Elizabeth M. Jenkins
M.A., Ball State University
(Fall 2016 Cohort)
Specializations: Computer-mediated communication, interpersonal communication
In my research, broadly speaking, I seek to understand people’s interpersonal communication through mediated contexts. My research examines how people use various communication modalities in damaging ways or in ways that lead to negative consequences for their interpersonal relationships, specifically I study this within intimate partner sexting communication and mediated white lie deception. I argue that these same communicative behaviors that are often deemed as “bad”—with a shift in focus, context, or application—could also lead to positive outcomes. These two highly consequential, interpersonal, and mediated processes are related by a common space within the “dark side” of communication research.
Consequently, the question that drives my research program is: How and why do individuals interpersonally communicate through computer-mediated communication (CMC), other new technologies, and in face-to-face communication in (mal)adaptive ways, for (mal)adaptive purposes, and thus, experience (mal)adaptive outcomes? In studying this question, I make two fundamental commitments in my research: (1) to conduct research that investigates the light and dark sides of interpersonal communication and (2) to do research which directly impacts human lives or possesses the potential for directly helping people.
In the classroom, I attempt to create and maintain meaningful connections with my students through specifically constructing my course curriculum to meet their current and future needs, demonstrating relationships between course content and their lives, and focusing on my students’ wellbeing. Therefore, my students and I co-exist and co-learn in a relationally rich, dynamic space of connection.
Aside from research and teaching, I firmly believe that service work in academia should give back to the discipline, university, college, department, and community in ways that support one’s scholarly and pedagogical goals. I have a goal to continually participate in engaged scholarship; thus, I strategically and purposefully choose service activities at various levels that connect to my research and/teaching. This enables me to apply my own research and knowledge to assist specific populations and uses my expertise for specific social issues, but this service also cyclically affords me the opportunity to learn from by walking with these communities in ways that can strengthen the external validity of my research and teaching.
Outside of academia, I enjoy attending live concerts, finding new places to explore for inspiration, and resting at home with my partner and fur-babies: Sadie (a 10-year-old Old English Sheepdog) and Lulu (a 10-year-old “Pusheen-looking” cat).
Follow Elizabeth on Twitter: @E_M_Jenkins