Laura W. Black, Ph.D.

Laura Black, Ph.D.
Schoonover Center 402

Specializations: Group Communication, Public Deliberation and Dialogue, Community Engagement, Leadership/Organizational Communication


Laura W. Black has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Communication from the University of Washington, and a B.Phil. from Miami University.

Dr. Black is an engaged communication scholar who is dedicated to democracy and community. She uses qualitative and discourse-based methods to conduct research that helps groups address difficult, divisive issues through collaboration, dialogue, and deliberation. Dr. Black’s scholarship focuses on three overarching questions: How do groups discursively construct community and difference? How do communication practices enable and constrain group members’ efforts to address difficult collective problems? How can communication be designed to challenge oppressive structures and promote ethical decision making in diverse groups? She has published in outlets such as the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Communication Theory, Western Journal of Communication, Small Group Research, and Social Science Quarterly. See Dr. Black’s Research Profile for more details about her work. 

Dr. Black is the past editor of the Journal of Deliberative Democracy, one of the founding officers of the National Communication Association’s Public Dialogue and Deliberation Division, and a member of Democracy R&D, an international network of deliberative scholars and practitioners. Dr. Black frequently collaborates with community partners to help understand and improve community dialogue and decision-making processes. Locally, Dr. Black facilitates community groups through the Athens Art of Hosting Group. She is active in the Racial Equity Coalition of Athens, and the Athens Community Relations Commission, which promote diversity and inclusion initiatives in the local community. She also leads workshops related to communication, leadership, and group facilitation for Leadership Athens County and the Voinovich Academy. In addition, Dr. Laura Black partnered with the Athens Foundation to facilitate a year-long planning process to help the Athens City Schools. She also leads community conversations about diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Black teaches courses in group communication, organizational communication, leadership, community engagement, public deliberation and dialogue, qualitative research methods, and discourse analysis. She is the course coordinator for COMS 2050, Techniques of Group Discussion.  

Leadership Microlearning Session - Effective Online Teams
Leadership Microlearning Session - Managing Conflict While Working Remotely
COMS Engaged Teaching Video - Facilitating Public Conversations about Environmental Health