Communication Ph.D.’s on the Job Market


Josh C. Bramlett is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri
(B.A., Political Science, University of Central Arkansas, 2010; M.S., Mass Communications, Arkansas State University, 2014). His research focuses on the processes through which political communication informs, persuades, and engages voters through contexts such as televised candidate debates, political comedy, political advertising, and the political uses of social media. Josh has methodological experience in quantitative content analysis, statistical modeling, and experimental and survey research. Josh’s dissertation examines U.S. Senate debates and he defended his prospectus in September 2018. He is collecting data related to the 2018 congressional midterm elections and will finish data collection before Election Day 2018. He plans to defend his dissertation in the spring of 2019, and is seeking a tenure-track position for the fall of 2019.

As a research associate in the University of Missouri’s Political Communication Institute, Josh has collaborated on a number of research projects published in journals and books and presented at conferences. His collaboration with researchers in the PCI has resulted in co-authored journal articles in Mass Communication and Society and Argumentation and Advocacy. Josh has co-authored five book chapters, including a first-authored chapter in An Unprecedented Election: Media, Communication, and the Electorate in the 2016 Campaign (Eds. Warner, Bystrom, McKinney, & Carlin, 2018). Along with co-author Joel Reed, Josh received the 2017 and 2018 J. Jeffery Auer Award for top graduate student paper in the Central States Communication Association’s Political Communication interest group. Josh co-authored the top paper in the CSCA Political Communication interest group in 2018 and was a member of the 2017 top debut paper panel. He also co-authored papers accepted to the 2016, 2017, and 2018 National Communication Association annual conferences.

Josh has been the instructor of record for 12 total course sections in his time at the University of Missouri in Public Speaking (10 sections) and Persuasion (2 sections) and was a lab instructor for two lab sections of the writing intensive Survey of Communication Studies. As an educator, Josh values engaging classroom discussions that provide students with theoretical and practical insights. Josh’s passion for teaching was inspired by his high school history teacher and he looks forward to a long career of impacting students.

Josh Bramlett
Advisor: Ben Warner
Bramlett CV

MariaMaria Butauski is a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri (B.A., Public Relations & Organizational Communication, Xavier University, 2013; M.A., Interpersonal Communication, Kent State University, 2016). Her research examines (1) communication privacy management of vulnerable, often identity-related, information, (2) communicated sense-making surrounding LGBTQ+ identities, and (3) communication in and surrounding diverse family forms. Recently, Maria was awarded the Steven A. and Susan J. Beebe Doctoral Student Scholarship Endowment Summer Research Fellowship to study how intergroup dynamics play a role in adult children’s management of the parent-child privacy boundary and important relationship and identity outcomes. Her research primarily draws from communication privacy management theory and has been published in journals such as the Journal of Family Communication, Communication Studies, and the Western Journal of Communication. In her dissertation, Maria examines the extent to which LGBTQ adult children perceive open communication with their parents as risky relates to mental health outcomes. Additionally, Maria examines how parents’ accommodative communication may reduce these risk-assessments, and thus be related to more positive mental health outcomes.

Aside from her research, Maria is passionate about social justice, diversity, and inclusion. She was competitively selected and funded by the University of Missouri’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for multiple trainings on diversity and inclusion in university settings, including a certification in Social Justice Mediation ( She also volunteers as a board member and social media coordinator for The Center Project (, which is Mid-Missouri’s only nonprofit organization serving the LGBTQ community. With her passion for social justice, diversity, and inclusion, Maria works diligently to help her students think critically about issues of diversity and inclusion as it relates to communication in public speaking and interpersonal contexts. She has been the instructor of record for public speaking and relational communication classes, but her dedication to teaching and mentorship extends beyond the classroom. She volunteers as a Safe Space Trainer for the campus LGBTQ Resource Center by conducting trainings on LGBTQ allyship for student, staff, and faculty groups across campus. Maria has also mentored undergraduate students in a variety of contexts. She has served as a research mentor for undergraduate communication students interested in gaining research experience, a senior capstone project mentor for undergraduate hospitality students, a teaching mentor for new graduate teaching assistants, and a mentor for the Proud Tiger Mentorship program through the campus LGBTQ Resource Center. Maria plans to defend her dissertation in the spring of 2019 and is seeking a tenure track position to begin in the fall of 2019.

Maria Butauski
Advisor: Dr. Haley Horstman
Butauski CV

Joel Lansing Reed is a doctoral candidate in the D