Theresa Castor, PhD

  • Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; Professor - Communication
  • Provost's Office Department
  • Ph.D., University of Washington, 1999
  • PHONE: (262) 595-2364
  • EMAIL:
Theresa Castor


  • Communication
  • Group and organizational decision-making
  • Meetings
  • Crisis Communication
  • Water
Theresa Castor conducts research on organizational decision-making, focusing on crisis and problem situations in meetings and governance groups. She graduated from the University of Washington in 1999 with a PhD in Speech Communication.

Teaching Interests

Her teaching areas include Organizational Communication, Crisis Communication, Group Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Language in Human Communication, Communication Theory and Research.

Research Interests

Dr. Castor's research work examines discourse in meetings and organizational and group decision-making. She has studied nonprofit boards, school boards, university governance, public community development meetings, and student discussion groups. In addition to her work on decision-making, she has also written on communication and social constructionism. Her work has been published in Management Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Business Communication, Discourse Studies, Communication Yearbook, the International Journal of Public Participation, and the Electronic Journal of Communication.

Consulting Interests

Selected Publications

2024: Approaches to Qualitative Research on the Communicative Constitution of Organizations, Sage (103-121 pp.)

2023: Castor, T., Gregg, M. K., & McBride, M. (2023). Essential Individual and Organizational Decision-Making for Smart Manufacturing, The 19th International Conference on Intelligent Environments (1-6 pp.)

2022: The umbrella of discourse analysis and its role in CCO, Routledge

2022: Advocating for Experiential Learning Programs as Change Agents in Higher Education: Imagining a Justice Orientation that Centers Students and Partners while Enriching Practice, Experiential Learning & Teaching in Higher Education (13 pp.)

2022: Experiential Learning Educators as Tempered Radicals and Social Change Agents in Higher Education: The NSEE Fellows Program as Reflective Practitioner-Scholars, Experiential Learning & Teaching in Higher Education (9 pp.)

2022: Identity and Community Among First Generation Students: High Impact Practices and Communicating BelongingThroughout Department Design, Stylus (19 pp.)

2021: Deciding, De Gruyter Mouton

2021: Smart Cities – Fundamental Concepts, Springer-Verlag publishers

2020: On streams and lakes: Metaventriloquism and the technologies of water controversy, Language and Dialogue (29-49 pp.)

2020: Water, Rhetoric, and Social Justice: A Critical Confluence, Lexington

2019: The varieties of (more or less) formal authority, Routledge

2019: Taking the Moral High Ground: Avoiding Accounts as a Practice for Being Uncompromisingly Principled, Journal of Pragmatics (116-129 pp.)

2018: Climate Risks as Organizational Problems: Constructing Agency and Action, Peter Lang (128 pp.)

2018: Sustainability and Textual Extensions of Institutional Discourse: Testing the Great Lakes Compact, Critical Sociology (341-356 pp.)

2017: Legislating the Great Lakes: Socially constructing water through congressional discourse, Routledge (143-154 pp.)

2017: Metacommunication, International Communication Association and Wiley-Blackwell (10 pp.)

2017: Ambiguity, International Communication Association and Wiley-Blackwell (11 pp.)

2016: Discursively constructing the Great Lakes freshwater, Purdue University

2016: The materiality of discourse: Relational positioning in a fresh water controversy, Communication Research and Practice (334-550 pp.)

2016: The LOCs and the shift to student-centered learning, Communication Education (493-495 pp.)

2016: Metacommunication during Disaster Response: ‘Reporting’ and the Constitution of Problems in Hurricane Katrina Teleconferences. , Management Communication Quarterly (472-502 pp.)

2015: Accusatory Discourse, International Communication Association and Wiley-Blackwell (20-24 pp.)

2013: Learning by the “Seat of Your Pants”: The Socialization of Nonprofit Board Members, Peter Lang (85-104 pp.)

2010: Disasters as social interaction, Communication Currents (1 pp.)

2009: What are We Going to “talk about” in this Public “meeting”?: An Examination of Talk about Communication In the North Omaha Development Project (Available online:, International Journal of Public Participation (57-75 pp.)

2009: 'It’s just a process': Questioning in the Construction of a University Crisis, Discourse Studies (179-197 pp.)

2009: Tracing our steps through communication social construction: Six propositions for how to go on, Socially Constructing Communication (225-243 pp.)

2009: Why Wiki?: Using Wiki Software as a Resource for Language and Social Interaction (Available online:, Electronic Journal of Communication (35 pp.)

2008: Public Meetings, International Communication Association (2 pp.)

2008: Social construction in communication: Revisiting the conversation , Communication Yearbook (3-39 pp.)

2008: Students’ Metaphors as Descriptors of Effective and Ineffective Learning Experiences, Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (103-128 pp.)

2007: Language use during school board meetings: Understanding controversies of and about communication, Journal of Business Communication (111-136 pp.)

2006: Organizations as hybrid forms of life: The implications of the selection of agency in problem-formulation, Management Communication Quarterly (570-600 pp.)

2004: Capstone as Stepping Stone, Communication Teacher (4 pp.)

Teaching Awards

2021: Part of the inaugural cohort of NSEE Fellow. , National Society for Experiential Education Fellow, National Society for Experiential Education
2020: The NSEE Fellows program seeks to develop a community of scholarship for scholar-practitioners and graduate students working in the experiential education field. , NSEE Fellow, National Society for Experiential Education
2018: Community Engaged Learning and Research Award, UW-Parkside
2018: Received award for community-based project partnership with Hospice Alliance. The CBL project involved students in Health Communication partnering with Hospice Alliance to interview hospice patients to develop digital legacy videos., Outstanding Community-Based Learning Project, UW-Parkside Center for Community Engagement and Continuing Education

Research/Creative Awards

2021: Excellence in Research and Creative Activity Award, UW-Parkside
2018: Co-authored paper with Adrienne Viramontes title, "Negotiating Difference, Identity, and Community among First Generation Students and First Generation" was ranked as the Top paper submitted to the Communication Education Division of CSCA., Top Paper in Communication Education, Central States Communication Association
2015: This project takes up the issue of the role of time and timing in the communicative constitution of organizations (CCO) by drawing from Bakhtin’s (1991) concept of responsiveness. When CCO theorizing has taken up the issue of time, the focus has tended to be oriented toward the past and articulating how the past is brought into the present. I advocate for a dual focus by including responsiveness to an anticipated future as an aspect of how organizations are communicatively constituted. The case of the state of Georgia leadership’s response to a late January 2014 winter storm is examined., Top Interactive Display, Organizational Communication Division/International Communication Association
2014: My co-authored chapter (with Mary Jo Jiter), "Learning by the 'seat of your pants': The socialization of nonprofit board members," was one of the chapters in the award-winning edited book, "Volunteering and Communication: Studies from Multiple Contexts" edited by M. Kramer, L. Gossett, & L. Lewis , published by Peter Lang., Distinguished Edited Book Award, Applied Communication Division, National Communication Association
2014: The co-authored paper, "Metacommunication during Disaster Response: ‘Reporting’ and the Constitution of Problems in Hurricane Katrina Teleconferences," received the Top Paper award from the Organizational Communication Division of the International Communication Association. , Top Paper in Organizational Communication, Organizational Communication Division, International Communication Association

University Service

2015: Committee Member - HLC-Student Learning Outcomes Group
2014: Committee Chair - Academic Achievement Assessment Committee
2013: Committee Chair - Self-Study Criterion 4 Committee
2012: Workshop Organizer - Assessment Workshop
2012: Workshop Organizer - Assessment Workshop
2012: Program Organizer - UW-Parkside Liberal Education Essay Contest Organizer
2011: Committee Chair - Committee on Teaching and Learning

Professional Service

: Officer, Secretary - International Association for Dialogue Analysis
: Editorial Review Board Member - Management Communication Quarterly
2019: Editorial Review Board Member - Journal of International and Intercultural Communication
2019: Program Organizer - International Association for Dialogue Analysis
2015: Board of Directors of a Company - International Communication Association
2014: Program Organizer - Language and Social Interaction Division, ICA
2013: Program Organizer - Language and Social Interaction Division, ICA
2013: Officer, Other Officer - Language and Social Interaction Division of the International Communication Association.
2012: Editorial Review Board Member - Women's Studies in Communication

UW System Service

2016: Committee Member - System Advisory Group for the Liberal Arts

Public Service

2018: Committee Member - Gateway Technical College Institutional Review Board
COMM 303 - Organizational Communication
COMM 340 - Health Communication
COMM 493 - Capstone-Health Communication
COMM 494 - Communication Internship
COMM 495 - Senior Seminar
COMM 499 - Independent Study:
COMM 703 - Professional Communication
COMM 730 - Grantwriting
COMM 797 - Proposal Development
COMM 798 - Project/Thesis Implementation
MAPS 703 - Professional Communication
UWP 294 - Work-Based Learning
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