Office: 116C Bailey Hall
Associate Professor, Ph.D., Purdue University.
Dr. Kunkel teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in interpersonal communication, communication and gender, research methods, and social support. In 2002, Dr. Kunkel was recognized for her teaching by the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Kansas. In 2003, the Commission on the Status of Women and the Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center named Dr. Kunkel the Outstanding Woman Educator of the Year at the University of Kansas. In 2004, she received the Silver Anniversary Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Kansas, and she was also recognized nationally with the Central States Communication Outstanding New Teacher Award. Dr. Kunkel is also a three-time recipient of the Communication Studies Donn W. Parson Graduate Faculty Mentorship Award (2003-2004, 2009-2010, 2010-2011) and, in 2011, she received the John C. Wright Mentor Award at the University of Kansas. Dr. Kunkel’s research interests include studying emotional support/coping processes in personal relationships and support group settings, romantic relationship (re)definition processes, sex/gender similarities and differences, and sexual harassment and domestic violence intervention. She has received grants from the University of Kansas to study how people cope with distressing events through narrative, how participation in support groups affects breast cancer survivors, and the goals, barriers, and challenges of domestic violence survivors and advocates. On a national level, Dr. Kunkel has received funding from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to study the processes that affect satisfaction and perceived support in doctor-patient interaction, particularly when mediated by emerging technologies. Along with several book chapters, Dr. Kunkel has published in a variety of journals, including Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Health Communication, Death Studies, Journal of Family Communication, and Journal of Language and Social Psychology.