Nido R. Qubein School of Communication

Virginia McDermott

Dr. Virginia McDermott –

BA – The College of New Jersey, MA – Texas State University, PhD – The University of Illinois

Teaching areas and approach:  For me, good teaching requires research and change.  I am constantly working to better understand how students learn and to develop ways to reach students. I work hard to ensure that my students are successful. I believe that their success is linked to my ability to create a supportive learning environment and willingness to stay current with research and develop lecture material and assignments that they see as applicable to their lives. I teach in the strategic communication track and focus specifically on health communication.

Current classes:

COM 3385—Research Methods

COM 5000—Strategic Communication Theories, Practices, and Ethics

COM 5120—Quantitative Analysis

COM 5300—Health Communication

COM 5320—Health Communication Campaigns

Research interests:

(1) How can communication and communication campaigns be used to address health behaviors, health disparities, and social inequities?

(2) How do problematic events change the nature of conversations, relationships, and organizations?

(3) How can communication facilitate coping—in personal relationships, organizations, and communities?

Current research project:

(1) Assessing the effectiveness of the multi-media, peer developed, tailored safe driving campaigns on improving adolescents’ safe driving attitudes and self-reported behaviors.

(2) Evaluating how labeling and narratives are associated with mental illness stigma reduction and stereotype endorsement.

Recent Publications:

(1) Oetzel, J. G., McDermott, V. M., Torres, A., & Sanchez, C. (2012). The impact of individual differences and group diversity on group interaction climate and satisfaction: A test of the effective intercultural workgroup communication theory. The Journal of International and Intercultural Communication. DOI: 10.1080/17513057.2011.640754

(2) Lutgen-Sandvik, P., & McDermott, V. M. (2011). Making sense of supervisory bullying: Perceived powerlessness, empowered possibilities. Southern Communication Journal, 76 (4), 342-368. DOI: 10.1080/10417941003725307.

Favorite quote:  “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” –Oscar Wilde

Favorite novel:  As a kid, it was The black stallion and A wrinkle in time. As a teenager, it was Stranger in a strange land and The fountainhead. As an adult, there are many books that I would want with me if I were stranded on a desert island: To kill a mockingbird, 100 years of solitude, anything by Diana Gabaldon, James Clavell, Bill Bryson, and Tom Robbins. And, since I would be at the beach, anything in the In death series by JD Robb.

Favorite movie:  Some like it hot

Coolest thing you’ve done in the last few years:  Flew to Dublin for the weekend to see U2 in concert.


The High Point Admissions Office is Located in Wrenn Hall.

Tours are available 7 days a week. Please contact us to schedule your visit.

(800) 345-6993
(336) 841-9216
(336) 888-6382 (fax)

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