Erin Donovan Profile Photo

Erin Donovan

Associate Professor
Department of Communication Studies



CMA 7.138D

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Dr. Erin Donovan (PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) specializes in Interpersonal Health Communication. Her research and teaching focus on how people can successfully navigate difficult conversations with family, friends, and health care providers while coping with illness, stress, and uncertainty. Her expertise includes interpersonal communication processes such as disclosing and receiving bad news, social support and coping, and exchanging complex medical information. Dr. Donovan’s scholarship examining how patients and health care professionals engage in “communication work” has extended theorizing about illness trajectories and health care communication. Dr. Donovan teaches courses on interpersonal communication, health communication, uncertainty management, and coping. In addition to teaching her own courses, she works with health profession programs including the Dell Medical School to help them train students to communicate effectively with patients, colleagues, and community members. Dr. Donovan has partnered on research with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the LIVESTRONG Foundation, the Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin Regional Clinic, Seton Network of Oncology, and the Texas Medical Disclosure Panel of the Texas State Legislature.