Dr. Stephenson J. Beck
Director of Graduate Studies
Email Dr. Beck
Office: Minard 338-D4
Phone: (701) 231-9770
I joined the communication faculty in 2008 after completing my Ph.D. at the University of Kansas. Before then I attended Brigham Young University for my B.A. in broadcast journalism and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for my M.A. in organizational communication.
I’m interested in two general areas of group communication scholarship. First, I investigate conflict, decision making, and facilitation in meetings. Meetings are locations where all organizational work comes to a head, and how we function in those meetings is of vital importance to the success of all organizations. Second, I examine how individuals strategically create messages to accomplish their purposes in groups. For example, I have analyzed how social support is generated in support groups and how leaders of nonprofit organizations facilitate conflict. In each of these situations individuals adapt messages to accomplish their purposes, and I want to know how. To accomplish my purposes I investigate natural groups, including breast cancer support groups, nonprofit boards, first responder teams, juries, city councils, data analyst teams, organizational teams, and military teams.
Currently I serve as the Director of Graduate Studies for the department. I enjoy working with graduate students and look forward to my next few years leading the program. We offer both master’s and doctoral degrees, and are fortunate to have strong resources (e.g., faculty, course offerings, assistantships) dedicated to our graduate students. Our graduate programs are thriving, and I encourage students interested in these programs to contact me.
In Fall 2015 I am teaching Comm 316 Conflict Communication, and in Spring 2016 I will be teaching Comm 482 Organizational Communication Capstone.