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Applied Communication Studies


Dr. Zachary Schaefer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Communication Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He earned his Ph.D. in Organizational Communication from Texas A&M University in 2010 and an M.A. in Communication in 2006 as well as a B.A. in Communication in 2004 from Saint Louis University. Dr. Schaefer is also a certified mediator. He teaches organizational communication and a variety of courses related to conflict management, leadership, and small group development within organizational contexts. His primary research interests are the relationship between organizational action and structure, an investigation of how organizations and communities manage conflict, and exploring innovative ethnographic research methods. He has presented at many academic and professional conferences, and his work has appeared in the Encyclopedia of Humor Studies, The International Journal of Humor Research, and Communication Teacher, among others. Dr. Z, as his students call him, has also worked in the field of trial litigation as a qualitative researcher. After collaborating with attorneys and conflict management practitioners, he formed his own consulting company to help organizations improve their conflict management and communication skills: Spark The Discussion Consulting (for more information, visit: Outside of teaching and research, Dr. Z has been a Big Brother in the Big Brother Big Sister program for almost 10 years and is currently matched with a wonderful young man named Jesse. Dr. Z enjoys snowboarding, motorcycling, skydiving, and any other type of adrenaline rush, loves spending time with his wife, daughter, son, and friends. He is a backyard BBQer, road trip warrior, movie watcher, card player, and can’t go a single day without strong coffee and conversation.

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