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Faculty & Staff


Sylvia Mikucki-Enyart

Assistant Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
Interpersonal/Organizational Communication

CAC 209

 
 
 

Focus

  • B.A. Degree: Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois
  • M.S. Degree: Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois
  • Ph.D. Degree: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Major Areas of Concentration: Interpersonal Communication, Family Communication 

Courses Taught

  • COMM 280 - Introduction to Interpersonal Communication
  • COMM 389/589- Special Topics in Interpersonal Communication:  Family Communication
  • COMM 389/589- Special Topics in Interpersonal Communication: Relational Communication
  • COMM 388/588- Special Topics in Interpersonal Communication: The Evolution of Family Communication
  • COMM 388/588- Special Topics in Interpersonal Communication: The Language of Love—Communicating in Romantic Relationships
  • COMM 440: Interpersonal and Organizational Communication Capstone
  • COMM 702: Seminar in Communication Research Methods
  • COMM 740: Current Issues in Interpersonal Communication

Biography

Dr. Sylvia L. Mikucki-Enyart (Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2012) specializes in interpersonal and family communication. Her research focuses on how family members communicate during times of relational change. The primary foci of her work involve understanding the process of communication during times of relational turbulence. For example, how does relational turmoil shape interaction goals (e.g., relationship goals, identity goals) and communication behaviors (e.g., engage in topic avoidance or direct communication), and what are the consequences for relationship development?  Her current work examines the experience of turbulence, goals, and topic avoidance as families manage both normative (e.g., the transition to extended family) and non-normative (e.g., late-life parental divorce) transitions. Her work has appeared in publications such as Communication Research, Communication Monographs, and Communication Quarterly. She also founded the blog Just a Squirrel, which provides readers research-based relationship advice. Dr. Mikucki-Enyart teaches courses in interpersonal and family communication.

Research

  • Interpersonal/family communication
  • Uncertainty and uncertainty management
  • Privacy management
  • Relational transitions and relational turbulence
  • Interaction goals

Recent Publications

Mikucki-Enyart, S. L. & Caughlin, J. P. (2015). Integrating the relational turbulence model and a multiple goals approach to understand topic avoidance during the transition to extended family. Communication Research. Advanced online publication.
 
Mikucki-Enyart, S. L., Caughlin, J. P., & Rittenour, C. E. (2015). The content and relational implications of children-
in-law’s relational uncertainty during the transition to extended family. Communication Quarterly, 63, 286-309.
Mikucki-Enyart, S. L. (in press). Communication among in-laws. In C. Berger & M. Roloff (Eds.), International
encyclopedia of interpersonal communication. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
 
Caughlin, J. P., Vangelisti, A. L., Mikucki-Enyart, S. L. (2013). Conflict in dating and marital relationships.  In J. G. Oetzel & S. Ting-Toomey (Eds.), The Sage handbook of conflict communication: Integrating theory, research, and practice (2nd ed., pp. 161-186). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Scott, A. M., Caughlin, J. P., Donovan-Kicken, E., Mikucki-Enyart, S. L. (2013). Do message features influence responses to depression disclosure? A message design logics perspective. Western Journal of Communication, 77, 139-163.
Stone, A. M., Mikucki-Enyart, S. L., Middleton, A. V., Caughlin, J. P., & Brown, L. B. (2012). Caring for a parent with lung cancer: Caregiver’s perspectives on the role of communication. Qualitative Health Research, 22, 957-970.
Caughlin, J. P., Mikucki-Enyart, S. L., Middleton, A. V., Stone, A. M., & Brown, L. B. (2011). Being open without talking about it: A rhetorical/normative approach to understanding topic avoidance in families after a lung cancer diagnosis. Communication Monographs, 78, 409-436. [Lead Article]

Recent Conference Papers/Presentations

Mikucki-Enyart, S. L., Wilder, S. E., & Barber, H. (2015, November). Was it all smoke and mirrors?”: Applying the relational turbulence model to adult children’s experience of late-life parental divorce. Competitive paper presented at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.
Mikucki-Enyart, S. L. (2015, May). The mediating role of family in-group status on children-in-law’s uncertainty management strategies during the transition to extended family. Competitive paper presented at the annual convention of the Central States Communication Association, Madison, WI. Top paper panel in the Interpersonal/Small Group Communication interest group. 
Mikucki-Enyart, S. L. (2015, May). Managing the convergence points of work and life: Discussions of work-life balance with pre-tenure female faculty. Competitive panel presented at the annual convention of the Central States Communication Association, Madison, WI.  
Mikucki-Enyart, S. L. (2014, November).Examining the mediating role of children-in-law’s privacy management goals on the association between children-in-law’s uncertainty, topic avoidance, and relational outcomes. Competitive paper presented at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.
 
Mikucki-Enyart, S. L., & Caughlin, J. P. (2014, May). Integrating the relational turbulence model and a multiple goals approach to understand children-in-law’s uncertainty management during the transition to extended family. Competitive paper presented at the annual convention of the International Communication Association, Seattle, WA.
 
Mikucki-Enyart, S. L. (2014, April). Adult children’s uncertainty and uncertainty management in response to late-life parental divorce. Competitive panel paper to presented at the annual convention of the Central States Communication Association, Minneapolis, MN. Top panel in the Interpersonal/Small Group Communication interest group.
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