Melissa A. Maier

Campus: Springfield



  • PhD, 2012, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 
  • MA, 2008, University of Montana
  • BA, 2005, Winona State University 


  • Com 205 Interpersonal Theory and Skills
  • Com 210 Communication Research Methods
  • Com 390 Communication and Aging
  • Com 511/611 Communication and Conflict
  • Com 521/621 Communication, Mediation and Negotiation
  • Com 712 Quantitative Analysis in Communication Research 

Research and professional interests

While my primary interests are in interpersonal communication and conflict, my research program is diverse, spanning from organizational and international conflict to family communication, from gender research to health communication; however, most of my research has a common theme: I take a special interest in the conflict and troublesome encounters that occur in close relationships, particularly focusing on how communication is used to manage relationships when conflict occurs. This interest has led me to examine condom negotiation in intimate relationships, relational maintenance and satisfaction in the stepmother-stepdaughter dyad, classroom conflict, and the like. Additionally, this interest is illustrated in my current research program: understanding and designing interpersonal interventions to deter risk behavior and maintain relationships.  I utilize both quantitative and qualitative methods in my research.  My work has been published in Social Influence and the Electronic Journal of Communication, and I am an active member of the National Communication Association, International Communication Association, Central States Communication Association, and the Association for Conflict Resolution.

Awards and honors

  • Top paper, Peace and Conflict Division, National Communication Association Convention, San Francisco, 2010
  • Top paper, Argumentation and Forensics Division, National Communication Association Convention, San Francisco, 2010
  • Mel Miller Award for Service, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 2009