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Leanne K. Knobloch

2022-2024 Lab Fellow

Leanne K. Knobloch (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) is a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois. Her research examines how people communicate during times of transition, with a particular focus on the communication of military families across deployment cycle. Her scholarship has been honored by the Charles H. Woolbert Research Award from the National Communication Association, the Golden Anniversary Monograph Award from the National Communication Association, and the Biennial Article Award from the International Association for Relationship Research. She is a fellow of the International Communication Association and the International Association of Relationship Research.

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René Dailey

2022-2024 Lab Fellow

René Dailey (Ph. D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2005) is interested in communication in families and dating relationships. Regarding family communication, her research focuses on how family members help or hinder weight management. Much of her work has focused on romantic partner support of weight loss. Regarding dating relationships, she investigates “on-again/off-again” relationships and how communication and relational quality in these cyclical relationships differs from other dating relationships. She has recently authored a book summarizing the research on these relationships: On-again, Off-again Relationships: Navigating (In)Stability in Romantic Relationships (Cambridge). Her work has appeared in journals such as Communication Monographs, Human Communication Research, and Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Dr. Dailey teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in personal relationships and nonverbal communication.

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Lucy Blake

2022-2024 Lab Fellow

Lucy Blake is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the West of England (Bristol, UWE) in the UK. She is a developmental psychologist who has conducted research on family relationships for the past 15 years. She completed her PhD and postdoctoral research at the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge.

Lucy’s research has explored estrangement and the ways in which a negative, distant or inactive relationship with a family member affects people’s lives. In 2015 she published a report exploring the experiences of approximately 800 people who identified as being estranged from a family member. Respondents were members of the Stand Alone community, a UK-based charity which aims to support those experiencing family estrangement. The report reached an audience of 9 million readers and the research findings were used by Stand Alone to influence change in the way that Student Finance England evidences estrangement in the UK.

Lucy also enjoys teaching on family estrangement, which is a topic that is rarely covered at Higher Education Institutes in the UK. In 2014 she gave her first lecture on this topic at the University of Cambridge. This content has been popular with students, eliciting an invitation to return as a guest lecturer at the University of Cambridge for the past seven years.

As well as researching estrangement, Lucy’s work has examined family functioning in new and non-traditional families, such as those created through the use of assisted reproductive technologies. This body of work has resulted in the publication of 23 articles in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in edited books. Lucy has also studied family functioning in families in which a child has a chronic health condition or additional need. In addition to articles in academic journals, this work has contributed to the development of information sheets, booklets, apps and cartoons that help parents and children to navigate hospital procedures and disclose medical diagnoses to friends, teachers and employers.

In 2022 Lucy is excited to be publishing a book for a general audience: “No family is perfect. A guide to living with the messy reality”. She hopes that the work that she does will have a positive impact on the kinds of conversations that we have about family. There is a lot to gain from moving beyond assumptions and studying families as they actually are, rather than how they could be or should be.


To connect with Lucy, you can follow her on twitter and Instagram @lb377.

Dr. Dawn O. Braithwaite

2019-2021 Lab Fellow

Dawn O. Braithwaite (PhD University of Minnesota) is a Willa Cather Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is a specialist in interpersonal and family communication, with research expertise in interpretive/qualitative methodologies. She studies how people in personal and family relationships interact and negotiate family change and challenges in understudied and changing families, via dialectics of relating, rituals, and negotiating resilience, forgiveness, and managing privacy. She focuses on “non-normative” families, in particular in stepfamilies, among voluntary (fictive) kin, and by family kinkeepers. She has published over 120 manuscripts and five books in eleven editions. Braithwaite received the National Communication's Brommel Award in Family Communication, the NCA Samuel Becker Distinguished Service Award for contributions and scholarship, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Arts & Sciences Award for Outstanding Research in Social Sciences and was named the Western States Communication Association Distinguished Scholar. Braithwaite is a Past President of both NCA (2010) and WSCA (2000).

Dr. Jimmie Manning

2019-2021 Fellow

Jimmie Manning (Ph.D., University of Kansas) is Professor and Chair of Communication Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research focuses on meaning-making in relationships. This research spans multiple contexts to understand how individuals, couples, families, organizations, and other cultural institutions attempt to define, support, control, limit, encourage, or otherwise negotiate relationships. He explores these ideas through three contexts: relational discourses, especially those about sexuality, gender, love, and identity; connections between relationships and efficacy in health and organizational contexts; and digitally mediated communication. His research has been supported by funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and Learn & Serve America and has accrued over 60 publications in outlets including Communication Monographs, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. He recently coauthored the book Researching Interpersonal Relationships: Qualitative Methods, Studies, and Analysis (Sage Publications) and has a co-edited book,Family Communication as… Metaphors for Family Communication (Wiley), forthcoming.

Dr. Paul Schrodt

2019-2021 Fellow

Dr. Paul Schrodt is the Philip J. and Cheryl C. Burguières Professor of Communication Studies at Texas Christian University. His primary research interests include studying the communicative cognitions and behaviors that facilitate family relationships, with a particular interest in the message strategies and behaviors that facilitate stepfamily functioning. Specifically, he has investigated communication behaviors that (a) facilitate healthy and satisfying stepparent-stepchild relationships, (b) help mitigate feelings of triangulation and conflict in family relationships, (c) improve coparenting relationships in stepfamilies, and (d) enhance the mental health and well-being of individual family members. Dr. Schrodt is a lifetime member of the National Communication Association (NCA) and the Central States Communication Association (CSCA), as well as a member of the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR). He is a former Chair of the Family Communication Division of NCA, a former member of the Publications Board of NCA, and he currently serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Interpersonal Communication Division of NCA. He also is currently serving as Editor-Elect of Communication Monographs. In addition to several Top Paper awards, Dr. Schrodt was awarded the 2012 Bernard J. Brommel Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Family Communication from NCA, the 2011 Early Career Award in Interpersonal Communication from NCA, the inaugural, 2005 Sandra Petronio Dissertation Award from the Family Communication Division of NCA, the 2006 Outstanding New Teacher Award from CSCA, and he is a co-recipient of the 2004 Franklin H. Knower Article Award and the 2017 Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Book Award from the Interpersonal Communication Division of the NCA. Along with coauthoring Exploring Communication Theory: Making Sense of Us, the 10th edition of Family Communication: Cohesion and Change, and co-editing the second edition of Engaging Theories in Interpersonal Communication: Multiple Perspectives, Dr. Schrodt has published more than 100 book chapters and journal articles in several leading outlets, including Communication Monographs, Human Communication Research, Personal Relationships, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and Communication Education.

Dr. Jeffrey Child

2017-2019 Lab Fellow

Jeffrey T. Child is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Kent State University. Jeff earned his Ph.D. degree in Communication from North Dakota State University in 2007. Jeff received his B.A. in 2002 from Wayne State College (WSC) in Northeastern Nebraska. Jeff’s primary research explores how people manage their privacy in relation to social media interactions and the impact of a variety of factors on the subsequent communication practices.  His primary scholarship bridges the interpersonal and mediated contexts of interaction with a special focus on issues related to effective privacy management, disclosure, and privacy repair strategies. Jeff is also the editor elect of the Journal of Family Communication (issues from 2018-2020).  Jeff has over 50 publications in a range of journals and a basic course textbook called Experience Communication (2nd ed., 2018). Jeff has presented over 50 research paper presentations at regional, national, and international conventions related to the advancement of communication scholarship.  He can be reached at 

Dr. Kory Floyd

2017-2019 Lab Fellow

Kory Floyd is a professor of communication at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on the communication of affection in close relationships and its effects on stress and physiological functioning. He has written 13 books and over
100 scientific papers and book chapters on the topics of affection, emotion, family communication, nonverbal behavior, and health. He is the immediate past editor of Communication Monographs and former editor of Journal of Family Communication. His work has been recognized with both the Charles H. Woolbert award and the Bernard J. Brommel award from the National Communication Association, as well as the Early Career Achievement award from the International Association for Relationship Research and the B. Aubrey Fisher Award from the Western States Communiction Association. One of his most recent books, The Loneliness Cure, examines the problem of affection deprivation and identifies strategies for increasing affection and intimacy in close relationships. As an educator, he teaches courses on health communication, emotional communication, close relationships, communication theory, and quantitative research methods. A native of Seattle, Professor Floyd received his undergraduate degree from Western Washington University, his masters degree from the University of Washington, and his PhD from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Lisa Guntzviller

2017-2019 Lab Fellow

Lisa M. Guntzviller (PhD, Purdue University) is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research examines interpersonal communication in health and family contexts. She studies individual and dyadic goals, messages, and conversation outcomes of complex interactions in which identities are challenged and contested. Topically, her work has encompassed two such interactions: language brokering (when bilingual children translate and culturally mediate for a monolingual parent) and advice giving in close relationships. Her research focuses on parent-child relationships, Spanish-speaking families, and discussions of health issues. Both of her research lines aim to identify identity challenges inherent to the communication context, to apply a multiple goals theory perspective to understand communication, and to theorize from a dyadic perspective.

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