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Rebekah M. Chiasson

Third Year Ph.D. Candidate

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Emphasis:

Interpersonal Communication
Instructional Communication


Rebekah M. Chiasson's scholarly pursuits converge at the dynamic crossroads of instructional and interpersonal communication. Within this realm, she is deeply committed to unraveling the intricate processes underpinning student motivation, learning, and self-regulation. Her research endeavors also delve into the profound influence that educators wield over these critical processes—whether by fostering them through prosocial behaviors like enhancing clarity and relevance, or by inadvertently dampening them through misbehaviors. An illustrative example of her recent research is a publication in Communication Education, wherein she examined the detrimental ramifications of teacher antagonism. This inquiry unveiled the profound impact of antagonistic behavior on students, culminating in reduced sustained attention as a result of waning affect towards instructors, and a corresponding decline in motivation to learn.

Furthermore, Rebekah's scholarship within the realm of interpersonal communication revolves around the pivotal domain of supportive communication behaviors. Her dissertation, a testament to this dedication, delves into the transformative potential of communal coping as a means to alleviate the unique stressors encountered by graduate students in their academic journeys. Through this research, she aims to illuminate pathways to enhance both the educational experience and the well-being of learners within the academic community.

Rebekah's teaching style is characterized by an innovative and engaging approach that employs flipped learning methods to actively involve students and make course content relevant to their lives. She has been the instructor of record for eight courses during her appointment at West Virginia University including:

  • Persuasion (COMM 404),
  • Health Communication (COMM 309),
  • Intercultural Communication (COMM 316),
  • Nonverbal Communication (COMM 308),
  • Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication (COMM 102),
  • Fundamentals of Group Communication (COMM 112),
  • Fundamentals of Mediated Communication (COMM 105),
  • Fundamentals of Public Communication (COMM 104).

Throughout her entire Master's program at Northern Illinois University, Rebekah held the position of Instructor of Record for Public Speaking (COMS 100), delivering instruction through various modes, including face-to-face, synchronous online, and asynchronous online formats.


B.A., Communication Studies, Keene State University 
M.A., Communication Studies, Northern Illinois University