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Brian Perna, PhD, teaches interpersonal communication, public speaking, and conflict and communication. He engages students by relating course content to their lives through content examples, in-class role plays and having them apply course concepts in their interactions to see the importance of communication. Perna's scholarly interests are in conflict communication, social support in health contexts, humor communication, leadership, family, sports, and many other interpersonal communication contexts. He is interested in future collaborations with healthcare professionals in communication research as well as psychologists in sports communication research. Additionally, he has explored social support in a cancer context by interviewing cancer patients about their social support perceptions.

Perna's teaching philosophy at its core is caring communication. He does this by asking questions like, "What made you laugh today?" It is better than always asking, "How are you today?" Asking specific questions creates specific interpersonal connections. Perna also teaches caring communication by showing students how communication can build better relationships through emotional intelligence, listening, and effective conflict resolution.

Perna's hobbies are lifting weights, hiking, traveling, and supporting college sports. He has traveled to Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, Germany, the Cayman Islands, and Jamaica.


Brian Perna's Curriculum Vitae