Faculty & Staff Spotlight Joshua

Meet Joshua Barbour

What do you currently do at UT?
“I'm a faculty member in the Department of Communication Studies in the Organizational Communication and Technology group.”

When did you decide you wanted to work/get a degree in Communication?
“I decided to pursue communication as a high school student. I participated in forensics, and I loved writing and speaking. I also like that the major at my university had a lot of flexibility: I majored in communication and minored in Japanese and creative writing.

What’s one of the most memorable things that happened during your Undergraduate Years?
“Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke at my commencement on the National Mall. I remember seeing him under the shadow of the Washington Monument. I also worked as an RA in our largest dorm: 1,000 first-year students. Lots of memories there. I organized a blood drive. I volunteered to donate blood first, and I passed out almost immediately. I discovered that day I have a fear of needles, but we still had a successful drive.”

What’s one of the most memorable things that happened during your Graduate Years?
“I met and married my partner, who is also a faculty member at UT Austin, Dr. Jennifer Jones Barbour. I also discovered a typo in the letter I was using for data collection for my dissertation after I had prepared and sealed 1800 letters. Yes!”

What was your Master's Thesis/PHD dissertation about?
“I studied physician's reactions to changes in the societal structures we use to value and pay for healthcare (i.e., managed care). I discovered that their experience of the societal shifts were mediated through their interaction with the specific organizations in which they practiced.”

What are you proudest of? 
“My family makes me proud every day. Professionally, I'm proudest of my previous work on the communication involved in the safety of hazardous systems like nuclear power plants and, in particular, a 2017 piece on how questioning organizes safety work. And I'm proudest of my current work on my NSF CAREER Project: The Future of Work in Health Analytics and Automation: Investigating the Communication that Builds Human-Technology Partnerships, mainly because of the amazing work done by Shelbey Call and Jared Jensen, CMS Ph.D. students.”

If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you bring?
“A satellite phone...jk...a musical instrument. I've always wanted to learn to play, but I haven't found the time to practice. I'd have little else to do stranded I suppose. I'd want my family to come with me too.”

Josh Barbour

Joshua Barbour

What movie genre is your favorite? 
“Mystery”

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
“Flight. But I do have two super powers. I don't get jet lag, and I love I-35.”

If you could go back in time, what’s one piece of advice you would give to yourself?
“Relax. It's going to be fine.”

What is your favorite Austin restaurant or eating place?
“Uchi-ko”

Where would you love to travel to next?
“Japan”

What is a fun fact about you that most people here don’t know?
“I lived in Lajas, PR, and I graduated from high school in San Germán from a program at the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico.”