.e., Richard Wallace Alumni Grant, Rebecca Verser & Alumni Graduate Support Grant, Graduate Professional Council Travel Grant, and Graduate Student Association Travel Grant), and she currently serves as a Research Associate for the Institute of Family Diversity and Communication. Leslie has helped facilitate and teach courses in Family Communication, Relational Communication, Public Speaking (including Honors), Contemporary Families and Social Issues, and Children’s Communication. Leslie’s commitment to teaching excellence, creativity, and innovation drove her to obtain a minor in College Teaching. She was the recipient of the Loren Reid Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award (2014; 2017) and currently serves as a teaching mentor to incoming doctoral students. She plans to defend her dissertation in January 2018 and is seeking a tenure track position to begin in the fall of 2018.
Megan K. Schraedley is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri (B.A. Communication & French, Boston College, 2010; M.A. Communication, University of Missouri, 2014). Her research focuses on the communicative struggle for organizational meaning, and ultimately the path to sustainable localßàglobal solutions to food insecurity as individuals negotiate overlapping and competing language. She has been trained in qualitative methodologies including case study, grounded theory, and ethnography. Her work emphasizes deconstructing the ways humans communicatively organize around food and critiquing how food systems and communication organize humans. She has examined organizational actors and their communicative practices in the local food system, from grocery stores and farms/farmers markets to food pantries and restaurants.
Her research on the greenwashing of food discourse was recently published in The Political Language of Food, edited by Samuel Boerboom (2015). Her work on disaster communication has appeared in Current Psychiatry Reports. At the University of Missouri, Megan has taught courses in Organizational Advocacy, Communication Theory and Practice, and Public Speaking. Additionally, Megan is an editorial assistant for the Journal of Applied Communication Research and has conducted research for the Disaster and Community Crisis Center (DCC). She plans to defend her dissertation by Spring 2018 and is seeking a tenure track position to begin in the fall of 2018.
Deirdre Zerilli (B.A. Interpersonal Communication, Western Michigan University, 2013; M.A. Communication, Western Michigan University; 2014) is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri. Her scholarship focuses on broad conceptualizations of disability, particularly how disability relates to material resources. Her dissertation is an experiment comparing the success of stigma management strategies in procuring accommodations for recovering from appearance-altering surgeries. Her research has been published in Communication Yearbook. Deirdre has been invited to present at various conferences including the National Communication Association, the Central States Communication Association, and the Organizational Communication Mini Conference. During her graduate career, Deirdre has taught courses in Communication and Community Engagement, Public Speaking, Business and Professional Communication, and Organizational Communication. Deirdre has also served as the Advisor of the Intercollegiate Communication Organization of Mizzou for two years, helping to plan two undergraduate networking opportunities per year and serving on the Communication Week Committee to plan an annual departmental event for over 500 students. She plans to defend her dissertation in Spring of 2018 and seeks a tenure track position beginning in Fall of 2018.