O Hara_Laura

Laura O'Hara

Associate Professor of Communication Studies

LB 364   Phone: 765-285-1998  

Communication Studies
David Letterman Communication and Media Building, room 351
2000 University Ave.
Muncie, IN 47306


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.