primarily teaches Introduction to Oral Communication and Interpersonal
Communication. She occasionally teaches special topics courses such as Activism,
Sexual Communication, and Conflict and Communication. 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. While many students enjoy her style, it’s not for
everyone. She likes a learning-focused classroom and for assignments
to be challenging, “real,” and helpful. 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 known to drop the f-bomb in class. 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.