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Carlson, Elizabeth

Associate Professor



Elizabeth Carlson (she/her/hers) grew up about 70 miles from Central Michigan University. She graduated from Saranac High School in Saranac, Michigan, in a graduating class of 85 students. When it was time to choose a college, she chose to go to the big city: Chicago… well, actually, just north on the Purple Line, in Evanston. It was a nice place to visit, but she didn’t want to live there. After college, she tried more school. She earned her Master’s degree in Communication while working as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Then, she went looking for work and landed in a job in market research at the headquarters of State Farm Insurance. 

After a few years, she realized that she missed the curiosity and energy of college students, so she went back to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to earn her PhD in Communication. Her dissertation focused on inter-organizational collaboration in disaster response exercises. 

Since coming to CMU in 2014, she has enjoyed teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in Organizational Communication, working with student-leaders in the Communication in Leadership course, and running table-top crisis simulations with students in Crisis Communication. Her current research interests include the design of communication in simulation-based training in health care and public safety. 


Recent Scholarship

Atouba, Y. C., Carlson, E. J., & Lammers, J. C. (2019). Directives and dialogue: Examining the relationship between participative organizational communication practices and organizational identification among IT workers. International Journal of Business Communication, 56(4), 530-559. 

Carlson, E. J. (2018). Vigilant resilience: The possibilities for renewal through preparedness. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 23(2), 212-225. 

Carlson, E. J., Poole, M. S., White, N. J., & Lammers, J. C. (2017). A study of organizational responses to paradoxical demands: Dilemmas in interorganizational crisis management. Communication Research, 44(2), 287-315. 

Carlson, E., Cooper, K., & Pilny, A. (2016). Mixing methods in organizational communication research: Current state and prospects for advancing knowledge and enhancing community. Communication Yearbook, 40, 379-401. 

More about Elizabeth Carlson

PhD: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
MA: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign​
BS: Northwestern University
• Communication design in simulation-based training
• Message design for mobile alerts and warnings
• Collaboration, coordination, & conflict in interdisciplinary teams
• Disaster preparedness
• Disaster response training exercises

Courses Taught

• Public Speaking
• Qualitative Research Methods in Communication
• Organizational Communication
• Research Methods in Comm
• Communication in Leadership
• Crisis Communication
• Graduate Seminar in Organizational Communication