Tina Coffelt


Office:253 Ross
527 Farm House Ln.
Ames IA


When I was 12, my dad asked me, “How would you like to get $1,000?” He had my attention. That question led me to my first public speaking competition. I spoke competitively for four more years, then switched to motivational and leadership speaking in high school organizations. These early experiences with public speaking, presenting, training, and interviewing launched me into undergraduate studies in business management. It was not until I was having lunch with friends one day when one said to me, “Did you know you talk about relationships all the time?” That is when I realized how fascinating interpersonal relationships are to me. That was also the day I switched from studying communication in organizations to communication in interpersonal relationships. I remain interested in public speaking and business, however my primary interests are communication in family, friend, and romantic relationships.

Courses I teach

ComSt 102: Introduction to Interpersonal Communication
ComSt 203: Introduction to Research Methods
ComSt 311: Studies in Interpersonal Communication


Ph.D. - University of Missouri – Communication Studies
MBA – Northwest Missouri State University
BBA – Florida International University – Management major

About my teaching

I like classrooms with momentum, energy, and interaction. Students practice active listening during lecture segments, discuss ideas in small groups, and consider others’ viewpoints during full class discussion. I draw on research findings and connect with personal experiences to illustrate concepts. Then, students are asked to think about and share their own experiences to solidify understanding of concepts. Assignments allow students to showcase their knowledge by integrating
course concepts into their work.

Research areas

Sexual communication, privacy management, multigenerational family communication, interpersonal communication

Recent publications

Coffelt, T.A., Baker, M.J., & Corey, R.C. (2016). Business communication practices from employers' perspectives. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly.
Coffelt, T. A., & Hess, J. A. (2015). Sexual goals-plans-actions: Toward a sexual script in marriage. Communication Quarterly, 63, 221-238.
Coffelt, T. A., & Hess, J. A. (2014). Sexual disclosures: Connections to relational satisfaction and closeness. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 40, 577-591. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2013.811449
Coffelt, T. A., & Olson, L. O. (2014). No more birds and bees: A process approach to parent-child sexual communication. In E. L. Cohen (Ed.), Communication Yearbook, 38, (pp. 207-240).New York: Taylor & Francis.
Coffelt, T. A. (2013). Customer service with a smile: Creating a climate where customers come first. In J. A. Wrench (Ed.), Workplace Communication for the 21st Century: Tools and Strategies that Impact the Bottom Line. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Publications.
Coffelt, T. A. (2012, December). Communicating emotion at work. [Review of the book. Communicating emotion at work, by V. R. Waldron]. Journal of Business and Management
Landscapes, 1(1), 36.
Smith, F. L. M., Coffelt, T. A., Payne, A., & Sollitto, M. (2012). The Voice of Experience: Positive Response to a Natural Disaster Crisis. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 13(1), 53-62.
Hess, J. A., & Coffelt, T. A. (2012). Verbal communication about sex in marriage: Patterns of language use and the connection with marital quality. Journal of Sex Research, 49(6), 603-612. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2011.619282

Current research

Just stay no: Messages emerging adults use to abstain or delay from sexual intercourse

Commitment and desire as predictors of responses to sexual initiation messages

Inhibitors of sexual self-disclosure in marriage

Large, multi-generational families: Socially constructed, discourse dependent

Outside of the university...

I love to travel, sew, watch movies, read, shop, and spend time with family.