Who We Are

Our Department

Applied communication looks at how communication theory and principles can be used to better the communication that takes place in a variety of contexts. We focus primarily on interpersonal and organizational contexts. Students learn to “apply” theory to everyday situations in order to improve the communication within those situations.

Our curriculum is interactive in nature, with an emphasis on case studies and ethical communication across the curriculum, in order to help students understand how to use positive communication to make a difference in their personal and professional lives.

Meet Our Faculty

Dr. April Chatham-CarpenterDr. April Chatham-Carpenter, Department Chair
Professor; Vitae
M.A., Ph.D. University of Oklahoma

Dr. April Chatham-Carpenter serves as Department Chair of the Department of Applied Communication. She teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in Research Methods and Listening/Civil Dialogue. Previous to coming to UA Little Rock, she served as Professor of Communication Studies and Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate College at the University of Northern Iowa. She researches issues such as innovation and change, use of communication to manage difficult dialogues, transformations in online teaching, and assessment of the impact of initiatives to effect change within the higher education industry.

Dr. Bailey M. OliverDr. Bailey Oliver Blackburn, Graduate Coordinator 
Assistant Professor: Vitae provided on professional website here
M.A. University of Alabama; Ph.D. Arizona State University
Phone: 501-916-6027

Dr. Bailey Oliver Blackburn serves as the Graduate Coordinator for the M.A. in Applied Communication Studies and the Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management. She teaches Conflict Management, Negotiation, Interviewing, and Family Communication courses. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Communication, with a focus on restructured family communication. She is a published researcher, professor, and certified group facilitator in the fields of conflict transformation, step-families, and family resilience.

Dr. Gerald Driskill head shotDr. Gerald W. Driskill
Professor: Vitae
M.A. Abilene Christian University; Ph.D. University of Kansas
Phone: 501-916-6020

Dr. Gerald W. C. Driskill is our former Graduate Coordinator for the M.A. in Applied Communication Studies. He teaches courses in Organizational Communication, Ethics, Communication Theory, and Intercultural Communication. He has conducted training for Heifer International, ADEQ, U.S.A.I.D., and Global Ties- Arkansas. He has publications on organizational and intercultural communication and has engaged students in over 250 cultural analysis projects based on his book, “Organizational Cultural in Action.”

Katie HalfordKatie Halford
Instructor: Vitae
M.A., University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Phone: 501-916-6025

Professor Halford teaches classes in Conflict Management, Persuasive Presentations, and Professional Communication, as well as the Introduction to Communication course.  She is the faculty advisor for the Lambda Pi Eta national honor society for the department and is an active advisor in the department for undergraduate students.

Dr. Kristen McIntyre
Professor: Vitae
M.A. Iowa State University; Ph.D. North Dakota State University, Fargo
Phone: 501-916-6024

Dr. Kristen A. McIntyre directs the ACOM 1300: Introduction to Communication program as well as the UA Little Rock Communication Skills Center. She teaches undergraduate courses in Persuasive Presentations and Senior Capstone, as well as graduate courses in Applied Research and Training. She also serves as the Provost’s Faculty Associate in Assessment. Her co-authored publications in communication education can be found in Communication Quarterly, Communication Teacher, The Communication Centers Movement in Higher Education, Best Practices in Experiential and Service Learning in Communication, and The Handbook of Communication Training: A Best Practices Framework for Assessing and Developing Competence.

Dr. Julien C. MirivelDr. Julien C. Mirivel
Professor: Vitae
M.A., Ph.D. University of Colorado at Boulder
Phone: 501-916-6030

Dr. Julien C. Mirivel is “among the founding scholars in the emerging field of positive communication” and an award-winning teacher and scholar. He teaches courses in Interpersonal Communication, Professional Communication, and Research Methods. Mirivel is the author of two books on positive communication: The Art of Positive Communication: Theory and Practice and How Communication Scholars Think and Act: A Lifespan Perspective. Dr. Mirivel has delivered hundreds of programs on how to communicate effectively across contexts.

Dr. Avinash ThombreDr. Avinash Thombre
Professor; Vitae
M.S. Bangalore University, Bangalore, India; Ph.D. University of New Mexico
Phone: 501-916-6023

Dr. Avinash Thombre teaches courses in Nonverbal Communication, Small Group Communication, Intercultural Communication, Health Communication, and Communication and Change. A native of Pune, India, he previously taught and has guest lectured in India, Trinidad and Tobago, and Argentina. He received his bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Bangalore University and his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 2004. In his first career, he has worked as a reporter with the Times of India newspaper covering health, environment, education, and new technology beats. He worked for the Pune and Bangalore editions.

Dr. Carol ThompsonDr. Carol Thompson
Professor: Vitae
M.A., Ph.D. Southern Illinois University
Phone: 501-916-6021

Dr. Carol Thompson has taught for over 30 years at UA Little Rock and has served as chair at various times. She teaches courses in Gender Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Ethics in Communication, and Communication Theory. A previous co-director and co-founder of the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ATLE) at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, she now teaches in the online program. She has published articles about collaborative learning that have appeared in journals such as Innovative Higher Education, the Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and Pedagogy. She has conducted over 100 workshops in Arkansas and the International Community.