Courses Taught

COMS 101: Fundamentals of Human Communication
COMS 103: Public Speaking
COMS 205: Techniques of Group Discussion
COMS 206: Communication in Interpersonal Relationships
COMS 235: Communication Theory
COMS 301: Empirical Research Applications in Communication
COMS 342: Communication and Persuasion
COMS 498: Instructional Internship

Joseph Mazer



School of Communication Studies
Ohio University
43 West Union Street
Athens, Ohio 45701
Office Phone: 740-593-0795

I envision my career as a teacher-scholar as a profession of learning through teaching, research, and service. My scholarly interests are in instructional communication, interpersonal/family communication, new communication technologies, and quantitative research methods. My research has encompassed a range of topics including emotion in teaching and learning, teacher use of Facebook, teacher use of slang, student academic support, communication trait predictors of virtual social network usage, and measurement and data analytic issues and trends in communication research. I have published in Communication Research, Communication Education, Communication Research Reports, Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, Communication Research Measures II: A Sourcebook, and The SAGE Handbook of Communication and Instruction (in press). The various strands of my research program are connected by three primary concerns: (1) how teachers and students can effectively communicate in face-to-face and computer-mediated venues; (2) how new communication technologies function in interpersonal, familial, and organizational contexts; and (3) how scholars can best utilize quantitative research methods in communication research. The first concern is primarily reflected in my dissertation research that examines how teacher communication can influence student interest and engagement.

My dissertation examines the role of student emotional and cognitive interest in the teaching and learning process. Guided by emotional interest theory and cognitive interest theory, my dissertation unites teacher immediacy and clarity into a model of teaching and learning, considers the combined influence of these variables on student emotional and cognitive interest, and explores how these variables impact student engagement and learning. My dissertation combines survey data, open-ended questionnaire data, and structural equation modeling techniques to further our understanding of the communication, interest, and learning relationship and clarify what scholars have labeled a blurred relationship between communication and learning. This project, like most of my work, spans disciplinary and sub-disciplinary boundaries. 

I am also keenly interested in how new communication technologies function in interpersonal, familial, and organizational contexts and how we can best utilize quantitative research methods in communication research. My work in these areas includes a co-authored project that explores communication trait predictors of Facebook usage and associations with relational and well-being outcomes. In another project, my colleagues and I longitudinally examined family communication patterns, online parental intrusion behaviors, and college student well-being by surveying the entire first year class at Ohio University at six points throughout the 2008-2009 academic year. My contributions to Communication Research Measures II: A Sourcebook involved a review of measurement issues and trends in family communication and profiles of several scales commonly utilized in communication research.

Although research is an integral part of my scholarly identity, I also place great priority on my role as an educator as research and teaching are deeply intertwined in my scholarly pursuits. The scholarship of teaching first captured my academic passion and continues to serve as a central component in my research and everyday goals as a teacher-scholar. At Ohio University, I have developed, assisted, and served as the instructor-of-record for several communication courses, including Fundamentals of Human Communication, Public Speaking, Techniques of Group Discussion, Communication in Interpersonal Relationships, Communication Theory, Empirical Research Applications in Communication, Communication and Persuasion, and Instructional Internship, a pedagogy/professional development seminar for undergraduate students who serve as teaching assistants in a mass lecture Fundamentals of Human Communication course.

I have been active in serving my department and university as Associate Basic Course Director and President of the Communication Studies Graduate Student Coalition. I serve the discipline through my work as an editorial board member for Ohio Communication Journal, as a graduate student reviewer for Journal of Family Communication, as an ad hoc reviewer for Health Communication, and as a panel respondent, panel chair, and reviewer for various divisions and interest groups within NCA and CSCA. I currently serve as Secretary of NCA’s Basic Course Division and as Secretary of CSCA’s Basic Course Interest Group and Communication Education Interest Group.

I received my M.S. in Communication from Illinois State University where I served as the Assistant to the Basic Course Directors, mentored first year graduate students, and taught the basic communication course. I completed my B.S. in Mass Communication with emphases in Broadcasting and Journalism and a minor in Speech Communication from Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA.