• Contact Info

Hickerson, Ruth Senior Instructor


Research Areas research areas



  • Dark side of relationships, Construction of Identity, Narrative Analysis, Women Experiencing Homelessness, Gendered Communication, Family Identities, Coming Out Stories, Family Roles, Bullying, Retention and Persistence, Student Success


courses taught

  • COMM 1210 - Perspectives on Human Communication
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2020
    Surveys communication in a variety of contexts and applications. Topics include basic concepts and general models of communication, ethics, language and nonverbal communication, personal relationships, group decision making, organizational communication, and impact of technological developments on communication. Required for COMM majors.
  • COMM 2500 - Interpersonal Communication
    Primary Instructor - Summer 2019
    Focuses on basic processes in face-to-face interaction, including verbal and nonverbal messages, coordination in conversation, messages about self and others, and communication in personal relationships. Emphasizes theory and concepts rather than skills. Recommended prerequisites: COMM 1210 and COMM 1600.
  • COMM 3420 - Gender and Communication
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2020
    Examines gender as a social practice that remains vital to identities, relationships, and institutions in contemporary society. Treats gender as something we do or enact through communication, rather than as something we are or have, and explores the implications of this shift in perspective. Investigates how gender interacts with sexuality, race, class, nation, age, ability, and other aspects of identity.
  • COMM 3510 - Family Communication
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Summer 2018 / Spring 2019
    Explores communication in families from various theoretical perspectives, such as social constructionism, systems theory, and dialectical theory. Communication patterns and processes created and sustained by family members are examined, including rules, roles, stories, rituals, myths, metaphors, themes, and cycles. Recommended prerequisites: COMM 1210 and COMM 1600.
  • COMM 4510 - Senior Seminar: Interpersonal Communication
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019
    Reviews current theory and research on topics such as strategic interaction, relationship formation and maintenance, and identity and self-presentation. May be taken twice for credit on different topics.
  • COMM 4930 - Internship
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019
    Studies are pursued in communication-related work experience projects that generally require 40 hours on the job per credit hour and evidence (e.g., journal, paper and employer evaluation) of significant learning. Recommended prerequisite: 57 hours of overall course work, 18 hours of communication course work completed, 2.50 overall GPA and a faculty sponsor. The 14-hour limit in the major applies to any combination of independent study and internship credit and does not count toward the 33 hours required for the major.
  • COMM 4950 - Senior Thesis: Honors
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020
    For exceptional communication majors who wish to graduate with department honors and receive credit for writing an honors thesis. Recommended prerequisite: COMM 4100 and overall GPA of 3.35 or higher and a COMM or COMN GPA of 3.50 or higher.