Kelly Odenweller


Office:346 Carver
411 Morrill Rd.
Ames IA

Courses I teach

Interpersonal Communication
Professional Communication


Ph.D., West Virginia University, 2015 (Department of Communication Studies)
Graduate Certificate, West Virginia University, 2014 (Center for Women’s and Gender Studies)
M.A., West Virginia University, 2011 (Department of Communication Studies)
B.A., University of Pittsburgh, 2004 (Major: Communication, Minor: Creative Writing)

About my teaching

My approach to teaching combines knowledge acquisition, skills building/application, and socialization. In all of the courses I teach, I focus on theories and research trends that are foundational to the Communication Studies discipline in general and/or the particular context of the course (e.g., workplaces, personal relationships, families). Additionally, I emphasize the skills necessary to be competent communicators and give students opportunities to practice these skills in their everyday interactions and relationships. Finally, I promote pro-social attitudes, values, and behaviors (e.g., empathy, acceptance, helpfulness) and encourage students to draw upon these principles when faced with difference in our social world.

Research areas

intergroup communication, family communication, gender communication

Recent publications

Odenweller, K. G., Booth-Butterfield, M., & Weber, K. (2014). Investigating helicopter parenting, family environments, and relational outcomes for Millennials. Communication Studies, 65, 407-425. doi:10.1080/10510974.2013.811434

Odenweller, K. G., Rittenour, C. E., Myers, S. A., & Brann, M. (2013). Father-son family communication patterns and gender ideologies: A modeling and compensation analysis. Journal of Family Communication, 13, 340-357. doi:10.1080/15267431.2013.823432

Current research

My line of research applies an intergroup perspective to family and gender communication. I am primarily interested in how communication within and about families can socialize its members and foster social change for men and women. My master’s thesis quantitatively and qualitatively investigated the transmission of gender ideologies and memorable messages across three generations of father-son relationships. My doctoral dissertation experimentally tested the effects of stereotypes and social categorization on stay-at-home and working mothers’ communication. Additionally, I am interested in the effects of parents’ communication patterns and styles (e.g., conformity/conversation orientations, helicopter parenting) on children’s identity development and outgroup attitudes.

Outside of the university...

When I’m not teaching or conducting research, I’m spending time with my family. My husband and I have a son (6 years old) and daughter (2 years old) who keep us busy and laughing! We enjoy outdoor activities, reading books, and watching movies together.