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Courtney N. Wright

Profile Information

School of Communication Studies
Director of Undergraduate Studies & Honors Program
Associate Professor

Dr. Courtney Wright's (Ph.D., Northwestern University) interdisciplinary research program uses interpersonal, organizational, and instructional communication theory to examine the positive and negative implications of relational communication and conflict on well-being. Broadly described, this work informs the management of challenging interactions (e.g., difficult dialogues, incivility) and the communication of differences in educational and professional settings. She offers training and interactive workshops in these [and related] areas to enhance the communication effectiveness of organizations, education professionals and community groups.

In addition to cognitive processing, three communication behaviors through which the darker sides of interpersonal communication can manifest guide her research: (1) social confrontation, (2) social influence/compliance-gaining and (3) paradoxical forms of communication (e.g., teasing, the silent treatment). She is particularly interested in the factors that influence if, and how, someone engages in these behaviors and the resulting constructive/destructive outcomes.

Diverse teaching experiences and undergraduate studies in secondary education inform her interests in communication processes in instructional settings and the experiences of underrepresented faculty, GTAs, and students. She facilitates professional development activies for faculty [and GTAs] across disciplines in areas related to teaching effectiveness and innovation, classroom management, addressing incivility and creating inclusive learning environments.

She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in interpersonal communication (CMST 312/510), interpersonal conflict management (CMST 419/524), the “dark side” of human interaction (CMST 412), and communication theory (CMST 352/510).

293 Communications Bldg. (Office 274)

Ph.D., Northwestern University - Communication Studies

M.A., Northwestern University - Communication Studies

B.S., Vanderbilt University - English & Secondary Education, Mathematics minor (TN Teacher Certification Grades 7-12)

Research Interests: 
Interpersonal/Relational Communication & Theory
Conflict Management & Incivility
Inclusion & Communicating Differences
Instructional Communication & Teacher-Training
Communication Training & Development