Dr. Jessica J. Eckstein is Professor of Communication and an interpersonal specialist. Leading classrooms for almost 20 years, Dr. Eckstein teaches interpersonal relations, group management and decision-making, ethical responsibilities, interviewing, persuasion strategies, public speaking, and gender, nonverbal, and other topical communication courses at the university level. She currently works in the Department of Communication at Western Connecticut State University.
An experienced trainer, Dr. Eckstein's past instructional sessions for organizations and community institutions have dealt with topics including handling ethical responsibilities, building interpersonal relationships, managing conflict, communicating effectively for persuasion and clarity, dealing with difficult issues and sensitive topics, listening effectively, and conveying identity appropriately.
She has worked with the Center for Teaching Excellence/Graduate Academy for College Teaching at the University of Illinois to prepare new graduate students for effective classroom instruction, has presented informational sessions on generational message communication and on relationship boundaries and complaints for the Psychology Student Association at WCSU, and has presented communication tactics for leaders in the Hancock Student Leadership Program. With over 25 years' experience in competitive and professional speech writing and delivery, she has conducted professional training in effective presentation strategies for companies such as Anheuser Busch and Pepsi-Co. Additionally, Dr. Eckstein has volunteered her knowledge to collaborations with community organizations, including grant writing for the nationally-based Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women, program consultation and evaluation for the Women's Center of Greater Danbury, and primary prevention curriculum outcome assessment for the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
Dr. Eckstein received her doctorate in communication from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her professional scholarship includes over 30 publications on gender, identity, communication in close relationships, and dynamics of classroom instruction and over 90 competitive conferences, panels, and training events. She also contributes as an invited guest lecturer and occasional media consultant, sharing her research on conflict and violent relationships at universities and popular press outlets across the nation. In addition to her awards for public performance, presentation competitions, and teaching, she also consistently obtains grant funding to continue her research on relational communication, violence, and gender issues and on the subjects of methodology and pedagogy. Further information on Dr. Eckstein's background in research, training, and consulting can be viewed on her academic vita.