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Ph.D. Candidate, Florida State University
M.A., Corporate Communication and Public Relations, Barry University
B.A., Psychology, Salisbury University
348J Center for Communications and Information Technology
After more than twenty years working in sales and business development, Ms. Willingham entered the graduate program at Barry University in Miami Shores. Falling in love with the academic environment, she moved to Tallahassee to pursue her Ph.D.
Ms. Willingham examines communication in public spheres, such as organizational and political contexts. Her dissertation seeks to demonstrate the impact of ideographs upon organizational credibility and public relations efforts to facilitate mutually beneficial relationships. Additionally, Ms. Willingham is interested in the disparity between the representation of women in the workplace and reduced representation in leadership roles. For example, the 2014 election was a historic event; for the first time, 100 women hold seats in the U.S. Congress, just 18.7% of the total. Her research agenda focuses on the role of “gendered communication” as a possible explanation for the lack of women’s parity in leadership positions.
Ms. Willingham has taught courses in public speaking, public relations, small group communication, and the political communication of women. At Frostburg State, she teaches Introduction to Human Communication, Public Speaking, Small Group Communication, Communication Theory, Rhetorical Criticism and Leadership Communication.
Ms. Willingham has presented papers at international, national and regional conferences such as: the International Public Relations Research Conference; George Gerbner Conference on Communication, Conflict, and Aggression; Rhetoric Society of America; National Women’s Studies Association, Eastern Communication Association and Southern States Communication Association.