primarily teaches Introduction to Oral Communication and Interpersonal Communication.
She occasionally teaches special topics courses such as Activism, Sexual
Communication, Conflict and Communication, and Introduction to
Communication Theory. Some of her scholarly interests include love,
relational equality, nonviolent/compassionate communication (NVC), conflict
transformation, restorative justice, and facework.
She received her master's degree from Illinois State University, completed
her doctoral coursework at the University of Iowa, and has published and
presented on topics related to communication and equality, empathy, and
likes to use a variety of teaching techniques and activities, including
direct democracy, role play, and "real life" application.
Her style is unique. She likes learning to be fun, challenging, and
“real.” She has been known to drop the f-bomb in class. While
many students enjoy it, she readily admits that her style isn’t for
everyone. Alaina aligns herself with critical pedagogy, expects
students to be responsible for their learning and encourages “deep”
thinking, self-reflection, and transformation. She has been teaching
for over 25 years, is an active mentor, and participates in academic and
community organizations such as the Central States Communication Association,
the League of Women Voters, and NVC practice groups and trainings. She also
teaches about and facilitates talking circles and restorative discussions
and is active in bringing restorative justice practices to Heartland.