Tamra Portalla


Prior to Ohio University, I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Safety Studies from Keene State College in 2003. After working several years within student affairs, I resumed my education at the University of Rhode Island, earning my Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies in 2009.

I have had the opportunity to travel to every state in the United States and several countries. I run, rock climb, skydive, practice yoga and ride a motorcycle. But these activities, do not provide the same fulfillment that I get from studying the way in which people form, establish and maintain relationships through communication.

I find the study of identity, social change and the role that culture plays in communication fascinating. Throughout my travels I have found that we all communicate so vastly different and attempting to make sense of those differences though research is important to me. With a natural curiosity for the world and a desire to positively impact the communication field, I ultimately want make a global difference.

My research interests include: interpersonal, intercultural, family and participatory communication. Specifically, I look forward to working on projects that focus on intercultural communication competence, identity, ethnicity, globalization, social change, sustainability and conflict resolution.