Communication group of people standing outside


Our department embraces innovative humanistic and social scientific approaches to inquiry and engagement in health, media, organizational and relational communication, with emphases on culture, performance, and social responsibility.

Research Clusters

Health Communication

Health Communication focuses on processes by which communication creates healthy sustainable societies. We embrace multiple approaches from the humanities and social sciences to enhance critical thinking on how meanings are shared in a range of health contexts, ranging from everyday interactions to larger societal discourses. Research in this cluster highlights communication issues such as but not limited to: provider-patient interactions; health campaigns; global health; community-engaged health; food security; families and health; navigating health challenges among underprivileged peoples; health disparities; politicized health; identities and disclosures; health mis/disinformation; technology, media and health; psychological and relational wellbeing; and organizing initiatives for better health. 

Graduate Course Offerings

Health Communication; Health, Illness, Narratives, and Performance; Communication and Identity; Applied Communication Research; Communication, Technology, and Society; Interpersonal Health Communication; Patient-Centered Communication; Communication and Bullying; Materiality and Communication; Difficult Conversations; Culture and Health; Communication and Health Disparities; Postcolonial Theory; Discourses on Death and Dying

Cluster Faculty:

Ambar Basu; Keith Berry; Marleah Dean Kruzel; Laurel Friedman; Sonia Ivancic; Jianing Li; Patrick McElearney; Joshua Scacco; Steven Wilson

Organizational Communication

Organizational Communication provides insights into how cultural, social, and political processes shape and are shaped by complex organizational phenomena. This multiperspectival area examines communication that implicates organizations (businesses, government agencies, non-profits, educational institutions, media, local and global communities, churches), in addition to the organization of the political economy and its impact on race, class, gender and other social categories. Research in this cluster highlights the role of communication and resilience, communication as constitutive of organizations, organizational identity, organizational culture, crisis, food sovereignty, advocacy, prejudice and justice, among other topics.

Graduate Course Offerings:

Organizational Communication; Career Communication and Strategies; Resilience, Communication and Resistance; Power and Control in Organizations; Materiality and Communication.

Cluster Faculty:

Mariaelena Bartesaghi, Patrice Buzzanell, Eric Eisenberg, Sonia Ivancic, Linda Hughes Kirchabel, Mahuya Pal

Interpersonal and Relational Communication

Interpersonal and Relational Communication focuses on processes and practices by which communication creates and sustains identities and personal/professional relationships, ranging from everyday interactions to larger societal discourses. Research in this cluster highlights the role of communication as people make meaning and navigate challenging conversations with family, friends, romantic partners, coworkers, community members, and health professionals. 

Graduate Course Offerings

Interpersonal Communication; Communication and Identity; Discourse Analysis; Family Communication; Autoethnography; Difficult Conversations; Communication and Resilience; Communication and Bullying; Interpersonal Health Communication; Language, Mind, and Social Interaction.

Cluster Faculty

Mariaelena Bartesaghi, Keith Berry, Patrice Buzzanell, Laurel Friedman, Marleah Dean Kruzel, Patrick McElearney, Madison Pollino, Steven Wilson

Media, Culture, and Performance

Media, Culture, and Performance examines how meaning is created, represented, and practiced in human, mediated, and applied communication across different sociopolitical contexts. Faculty in this cluster focus on identity and representation, media content and effects, culture and communication, and cultural and aesthetic performance. This interdisciplinary cluster embraces a variety of research methodologies, including critical, qualitative, quantitative, computational, and performance approaches.

Graduate Course Offerings:

Contemporary Cultural Studies; Race and Ethnicity in Communication; Latinx and Popular Culture; Communication, Technology, and Society; Performance Theory; Listening, Sound, and Performance; Health, Narratives, and Performance; Communication Pedagogy; Communication and Identity; Political Communication; Content Analysis; Critical Methods; Computational Communication.

Cluster Faculty:

Keith Berry, Aisha Durham, Aubrey Huber, Navita James, Diana Leon-Boys, Jianing Li, Patrick McElearney, Chris McRae, Joshua Scacco

Commitment to Student Success

The Department of Communication seeks to foster an equitable learning environment where students can thrive. The Department is committed to proactively identifying, addressing, and changing structures and practices that adversely impact student experiences and impede student success.


The Department of Communication acknowledges that the University of South Florida was built on land acquired through colonization of land inhabited by the Manasota civilization—the Tocobaga, the Mocoso, the Pohoy, and the Uzita people. In the 1700s, tribes from the Lower Creek moved into Florida joining other tribes, collectively known as the Seminole (“runaway” or “wild ones”). There are at least ten named tribes in Florida; however, the United States has only recognized the Seminole and the Miccosukee Tribes. The State of Florida additionally recognized the Muscogee Nation of Florida (formerly Florida Tribe of Eastern Creek Indians). As a Department, we fully support Indigenous Sovereignty. We recognize the historical and continuing cultural and material impacts of settler colonialism and state sponsored violence on Indigenous communities, particularly the suffering, and intergenerational trauma and poverty. We will work to be accountable to the needs of American Indian and Indigenous peoples and attentive to the larger implications of continuous colonization of lands, bodies, and cultures.