Office Location: Marrs McLean Science 185.5
Office Hours (Fall 2020): Virtual and by appointment
Department of Communication
One Bear Place # 97368
Waco, TX 76798-7368
My research interests lie at the intersection of intercultural and health communication, which I examine through the lens of interpersonal or organizational relationships. I specifically explore marginalized individuals’ experiences with healthcare providers and institutions, and ways in which problematic encounters can be addressed. I approach this work using qualitative methods, such as interviews and focus groups, which allow me to evaluate individuals’ experiences on deep, personal level. Ultimately, I aim to have my work challenge the status quo and improve the way healthcare is delivered to minoritized populations.
I believe that in order for students to learn and retain information from a class, they must be able to clearly link classroom content to their individual lives. To accomplish this in my class, I take a three-pronged approach: develop trust, create evidence-based arguments, and experience diversity. Students are more likely to believe and remember information if it comes from someone they trust. In order to create that trust, I work to see students as individuals and provide them a safe space to openly discuss their excitement and concerns. When those tactics work in tandem, students open a pathway for discussing the course content as it relates to their reality. Another consequence of this open sharing is disagreement. Thus, it is critical students are able to form claims based on credible evidence. This practice helps students develop critical thinking skills that are useful both inside and outside the classroom. It also provides students an opportunity to understand how although a concept may not be relevant to their lives, it could be applicable to others, and, as such, is still important to acknowledge. Conversations of this nature frequently occur when topics of diversity are introduced. Since cross-cultural interactions are inevitable, students must learn how their identities shape their communication and beliefs of others. In sum, I aim to have students leave my class feeling they can trust me, support their beliefs with facts, and interact with others different from themselves, all of which are useful skills for effective communication.
When I am not teaching, reading, or writing, you can probably find me spending time with my husband, Matthew, and our dogs, Booter, a beagle, and Lucy, a Labrador-Great Pyrenees. We spend a lot of our spare time working on our farm and visiting with family and friends. Regardless of what happens during the day, our favorite days are spent together.
Although I have not officially been at Baylor long, I did spend most of my life in Bear Country. Growing up in Waco, it was hard to miss the pride people have in being a Bear; it permeated how people walked, talked, believed, and behaved. Now that I am back in Waco, it is easy to see that pride is very much still present, and I, too, am now proud to call myself a Baylor Bear.