Laura O'Hara

Laura O'Hara

Associate Professor of Communication Studies


Room:LB 364


Ph.D., Ohio University, 1998
M.A., Central Missouri University, 1994
B.A., Missouri Western State University, 1992

Research Interests

  • Assessment of health education programs
  • Critical-cultural studies in health communication
  • Intercultural communication


COMM 290 Intercultural Communication
COMM 442 Conflict & Communication
COMM 650 Training & Development
COMM 653 Consulting

Awards and Honors

  • CCIM Dean's Faculty Award, Fall, 2013
  • CCIM Commitment to Community Award, Fall 2005
  • Indiana Campus Compact. One of five finalists for the "Brian Douglas Hiltunen Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Scholarship of Engagement," Spring 2005
  • COMM CLUB "Most Valuable Professor," Spring 2005
  • Communication Studies "Excellence in Teaching Award," Spring 2003
  • CCIM Social Responsibility Award, Fall 2002
  • Mortar Board, "Outstanding Faculty Member," Spring 2002

Selected Service


  • University Senate, 2012-2015, Spring 2009
  • Immersive Learning Task Force, Ball State University, 2008-2009
  • Graduate Faculty Fellow, Graduate School, Ball State University, 2009
  • Graduate Education Advisory Committee, Ball State University, 2008-2016
  • Student Advisor, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Ball State University Chapter, 2006-2007
  • President, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Ball State University Chapter, 2005-2006
  • CCIM Representative, University Core-curriculum Task Force II, 2004-2006
  • Professional Affairs Council, 1999-2005 (Vice-chair, 2004-2005; Secretary. 2001-2004; Chair, Ad Hoc
  • Subcommittee Trailing Spouses; Chair, Ad Hoc subcommittee investigating the possibility of extending university benefits to university employees' same-sex domestic partners.
  • CCIM representative, University Core Curriculum Re-visioning Task-force, 2002-2004
  • Facilitated over 40 presentations, training sessions, & workshops for university community.


  • CCIM Promotion & Tenure Committee, 2014-2015; 2011-2012; 2006-2007; 2000-2001
  • CCIM Special Events Interest Group, 2012-2016
  • CCIM International Program Interest Group, 2005-2007; 2008-2009
  • Dean's Search Committee, 2004-2005
  • CCIM Multicultural Day Committee
  • Commencement Faculty Marshall, 2005-2016


  • Interim Graduate Director, 2009
  • Departmental Promotion & Tenure Committee Chair 2014-2015; 2011-2012; 2006-2007; 2000-2001
  • Departmental Curriculum & Planning Committee, 1997-1998; 2006-2016 (Secretary 2007-2008; 2014-2016; Co-chair 2008)
  • Faculty Advisor, Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society, 2006-2016
  • COMM 210 Director Search Committee, Chair 2006, Co-chair 2009
  • Member, Search Committees (Chair, COMM 201 Directors, Various Faculty Appointments), 2000-2016

Selected Publications

Chudnovskaya, E., & O'Hara, L. S. (In Press). Experiences of Danish business expatriates in Russia: Power distance in organizational communication. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research.

O'Hara, L. S. & Shue, C. K. (2015). Low-health literacy and the clinical encounter: Promoting understanding for patients through effective communication. Contemporary Case Studies in Health Communication: Theoretical and Applied Approaches (2nd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

O'Hara, L. S. & Shue, C. K. (2014). A Sensitive Question: Asking about Race in a Research Interview. The Qualitative Report, 19, 1-21.

O'Hara, L. S. (2013). Race Tensions: How White Women Researchers Deal with an Uncomfortable Question. Ohio Communication Journal, 51, 302-324.

Shue, C. K., & O'Hara, L. (2012). Usability: Patient-physician interactions and the EMR. In S. Jones & F. Groom (Eds.), Healthcare and Information & Communication Technologies (pp. 123-144). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Shue, C.K., O'Hara, L.L.S., Marini, D., McKenzie, J., Schreiner, J.D. (2010). Diabetes and Low-Health Literacy: A Preliminary Outcome Report of a Mediated Intervention to Enhance Patient-Physician Communication. Communication Education, 59, 360-373.

McKenzie, J. Shue, C.K., O'Hara, L., Marini, D., Flanagan, J.R. (2008). Improving communication between patients with diabetes and their physicians, Health Education & Behavior, 35, 599-601.

O'Hara, L., & Meyer, M. (2004). Keeping it Real: The Self-directed Focus Group as an Alternative Method for Studying the Discursive Construction of Prejudice. The Journal of Intergroup Relations, 31, 25-54.

Meyer, M., & Shue O'Hara, L. (2004). When they know who we are: The National Women's Music Festival comes to Ball State University. In P. M. Buzzanell, H. Sterk, & L. Turner (Eds.), Gender and Communication in Applied Contexts. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

O'Hara, L.L., & Meyer, M. (2003). "I never felt more uncomfortable in my life": University students' discursive constructions of "The Lesbian Convention." Communication Studies, 54, 137-153.

O'Hara, L. (2001). Service learning: Students' transformative journey from communication studies graduate to communication professional. Southern Communication Journal, 66, 251-266.

Shue, L., & Beck, C.S. (2001). Stepping out of bounds: Performing feminist pedagogy with a dance education community. Communication Education, 50, 125-143.

Course Schedule
Course No. Section Times Days Location
Intercultural Commun 290 1 0930 - 1045 T R LB, room 125
Practicum in Comm St 380 5 0000 - 0000
Communication and Co 442 1 1400 - 1515 T R LB, room 108