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Joan R. Rentsch


School of Communication Studies

Joan R. Rentsch earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Psychology with a specialty in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland and her B.S. in Psychology from The Ohio State University.  She is Professor of Communication Studies at The University of Tennessee where she has served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Management.  Dr. Rentsch’s expertise is in the psychological processes of organizations, teams, collaboration, communication, cognition, and organizational behavior.  Her published research appears in peer reviewed academic books and journals including Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, and Organizational Research Methods.  She has served as Associate Editor of Human Resource Management Review and on editorial boards including The Society of Industrial/Organizational Psychology Frontiers Book Series and Journal of Organizational Behavior, as a grant reviewer, and on research review panels for the United States Army. The National Science Foundation, the United States Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the United States Army, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Department of Veterans Affairs have funded her research.  Her professional memberships include the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, American Psychological Association, Academy of Management, and the National Communication Association.  Her professional experience includes serving as I/O Area Leader and as I/O Program Director at Wright State University and The University of Tennessee, respectively.  Her post-doctoral training includes the Leadership Development Program (LDP) at the Center for Creative Leadership and the Tennessee Leadership Program.  She is a founding partner of the Organizational Research Group, LLC and consults with private and public organizations.  


Dr.  Rentsch offers workshops and classes on mindfulness at UT and in the community.  She has completed professional training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction from Duke University Integrative Medicine and from the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Division of Preventative and Behavioral Medicine.

Currently, Dr. Rentsch is the first and only certified MBSR teacher in the state of Tennessee.


Mindfulness Courses Taught at The University of Tennessee

CCI 654/CMST 544/CMST 487 Mindfulness Research & Experience 

CMST 400 Special Topic:  Mindfulness Foundations for Improved Communication



Dr. Rentsch interviewed on CNBC

271 Communications Building

PhD   The University of Maryland, Industrial/Organizational Psychology

MA    The University of Maryland, Industrial/Organizational Psychology 

BS      The Ohio State University, Psychology

Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher from the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School  

Research Interests: 
Team Member Schema Similarity
Cognition in organizations
Organizational Behavior