Melissa Ann Tafoya
Melissa Ann Tafoya brings a wealth of experience to La Sierra, she was the Undergraduate Program Director, Department of Communication Sciences, at the University of Connecticut. She has taught a wide variety of courses at both the University of Connecticut and Arizona State University, and serves on the board of the Western States Communication Association. While in graduate school, she earned the Top Paper Award, National Communication Association, Interpersonal Division for Human affection exchange: XIII: Affectionate communication accelerates neuroendocrine stress recovery.
Tafoya has taught a diverse group of courses: Interpersonal Communication, Conflict Management and Negotiation, Research Methods, Gender and Communication, Introduction to Human Communication, Nonverbal Communication, Public Speaking, Small Group Communication, and Introduction to Communication Inquiry and Theory. Research areas that are of particular interest to her include the dark side of communication, family communication and interpersonal communication.
Tafoya states that she has a very strong commitment to teaching excellence: “My teaching is very student-focused. Specifically, I favor a classroom dynamic that encourages dialogue and fosters critical thinking. I approach teaching as an ongoing, interactive process between students and professor. Rather than simply lecturing, I strive to create an energetic environment that fosters student interest in, and enjoyment of, the course content and material. I hope to inspire in my students the same passion for learning that my remarkable mentors inspired in me.”