Rich West



On Leave

B.A. Illinois State University
M.A. Illinois State University
Ph.D. Ohio University

Rich teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses and serves as the Director of the Washington, D.C. Program. In the communication discipline, his leadership spans several areas and he has been recognized for his teaching, scholarship, and service to the profession.  

At the national level, Rich is a former President of the National Communication Association (NCA), an 8,000 member organization that promotes the teaching and scholarship of communication. Rich is also a past Director of NCA's Educational Policies Board and has served on nearly 30 NCA (sub)committees. He is also a past President of the Eastern Communication Association (ECA), the oldest professional communication organization in the country. He currently serves as the Chair for ECA's Presidential Task Force on Structure and Practices.

Rich's scholarship intersects the area of family and identity and has co-authored research with his colleague/friend of nearly 3 decades, Lynn Turner (past NCA President). Rich has also written in the area of classroom communication and was recognized as a "Leading Scholar" in classroom communication by the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship.

Rich is the co-author of 5 books in multiple editions (IPC: Interpersonal Communication, Gender and Communication, Understanding Interpersonal Communication: Making Choices in Changing Times, Perspectives on Family Communication/4th edition, and Introducing Communication Theory: Analysis and Applications/5th edition). His theory book has been published in 6 languages and his family book has been translated into 3 languages. Rich is also co-editor of The Family Communication Sourcebook which was awarded the Outstanding Book by the National Communication Association (Family Communication Division) in 2013. Rich has been appointed twice as Guest Co-Editor of the Journal of Family Communication. In addition, he has (co) authored dozens of articles and book chapters and is a current member of five journal editorial boards in communication studies and family studies.  

He (and Lynn Turner) are co-editors of the Handbook of Family Communication (Sage, 2015).

In 2013, Rich was awarded the prestigious Norman and Irma Mann Stearns award and was recognized as Distinguished Faculty.  Throughout 2014-2015, Rich will visit the states of Maine, Wisconsin, and Illinois to conduct his research. Also, in 2014, Rich was awarded NCA's Bernard J. Brommel Award in Family Communication for excellence in family communication scholarship. 

Rich's service to Emerson is expansive. In 2007-2008, he served as the Interim Director of the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson. During that year, he was also the Project Director for the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at Emerson. From 2008-2012, Rich served as the College's Chair in the Department of Communication Studies and after four years, he stepped down to dedicate more time to his teaching and research.  He has also served as Co-Chair of the Faculty Development and Research Committee and is currently faculty advisor of the Emerson Republicans.  He teaches courses in interpersonal communication, family communication, research methods, and communication theory.  

Rich's research has been featured in a number of media outlets including the Boston Globe, USA Today, PBS, Christian Science Monitor, NPR, Toronto Globe & Mail, Fox and Friends on Fox News, among others. When he has some free time, Rich also enjoys working on his 110 year-old home on the coast of Maine where he is an avid gardener so he can quiet the anxieties within--if that's even possible.




Rich West

Walker 802

On Sabbatical, 2015