Faculty and Staff

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Tenure-Track Faculty

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Zhuo Ban

Assistant Professor, Communication

119C McMicken Hall


Dr. Zhuo Ban 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.
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Omotayo O Banjo

Associate Professor, Communication

121-A McMicken Hall


Omotayo Banjo, PhD (Penn State University, 2009) focuses on representation and audience responses to racial and cultural media. Her work has been published in peer reviewed journals including Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Communication Theory, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Media and Religion, and Race and Social Problems. She has also presented her research at regional, national and international conferences which include the International Communication Association, National Communication Association, Association for Education  in Journalism & Mass Communication, and the Collegium for African-American Research.  Dr. Banjo teaches courses related to media theory, identity, and race. She is also an affiliate faculty of Africana Studies, Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, and Journalism.
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Steve P Depoe

Dr., Communication

037C McMicken Hall


Stephen P. Depoe, PhD (Northwestern, 1986), is a Professor of Communication and Department Head. He is currently the co-editor of a book series on Media and Environmental Communication published by Palgrave MacMillan.  He was the founding editor of ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION: A JOURNAL OF NATURE AND CULTURE (www.tandfonline.com/renc) from 2007-13, and was also the founding chair of the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA) (http://theieca.org). His research areas include environmental and risk communication, particularly the role of the public in environmental decision-making; and public communication. His recent work includes the co-edited volumes VOICE AND ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014);  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). Dr. Depoe teaches courses in Environmental Communication, Communication and Sport, Rhetoric of Social Movements, Rhetorical Research Methods, and Advanced Rhetorical Theory.
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Gail T. Fairhurst

Professor, Communication

119B McMicken Hall


Gail T. Fairhurst is a Distinguished University Research Professor of Organizational Communication at the University of Cincinnati. She specializes in organizational and leadership communication processes, including those involving paradox, problem-centered leadership, and framing. She is the author of three books, including Discursive Leadership: In Conversation with Leadership Psychology and The Power of Framing: Challenging the Language of Leadership. She has also published over 90 articles and chapters in communication and management journals and books, includingThe Academy of Management Annals, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Organization Studies, Human Relations, Management Communication Quarterly, Communication Monographs, Human Communication Research, and Journal of Applied Communication Research. She is a Fellow of the International Communication Association, Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association, and Fulbright Scholar. 
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Abel Thomas Gustafson

Dr., Communication

145A McMicken Hall


Dr. Abel Gustafson is an expert on public opinion and strategic communication in environmental and sustainability topics. He studies the roles that emotion, uncertainty, social norms, uncertainty, worldviews, media, and politics play in driving public attitudes and behaviors related to the environment and sustainanbility.

Before joining the University of Cincinnati, he was a postdoc at Yale University (Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, 2018-2020) and earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara (Communication, 2018).

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Stephen M Haas

Professor of Communication, Communication

145B McMicken Hall


Stephen M. Haas (Ph.D., Ohio State University) is a tenured Full Professor in the Department of Communication, and served as the Graduate Program Director from 2002-2007. At the national level, he has served as Chair of the Health Communication Division of the National Communication Association, and Vice Chair/Conference Planner for the Division. His national survey work on LGBTQ+ couples has been cited in the national discussion of same-sex marriage and LGBTQ equality and received the 2017 Monograph of the Year Award from the LGBTQ Studies Division of the National Communication Association. In addition, he and his colleagues development of the Online Negative Enabling Support Groups (ONESG) Theory (New Media & Society) (Sage) received national and international news coverage.

His teaching and research interests are in the areas of Health Communication and Interpersonal/Relational Communication. Much of his work has explored communication dimensions of: (a) Relationship Maintenance in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples (b) Social Support in Couples/Families Coping with Chronic Illness (e.g., HIV/AIDS), (c) Uncertainty Management Theory, and (d) Patient Self-Advocacy in Doctor-Patient Communication. His research has been published in Communication and Medical Journals such as Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Health Communication, AIDS Care, Journal of Nursing in AIDS Care, Journal of Pediatric Nursing, and he serves on the editorial boards of the flagship journals Health Communication and the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Dr. Haas has been the recipient of 5 national-level awards; including the National Communication Association's Golden Anniversary Monograph Award recognizing the top articles and books published in the Communication discipline as well as the Health Communication Distinguished Article of the Year Award from the Health Communication Division of the National Communication Association--an award that recognizes research with a significant impact on the field of Health Communication. In addition, he received the National Communication Association's Gerald R. Miller Dissertation Award for the top dissertation in the field of Communication in 1999, as well as receiving the joint National Communication Association/International Communication Association's top dissertation award from the Interpersonal Communication Divisions.

His research has been funded by several National Institute of Health agencies including the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Nursing Research, and the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases AIDS Clinical Trials Division. He also is a former faculty member at Rutgers University.
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Ronald L Jackson II

Professor of Communication, Communication

146C McMicken Hall


Dr. Ronald L. Jackson II was awarded the 2020 Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Communication Association in November 2020, a prestigious lifetime research achievement award.  He is Past President of the National Communication Association, Dean Emeritus of the College of Arts & Sciences at University of Cincinnati, Past Co-editor (with Kent Ono) of Critical Studies in Media Communication, and previous winner of the coveted Comic-Con International's Will Eisner Award for Best Academic Scholarly Work. His research explores empirical, conceptual, and critical approaches to the study of race, masculinity, identity negotiation, whiteness, and Afrocentricity. He is author of 17 books, including his most recent book (with Amber Johnson, Michael Hecht, and Sidney Ribeau) entitled African American Communication, and the well-received anthology Gladiators in Suits: Race, Gender, and Politics of Representation in Scandal, with Simone Adams and Kimberly Moffitt.  He also is co-writing (with Tina Harris) a public speaking book to be published by Oxford University Press.  The book will likely debut in 2021.
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Eric Scott Jenkins

Assistant Professor, Communication

144-C McMicken Hall


Eric Jenkins, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in Communication at the University of Cincinnati. He studies the connection between media technology and consumerism, with a particular focus on visual media. His theoretical perspectives include cultural studies, media ecology, affect theory, and critical theory. He has published articles in Critical Inquiry, Quarterly Review of Film & Video, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Games & Culture, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Quarterly Journal of Speech and Visual Communication Quarterly, among others, as well as presenting over 40 papers at national and international conferences. His book Special Affects: Cinema, Animation, and the Translation of Consumer Culture (Edinburgh University Press: 2014) has been nominated for multiple awards and is coming out in paperback soon. Eric teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in cultural studies, popular culture, digital media, visual rhetoric, postmodern media theory, and communication technology.
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Nancy A Jennings

Professor, and Director of the Children's Education and Entertainment Research (CHEER) Lab, Communication

120CA McMicken Hall


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.  She employs experimental design as well as qualitative methodologies to explore children’s relationships with media characters.  She has also conducted evaluation research on educational media and outreach programs and content analyses and textual analyses of media content.  She has authored Tween Girls and Their Mediated Friends (2014) and co-edited 20 Questions about Youth and the Media with Sharon Mazzarella (2018).  Dr. Jennings has published on other topics including virtual environments, children’s advertising, families and media, and media violence. She provides parent education programs on children’s media use, directs the Children’s Education and Entertainment Research (CHEER) Lab, and has published peer-reviewed journals articles in journals such as New Media & Society, Journal of Family Communication, Journal of Children and Media, and Learning, Media and Technology.  She has also published book chapters in the Handbook of Family Communication, the Handbook of Children and Media, and 20 Questions about Children and Media.
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John A. Lynch

Professor, Communication

144A McMicken Hall


Dr. Lynch studies bioethics, health communication, and the rhetoric of science and medicine. He was previously the clinical research ethicist at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training at UC’s College of Medicine, and he has collaborated for more than 10 years with faculty at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center to research social and ethical issues related to returning genetic research results to families and adolescents. He is the author or editor of three books and more than 40 essays and articles. His 2011 book, What Are Stem Cells? Definitions at the Intersection of Science and Politics, received the 2016 Distinguished Book Award from the National Communication Association’s Health Communication Division, and his most recent book The Origins of Bioethics: Remembering When Medicine Went Wrong received the Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine’s 2020 Book award.
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Shaunak Sastry

Associate Professor, Communication

120A McMicken Hall


Headshot of Heather M. Zoller

Heather M. Zoller

Professor, Communication

143 McMicken Hall


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

Her research in organizational and health communication investigates the politics of public health, with an emphasis on the intersections of community organizing, health activism, and corporate PR/issue management. She focuses on how the social construction of health influences our ability to address the political, economic and environmental roots of health disparities. Topics include corporate health & wellness promotion, occupational heath, environmental health  and sustainability, globalization, 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.

Dr. Zoller has served as an Associate Editor at Human Relations and Management Communication Quarterly, and Senior Editor at Health Communication. She also 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 Advanced Communication Theory; Communication and Health Politics; Organizational Identity, Image, and Issue Management; Organizational Communication: Power and Politics; and Dialogue and Communication. She is the advisor for the Communicating Science, Health, and the Environment certificate.

Educator Faculty

Headshot of Suzanne Boys

Suzanne Boys

Professor & Interim Department Head, Communication

149A McMicken Hall


Suzanne received a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Cincinnati in 1996. She earned a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Cincinnati in 2002, writing a thesis on the discursive construction of the teacher role by international graduate students. She earned a PhD. in Communication from Texas A&M University in 2007. Her dissertation research on the Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis developed a dialogical model for understanding crisis communication.

Her areas of expertise include organizational communication, organizational culture, and public relations.She currently teaches Organizational Diversity; Organizational Image, Identity, & Issue Management; and Public Relations Campaigns. She directed UC's Public Relations program from 2010-2021. She now serves as Interim Department Head.
Headshot of Steven J. Fuller

Steven J. Fuller

Educator Professor; Undergraduate Director, Communication

140B McMicken Hall


Steve teaches Interpersonal Communication (in person and online), Persuasion & Civic Engagement, and Communication, Identity & Sport. His classes regularly incorporate experience-based learning projects designed to help students put academic theories and concepts to work in their communities.

Steve serves as the Communication Undergraduate Director. He also directs the Communication Co-op Program, founded Lambda Pi Eta—UC's chapter of the National Communication Association's honor society, plans/hosts CommCeleb—the department's annual awards banquet—every April, works on the Diversity & Cultural Communication curriculum team, serves as a judge for the Alice M. House speech contest, and advises majors within the Department of Communication.

Steve is a well-respected lecturer and writer, speaking to a wide variety of groups and organizations. Steve's book, "The Church Experiment," documents his experiences visiting 52 religious gatherings in 52 weeks. His podcast, Communication Junkie, shares practical communication skills to improve interpersonal relationships. His party game, Good vs Gooder works as a great icebreaker activity inside or outside the classroom.

Please email Steve for more information about the Communication Department, co-op opportunities, his community-engaged approach to teaching, or any of his creative projects. Consult Starfish to set up an appointment to meet during his office hours.
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Amber K Gee

Educator Associate Professor, Communication

149C McMicken Hall


As a Communication graduate student in 2001, Professor Amber Gee began teaching Effective Public Speaking and has been teaching ever since. A member of the adjunct faculty since 2004, Professor Gee teaches public relations and business communication courses.

She has co-authored a public speaking instructor's manual and a journal article on the New Hampshire primary, which she attended in 2008.  

Amber has served the Department of Communication as assistant speech course director, Interim speech course director, PR Writing course director, co-director of the Alice M. House Speech Contest, Committiee chair of the Teaahing and Community Groups. She now serves as the Director of Social Media and Promotions - the only faculty member in A&S to serve in such a role. 

Occasionally, she writes as a freelance journalist for local papers. Her interests include: public relations, public speaking, teaching improvement, online teaching, writing and political communication. Professor Gee is a two time graduate of UC receiving her BA in English Literature (2000) and MA in Communication (2004).
Headshot of Jessica Joanna Graves-Rack

Jessica Joanna Graves-Rack

Dr. , Communication

149D McMicken Hall


Assistant Professor, Educator
Basic Course Director - Communication 1071 - Introduction to Public Speaking
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Evan R. Griffin

Educator Professor, Communication

140 McMicken Hall


Evan R. Griffin, Educator Professor in the Department of Communication, has taught at the University of Cincinnati since 1990. He directs the Introduction to Interpersonal Communication courses as well as teaching courses in Nonverbal Communication and Introduction to Communication Theory. Evan also assists in the leadership of the Navigators, the campus chapter of an international Christian missional community. In addition, Evan is the faculty advisor for Mission: Urban Development (M:UD), a student group that seeks to provide affordable housing and community for underresourced families in Walnut Hills.
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Lisamarie Luccioni

Professor Educator, Communication

146B McMicken Hall


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Molly B. Mayer

Educator Professor, Business Communication Coordinator, Communication

149B McMicken Hall


Molly B. Mayer, Educator Professor, joined the University of Cincinnati in1988. Her primary areas of focus are in Rhetoric and Public Address, and Organizational Communication. She currently teaches Professional Public Speaking, and Business Communication.  Professor Mayer also serves the department as an Academic Advisor. She is the Business Communication Course Coordinator and a member of the Department of Communication Head's Advisory Team. Her committee work includes Teaching, Budget, Organizational Communication and COMM-Unity.
Headshot of Maribeth S. Metzler

Maribeth S. Metzler

Professor, Communication

037A McMicken Hall


Maribeth S. Metzler, Educator Professor of Communication, Internship Director, 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'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, 2nd Ed (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 Internships.
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Autumn Leigh Miller

Associate Professor Educator, Communication

146A McMicken Hall


Autumn earned her MA degree from UC’s Department of Communication and her Ph.D from the University of Utah. She studies ways we can use strategic communication (e.g., PR, advertising, marketing, social media) to help the public good, particularly in the areas of human health and the environment.  She is the director of UCommunicate, a student-led consulting and communication services firm. Autumn has experience working and consulting in the academic, business, and nonprofit sectors and has been teaching in higher education for the last 13 years. She also has expertise in online teaching.
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Michael J. Woeste

Associate Professor, Communication

037B McMicken Hall


2008 – Present       Field Service Associate Professor:
Department of Communication, College of Arts and Sciences

Design and teach undergraduate courses in Introduction to Communication
Theory, Intercultural Communication, Advanced Intercultural Communication, and Seminar in Integrated Intercultural Communication to classes averaging 30 - 40 students.

Design and teach special topics courses for the University of Cincinnati Honors
Program in Urban Poverty and Intercultural Communication (349H), Appalachian Culture and Intercultural Communication (395H), and Global Poverty and Intercultural Communication (363H) to classes averaging 25 students.

Design and teach special topics courses on Philanthropy, Urban Poverty
and Intercultural Communication (349S) serving the homeless and addicted communities.

Coordinate and facilitate experiential components for intercultural courses
(349/449/549) with community agencies/partners.

Coordinate and direct students enrolled in 392 (Projects in Communication)

Direct and advise select Communication Honors student’s research projects

Advise students matriculated as communication majors in course selection and
related matters.

Advisor: Cincinnati Community Outreach, Student group serving the Greater
Cincinnati area with service projects.

Advisor: Serve Beyond Cincinnati, Student group serving communities in
multiple local, regional and international locations.
2003 – 2009             Field Service Assistant Professor:
Department of Communication, College of Arts and Sciences
                                    University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221
Design and teach undergraduate courses in Introduction to Communication
Theory, Introduction to Intercultural Communication, Intercultural Communication, Advanced Intercultural Communication, and Seminar in Integrated Intercultural Communication to classes averaging 20-30 students.

Design and teach special topics courses for the University of Cincinnati Honors
Program in Urban Poverty and Intercultural Communication (349H), Appalachian Culture and Intercultural Communication (395H), and Global Poverty and Intercultural Communication (363H) to classes averaging 25 students.

Coordinate and facilitate experiential components for intercultural courses
(349/449/549) with community agencies/partners.

Coordinate and direct students enrolled in 392 (Projects in Communication)

Direct and advise select Communication Honors student’s research projects

Advise students matriculated as communication majors in course selection and
related matters.

Serve as the Chair of Curriculum Committee for Interpersonal Communication

Serve as the Coordinator of Service Learning for the Department of

Member of the University of Cincinnati Service Learning Advisory Council

Appointed member of the University of Cincinnati Honors Program Council

Advisor: Cincinnati Community Outreach, Student group serving the Greater
Cincinnati area with service projects.

Member of Search Committee: Director of the University Center for Community

Member of Search Committee: Director of Academic and Community

Affiliate Faculty

Headshot of Jeffrey Layne Blevins

Jeffrey Layne Blevins

Professor, A&S Journalism

22 B McMicken Hall


Dr. Blevins is a Professor in the Journalism Department.  Tenured in the Department of English & Comparative Literature, he also holds affiliate appointments in Department of Political Science and The Cincinnati Project.  His Scholarship is grounded in U.S. telecommunication law and policy and engages critical political economy theory.  Dr. Blevins' published research has examined media ownership regulation, First Amendment jurisprudence on media ownership regulation, Internet media policy and the politics of the telecommunication policymaking process.  He has provided expertise on electronic media regulation and Federal Communications Commission policymaking to international, national, regional and local news media.  In 2009 Dr. Blevins served as a federal grant reviewer for the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program administered by the National Telecommunication and Information Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce.  He is a frequent opinion-editorial columnist for major news outlets, including USA Today, The Cincinnati Enquirer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and other venues.
Jeffrey Blevins CV

Emeriti Faculty

Headshot of Kristina Tabor Galyen

Kristina Tabor Galyen

Professor, Communication

Kristina Tabor Galyen, Field Service Professor, joined the Department of Communication in 1989. Professor Galyen is the Director of Public Speaking Courses including Effective Speaking, Professional Speaking,and Persuasive Speaking. In her role as Speech Course Director, she also trains and mentors graduate teaching assistants in the department. She is responsible for the annual Graduate Teaching Workshop, held each fall, in which she trains graduate students to teach in the classroom. 

Professor Galyen is also the Director of the annual Alice M. House Speech Contest, a century old tradition in the department.

Although Professor Galyen has taught many courses for the department, her primary teaching interest is in the area of Rhetoric and Public Communication. She teaches Introduction to Rhetorical Theory (306)as well as Theories of Argument (302). She has co-authored the book Advanced Public Speaking: Persuasive Strategies (Thompson Learning, Custom Publishing, 2000), with colleagues Rudolph Verderber, Lisamarie Luccioni and Wendy Larcher.

In February 2007, Professor Galyen was awarded for her dedictation and committment to UC students by The African American Cultural and Research Center. In 1995 and 1996 Professor Tabor was awarded and recognized by the Department of Communication for outstanding instruction in meeting PIRT (Project Initiative to Reward Teaching) goals.

Professor Galyen is also President of her own consulting compnay, Power Presenters.  She serves as a Presentations Consultant/Coach to several high-profile firms in the Cincinnati area.

She holds an M.A. in Communication from the University of Cincinnati.


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Jodi L Bridges

Business Administrator, Communication

137 McMicken Hall


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Ekaterina Plamenova Katzarova

Program Manager, Communication

McMicken Hall


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Vesna Kocani

Financial Administrator 2, Communication

207 McMicken Hall