I joined the Communication Dept. at KSU as Professor and Department Chair in June, 2002, and returned to the faculty in Jan., 2006. Before coming to KSU I taught Communication and served in departmental administrative positions at a number of institutions including Stonehill College near Boston, Mass., where I served as department chair from 1997-2002. I have also taught at Harvard Business School and Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan. Immediately after receiving my B.A. degree, I taught junior high and high school Speech and English and coached a high school debate team.
Since coming to KSU, I have taught Communication Theory, Conflict Management, Interpersonal Communication, and Organizational Communication and have directed Honors Capstone experiences. My primary area of research is conflict management, and my current research projects involve conflict and organizational communication in health care settings.
My father was a college professor, and I have always been interested in teaching. Several times I have thought about finding a position in industry, and I worked as a Personnel Assistant at Quaker Oats in Lawrence, Kansas, for a short time. However, I realize I like university life too much to switch, especially because of the exciting ideas that are always present at universities. I enjoy developing theory and doing research to help people solve practical problems. I also like the freedom to explore whatever ideas I'm interested in at a particular time rather than being given a research agenda by someone else.
I completed my graduate education in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas (Ph.D., 1982; MA, 1980). I received a B.A. from the University of Houston in 1971. I am currently writing a new upper-division undergraduate theory textbook.
In my spare time, I'm the mother of twins born in 1996 and adopted from China in 1998. I'm involved in various activities with them. I like quilting because I can create art without having to be able to draw; I can assemble fabrics designed and produced by others into new patterns.
My husband and I went to high school together and married in 1971. From 1975-1977, we lived in Taiwan, where we traveled for my husband to do dissertation research in Chinese political history. The twins are our only children, so we made a major life change after many years of marriage. I have one brother, who has been a professional jazz and rock guitar player and lives in the Los Angeles area.
My favorite story is from the Chinese philosopher Chuang-tsu, who relates an anecdote about a vivid dream he had. He dreamt he was a butterfly flying over flowers. The dream seemed so real that, when he awoke, he wasn't sure whether he was Chuang-tsu dreaming he was a butterfly -- or a butterfly dreaming he was Chuang-tsu! This story speaks to the power of ideas to create reality.