Graduate Faculty

Zhuo Ban

Dr. Zhuo Ban

Dr. Zhuo Ban, Ph.D. (Purdue University) is an Assistant Professor and graduate faculty in the Department of Communication at University of Cincinnati. She studies processes of neoliberal globalization and marginalization from a Public Relations perspective. Her recent work explores how industrial workers in offshore manufacturing units in Southern China construct their identities as marginalized publics in the global diffusion of production. She is also interested in the study of global-local dialectics of sweatshop activism; from consumer-based activism in the US to grassroots organizing in sweatshop sites in China. She has published in journals like Public Relations Inquiry, Journal of International and Intercultural Research, and PRism. Dr. Ban has a Master's degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing. Her professional experiences include government-media relations consulting for local, regional and national state councils in China. In addition, she has also worked as a senior editor for regional television media houses in south China. Her current course offerings include undergraduate and graduate classes in Public Relations research. 

Dr. Omotayo Banjo

Dr. Omotayo Banjo

Dr. Omotayo Banjo's primary research focuses on the representation of social groups (i.e. race, gender, religion) in media entertainment. Her research also examines audience responses to identity-oriented types of entertainment. As a secondary interest, Dr. Banjo studies enjoyment processes and outcomes. She employs a variety of research methodologies including experiment, textual analysis, content analysis, and focus group research. Her work has been published in the Journal of Broadcast & Electronic Media, Journal of Media and Religion, and Communication Theory.  In the Department of Communication, Dr. Banjo teaches Entertainment Psychology and Communication Theory. She has advised a variety of M.A and Ph.D thesis projects including studies on humor, developing instructional tools for Indian populations, and audience responses to representations of mentally challenged television characters.

Dr. Suzanne Boys

Dr. Suzanne Boys

Dr. Suzanne Boys has a Masters in Communication from the University of Cincinnati (2002) and a PhD. in Communication from Texas A&M (2007). Her dissertation research on the Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis developed a dialogical model for understanding crisis communication. This research honed Suzanne's academic focus on organizational communication, public relations, crisis communication, dialogue, and organizational diversity, Suzanne directs the Communication Department's Public Relations Certificate program for undergraduate students, and serves as faculty advisor for the department's Public Relations Student Society of America chapter and it's student run PR firm, UC Influence. She teaches upper level undergraduate courses in organizational communication and public relations, including: Organizational Diversity; Organizational Image, Identity, & Issues; and Public Relations Campaigns. Suzanne serves as a praxis advisor for Communication Masters students each year, helping them analyze their internships from an interpretive/critical perspective. Frequent themes for these praxis projects include: public relations, organizational culture, corporate social responsibility, organizational rhetoric, and organizational identity/image.

Dr. Stephen P. Depoe

Dr. Stephen P. Depoe

Stephen P. Depoe, PhD (Northwestern, 1986), is a Professor of Communication, and is currently serving as Department Head. He is the editor of ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION: A JOURNAL OF NATURE AND CULTURE (www.tandfonline.com/renc), and is also the chair of the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA) (http://environmentalcomm.org). His research areas include environmental and risk communication, particularly the role of the public in environmental decision-making; and public communication, especially social movements. His recent work includes the co-edited volumes NUCLEAR LEGACIES: COMMUNICATION, CONTROVERSY, AND THE U. S.NUCLEAR WEAPONS COMPLEX (Lexington Press, 2007) and COMMUNICATION AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION MAKING (SUNY Press, 2004). His current project is a co-edited book (with Jennifer Peeples) on voice and the environment.

Dr. Gail Fairhurst

Dr. Gail Fairhurst

Gail Fairhurst is a Professor of Communication at the University of Cincinnati. Her areas of interest are organizational communication, leadership, and organizational discourse analysis.  Prof. Fairhurst studies leadership with a lens that is more social, cultural, and discourse-based than that of leadership psychology. Her work with practitioners is in the area of framing, which focuses on the creation of meaning through dialogue. Her past research has centered on sensemaking during times of organizational change, downsizing, organizational culture, leader-member relationships, cross-cultural management, executive coaching, and male and female communication styles. She is a Fellow of the International Communication Association and a National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar.

Dr. Stephen M. Haas

Dr. Stephen M. Haas

Stephen M. Haas, Associate Professor, (Ph.D., Ohio State University) does research and teaches in the areas of Health Communication, Interpersonal/Relational Communication, and Social Science Quantitative/Qualitative Research Methods.  Much of his work has explored communication dimensions of persons living with chronic illness including: (a) relationship maintenance in couples coping with HIV or AIDS, (b) the communicative management of uncertainty, and (c) patient self-advocacy in physician-patient interactions. He also studies relationship maintenance in married, dating, and same-sex couples. Dr. Haas has been the recipient of several prestigious national awards. He and his colleagues received the 2004 Distinguished Article of the Year Award from the Health Communication Division of the National Communication Association--an award that recognizes research that has had a significant impact on the field of Health Communication, the National Communication Association's Golden Anniversary Monograph Award for the top article or book published in the Communication discipline in 2000, and he received the 1999 National Communication Association's Gerald R. Miller Dissertation Award recognizing the top dissertation in the field of Communication, as well as, receiving the International Communication Association's top dissertation award in the Interpersonal Communication Division. In 2006, he served as Chair of the Health Communication Division in the National Communication Association. 

Dr. Eric S. Jenkins

Dr. Eric S. Jenkins

Eric S. Jenkins studies the connection between media technologies and consumerism, focusing specifically on visual media such as cinema, animation, Internet memes, television, and videogames. He attempts to illustrate how media enable pleasurable affections that motivate continued consumption and that, likewise, become translated into consumerist ideology. He works through a variety of critical perspectives including media ecology, phenomenology, and a Deleuzian ontology. He also has a strong background in rhetorical theory and continues to publish works in the area, especially on the topics of emotion, pathos, affect, and the sublime. He proceeds mostly through a formal and texutal analysis of media artifacts, supplemented with historical research into how people express how they feel or are affected when encountering new media. Some of his favorite theorists include Gilles Deleuze, Walter Benjamin, Marshall McLuhan, N. Katehrine Hayles, Roland Barthes, Lawrence Grossberg, Lev Manovich, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
Eric has won seven top paper awards at national and international conferences and has published articles in such esteemed journals as Critical Inquiry, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Quarterly Journal of Film and Video, Review of Communication, Explorations in Media Ecology, and Visual Communication Quarterly. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Special Affects: Animation and the Translation of the American Dream.

Dr. Nancy Jennings

Dr. Nancy Jennings

Dr. Jennings studies the impact of media on the lives of children and their families and public policies and practices involved with children’s media.  Her research focuses on children's cognitive and social development and their use of media through experimental study and evaluation of television content and media literacy promotion programs.  Dr. Jennings has also published on topics of virtual environments, children’s advertising, families and media, and media violence. She has served on local and national taskforces for screen-time reduction, provides parent education programs on children’s media use, and has published in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Family Communication, and the Journal of Children and Media.

Dr. John Lynch

Dr. John Lynch

Dr. Lynch's teaching and research interests focus on the rhetoric of science and medicine, especially on how the public understands science.  I teach rhetorical/communication criticism, the rhetoric of science and research ethics.  My current research projects examine public debates about research misconduct and how scientists process and attribute authorship to members of their research team.  He recently published What are Stem Cells? Definition at the Intersection of Science and Politics (U-Alabama, 2010)

Dr. Maribeth Metzler

Dr. Maribeth Metzler

Maribeth S. Metzler, Associate Professor of Communication, earned her PhD in Communication and Rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1996. Her academic background is slightly electic, including an undergraduate degree in Literature (with multiple honors) and a master&39;s degree in Environmental Science. She has professional experience as a technical writer, paralegal, environmental public relations specialist, hazardous waste site safety officer and trainer, and environmental consultant. Prior to joining the faculty at Cincinnati, she taught at Rutgers, SUNY Oswego, and Miami University. Her research interests include environmental and risk communication, the social implications of organizations, and communication ethics. Her recent work has appeared in the American Behavioral Scientist, Handbook of Public Relations (Sage), Communication Quarterly, Communication Studies, and the Encyclopedia of Public Relations (Sage). She is co-editor on a book about communication in the US nuclear weapons production complex with her UC colleague Steve Depoe, Brian Taylor, and Bill Kinsella.  Dr. Metzler teaches courses in Public Relations, Organizational Communication, Communication Ethics, and Research Methods.

Dr. Kurt Neuwirth

Dr. Kurt Neuwirth

Dr. Kurt Neuwirth, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and an associate of the Center for Health and Environmental Communication.  Dr. Neuwirth specializes in mass communication and research design and methods. . Dr. Neuwirth's research examines the effects of media content on people's perceptions of hazards, their emotional reactions to risk, and changes in their behaviors. In addition, his work examines the role the media play in forming and changing public opinion, especially when information about hazards influences wider social and political processes.  His most recent research focuses on the relationship between values and the perception of risk and benefit. 

Dr. Shaunak Sastry

Dr. Shaunak Sastry

Shaunak Sastry, Ph.D. (Purdue University) is an Assistant Professor and graduate faculty member in the Department of Communication at the University of Cincinnati, and an affiliate faculty at the Center for Culture-centered Research and Evaluation (CARE) at the National University of Singapore. His areas of interest are global health communication, critical theory and culture-centered approaches to social change with a particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS campaigns in the global south. He has published peer-reviewed articles in Health Communication, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, and Studies in Symbolic Interaction in addition to book chapters and close to 20 paper presentations at national and international conferences. In addition to a book proposal, he is currently working on publishing manuscripts from his dissertation, for which he was awarded the Purdue Research Foundation Fellowship (2011-12). For his dissertation, Dr. Sastry did his fieldwork along highways in Western India for an ethnographic investigation of the health practices of long-distance truck drivers, who have been recognized as a high-risk group for HIV/AIDS in India. Additionally, he has been a project manager and research assistant on the Heart Health Indiana campaign under the aegis of CUAHD (Communities and Universities addressing Health Disparities), a community-based heart-health initiative located in two Indiana counties. At the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Sastry teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in health communication, environmental communication, rhetorical theory and critical theories of health. 

Dr. MJ Woeste

Dr. MJ Woeste

Coming soon

Dr. Heather Zoller

Dr. Heather Zoller

Dr. Heather M. Zoller is a Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the  Department of Communication at the University of Cincinnati.

Her research in organizational and health communication investigates the politics of public health. Topics include corporate health & wellness promotion, occupational heath, health activism and corporate PR/issue management , community organizing, and globalization  Theoretical concerns include the social construction of health, power and resistance, identity and gender, dialogue and participation.

Her work appears in Communication Monographs, Communication Theory, Journal of Applied Communication Research, and Communication Yearbook, among others. She is co-editor of the book "Emerging Issues and Perspectives in Health Communication: Meaning, Culture, and Power" with Mohan Dutta.

She serves on the Editorial Board at Journal of Applied Communication Research, Mangement Communication Quarterly, Health Communication, and the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication.

Dr. Zoller teaches undergraduate and graduate courses such as Introduction to  Communication Theory, Advanced Communication Theory, Gender Communication, Communication and Health Politics, Organizational Identity, Image, and Issue Management, Organizational Communication - Power and Politics, and Dialogue and Communication.