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Courtney N. Wright

Dr. Courtney Wright (Ph.D., Northwestern University) is Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Honors Program. Her interdisciplinary research program examines the implications of interpersonal communication, conflict and related cognitive processes on well-being. Behaviors of focus in her work include social confrontation, intergroup dialogue, persuasion, teasing, and the darker sides of human interaction.

Broadly described, her engaged scholarship informs how people manage conflict, engage in difficult dialogues, and communicate across differences in organizations, educational settings, and communities. She also pursues these interests through facilitating workshops for organizations, education professionals and community groups. Her training and related experiences in diversity education facilitation and civil/family mediation further inform her scholarship and outreach.

Dr. Wright’s multidisciplinary background spans the social sciences, humanities, and STEM disciplines. Her diverse teaching experiences and undergraduate studies in secondary education (B.S., Vanderbilt University) inform her interests in communication effectiveness, conflict management and diversity, equity and inclusion issues in higher education. She also enjoys working with students, GTAs, faculty and administrators across disciplines to build capacities for facilitating dialogue, creating inclusive learning environments, addressing bullying and incivility, and enhancing teaching and learning effectiveness and innovation.

She teaches undergraduate/graduate courses in interpersonal/intergroup conflict and communication (CMST 419/429/524), interpersonal communication (CMST 312/520/625), intergroup dialogue (CMST 235), close relationships (CMST 412), and communication theory (CMST 352/520).

Research/Instructional Interests:

Interpersonal/Intergroup Communication
Conflict Management & Difficult Dialogues
Equity, Inclusion & Communicating Differences
Instructional Communication & Teacher-Training
Communication Training & Development

Selected Publications:

  • Wright, C.N. (2019, November 8). “Inclusion beyond Appearances” Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from
  • Horan, S., & Wright, C. N. (2018). Bridging campus and community: Religion and violence as expansive and socially relevant instructional communication research. Communication Education 67(4), 481-487.
  • Honeycutt, J., & Wright, C. N. (2017). Predicting affectionate and aggressive teasing motivation on the basis of self-esteem and imagined interactions with the victim. Southern Journal of Communication, 82(1), 15-26.
  • Wright, C.N. (2016, October 4). “Framing Classroom Incivility” Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from
  • Roloff, M. E., & Wright, C. N. (2013). Social cognition and conflict. In J. G. Oetzel & S. Ting-Toomey (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of conflict communication (2nd ed.) (pp. 133-160). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
  • Wright, C. N., & Roloff, M. E. (2013). The influence of type of teasing and outcome on the negative experiences of teasers. Human Communication, 16(2), 95-107.
  • Wright, C. N. (2012). Educational orientation and upward influence: An examination of students’ conversations about disappointing grades. Communication Education, 61(3), 271-289.