Courses Taught

  • COMS 235 Communication Theory
  • COMS 205 Techniques of Group Discussion
  • COMS 103 Public Speaking

Other Assignments

  • Editorial Assistant, Health Communication
  • Research Assistant, Understanding Cultural Definitions of Mental Health in Appalachian Ohio
  • Graduate Assistant, Academic Integrity Committee

Courtney E. Cole | Doctoral Candidate

in the field
Moyamba, Sierra Leone
April, 2010
Mailing Address:
School of Communication Studies
Ohio University
Lasher Hall 037
Athens, OH 45701



E-mail Address:

Broadly speaking, I am interested in organizing for social change and its intersections with development, culture, health, and conflict. I ground my research agenda in a commitment to approaching these issues from a communicative point of view, with an eye toward understanding and expanding the possibilities for organizing and healing in the aftermath of mass violence. As a scholar of organizational and health communication, I am particularly committed to engaged scholarship, using communication research to reckon with and respond to problems and opportunities that arise in the midst of societal upheavals and ongoing turmoil. 

My work is influenced by my background is in Philosophy. I earned a Master’s degree in Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture and a Graduate Certificate in Global Studies at SUNY-Binghamton. While at Binghamton, I was fortunate to be able to work with Habermas scholar Max Pensky and prominent Africanists Ali MazruiMartin Murray, and Darryl Thomas. I worked for several years in nonprofit communications, including stints at Habitat for Humanity International and the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, which strongly informs my interests in relating and organizing and health communication. 

My continuing concern with mass violence, transitional justice, and reconciliation in sub-Saharan Africa led me to pursue doctoral studies in the School of Communication Studies, in order to understand the communicative possibilities—and pitfalls—of organizing and relating in post-conflict contexts. My research orientation is primarily qualitative--including participant observation, ethnography, discourse analysis, and interviewing--and I am particularly drawn to narrative and post-colonial theories as frameworks that guide and inform my research. 

I travel a lot. Most recently, I have done research in the West African state of Sierra Leone and taught at Lebanese International University in Beirut, Lebanon. I try get back to my native New England every summer. When not reading, writing, teaching, or sleeping, I enjoy riding my bike around town, triathlon training, cheering (or bemoaning) the Red Sox, visiting the Athens Farmers Market, and hanging out with my favorite filmmaker.