Primary AffiliationCognition, Lifespan Engagement, Aging, and Resilience
I am a professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois. I joined the department in 2002 after earning my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. I also am an alum of St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin.
I study how people communicate within close relationships. More specifically, I examine how people's communication both shapes and reflects the ways they think about their relationships. I have focused on times of transition because individuals are more aware of their relationships when those relationships are in flux. My most recent work focuses on (a) how military families communicate after being reunited following deployment, and (b) how romantic couples communicate following a depression diagnosis. Both lines of research provide important insights into how to help people have more satisfying relationships.