Communication Studies Faculty Spotlights
Learn from faculty that are truly dedicated to your success. Faculty have world-class practical and professional experience and are the same top faculty members as on-campus. Your first class will be taught by the University of Miami's debate team director (ranked 11th in the country) who also wrote one of the leading textbooks on the topic.
Victoria Orrego-Dunleavy, PhD
Victoria Orrego-Dunleavy received her PhD from Michigan State University in 1999. Dr. Dunleavy’s research lies in areas of mentoring relationships and health communication. Dr. Dunleavy is also interested in issues faced by graduate students and junior faculty of color in higher education. In the area of health communication Dr. Dunleavy works in three specific domains: college student health, organ donation, and access issues among hard to reach populations.
Dr. Dunleavy provides communication expertise in intervention development, message design as well as quantitative and qualitative methodology. She has helped design campaign intervention messages, created focus group protocols as well as survey and panel instruments. Dr. Dunleavy has also been working with SMSRG by examining psychosocial needs of medically underserved populations. The research focus is on HIV/AIDs prevention and substance abuse policy. Dr. Dunleavy has served on editorial boards for three communication journals: Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, Communication Research Reports, and Communication Education.
Valerie Manno Giroux, PhD
Dr. Valerie Manno Giroux received both her PhD in Educational Leadership/Administration and Master of Arts in Speech Communication from the University of Miami. As Basic Course Director in the Communication Studies Department, she develops workshops to train future teachers. Her research interests include the effects of video streaming technology in the public speaking classroom. Dr. Giroux has published several articles in academic journals, including the Journal of Educational Technologies, and has presented her findings at the National Communication Association Convention. She has also authored instruction manuals for two text books: Communicating in Small Groups: Principles and Practices and Business and Professional Communication: Principles and Skills for Leadership.
Diane Millette, PhD
Diane Millette is Associate Professor and Department Chair of Communication Studies. She conducts research in the areas of instructional, intercultural, organizational, apprehension, and nonverbal communication, and published journal articles in Communication Education, Communication Research Reports, Communication Quarterly, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, and International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, & Society. Dr. Millette has twelve years administrative experience in the banking and financial management industry focusing on organizational training and development. She received a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology and Communication Studies from West Virginia University, and joined the University of Miami faculty in 1991. As founding director of the Instructional Advancement Center, Dr. Millette coordinated a University-wide effort to focus on teaching excellence offering workshops, classroom feedback, and instructional grants. In addition, she taught and conducted research in Italy, England, Bangkok, Russia, and Australia.
Michelle Seelig, PhD
Michelle Seelig teaches courses in photography, web design, multimedia design, communication theory, and research methods. Her research interests include the convergence of new and traditional media in news organizations, the role of content producers in visual communication, environmental photojournalism, as well as the impact of technology on pedagogy.
She has written scholarly articles and has presented numerous papers at scholarly meetings in the areas of mass communication, visual communication, as well as communication and technology. She has taught at Florida State University and Temple University. Seelig also has professional experience in video production, photography, as well as desktop publishing, and web design.
Dr. Seelig’s current research projects include exploring the presentation of still images on a website set to music, environmental sound, or narration; trends in traditional media’s presence on the web; and examination of environmental photographers role both past and present that have used their photography to build awareness and evoke meaningful action. Just released, Seelig’s book Communicating the Environment Beyond Photography.
David L. Steinberg has been the University of Miami’s Director of Debate and a faculty member in Communication Studies since 1990. He is co-author of the leading collegiate textbook on argumentation and debate (Argumentation and Debate: Critical Thinking for Reasoned Decision Making, 13th Ed., Wadsworth, 2013). He holds a master’s in Communication from the University of Tennessee and has completed significant post-graduate work in Communication Studies, Education, and Human Resource Development at Pennsylvania State University and Florida International University.
Shara Toursh Pavlow, PhD
Dr. Pavlow came to academia after a long career managing health and social services in the South Florida area. She served as chief executive to four community organizations and as chief operating officer to two others. She received her PhD. from the University of Miami School of Communication. Dr. Pavlow’s academic work focuses on the role of dialog communication in building resilient communities and community organizing to effect social and organizational change. Building from her extensive work experience, she strives to merge theoretical learning with real-world applications for active student learning.
Patrick Waldinger is the Assistant Director of Debate & Lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies. He has been with the University of Miami since 2013. Prior to joining the faculty at UM, he served as the debate coach and lecturer in communication at Boston College for 8 years. During that time, his teams won 20 tournaments, including the 2009 Junior Varsity American Debate Association (ADA) National Tournament hosted at Vanderbilt University, and qualified seven teams to the National Debate Tournament (NDT).
Waldinger received his B.A. in Politics at The Catholic University of America in 2003. He received his M.A. in Communication at Wake Forest University in 2005, where he was a graduate assistant for the debate team. a debater, Patrick won several tournaments including the 2003 Varsity ADA National Championship hosted at Boston College and was a two-time qualifier to the NDT.
Training the world's next digital and executive pioneers is a great responsibility and one that UM is uniquely placed to undertake, thanks to its highly specialized faculty.