Laura R. Umphrey, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

School of Communication

Curriculum Vitae


Updated 12/18/2011

Welcome to my webpage! This page will provide you with details about my research interests, teaching interests, personal interests, and will explain how I ended up at Northern Arizona University.


Educational Background

I completed my Ph.D. in Communication with a minor in Public Health from the University of Arizona in 2001. After applying for several teaching/research positions, I decided to take a position as a Health Communication Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. If you are wondering where Fairbanks is located, you can find it in the center of the state! Yes, it was cold and dark for most of the winter. When I saw an opening at Northern Arizona University, I applied and ended up taking the position in the School of Communication in 2002. Northern Arizona University (and Flagstaff) is a great place to work. Each semester I teach at least one web-based class in Bb Learn.

Teaching Interests

My favorite courses to teach include Health Communication, Persuasion, Research Methods, and Communication Theory. My undergraduate web classes that I teach regularly are SC315 Business and Professional Communication and SC314 Communicating in Instructional Environments. I enjoy teaching over the web so that I can help students earn their degree without having to move to Flagstaff or commute. The web classes are unique in the sense that people from all over the world will meet and bring diverse backgrounds to the course.

Research Interests

My research has mainly focused on health communication issues. I just finished a research project that was published in Omega: The Journal of Death and Dying. It was an analysis of themes in a parental bereavement support group. The manuscript uncovered what happens at this one particular meeting.

I am a bereaved parent and devote a portion of my time volunteering to help other parents endure the pain and grief experienced following the death of a child: