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 critical pedagogy.
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.