CofC Logo

Jenna Stephenson Abetz

Assistant Professor

Address: 7 College Way, Room 303
Phone: 843.953.7017

Jenna Abetz joined the Department of Communication in the fall of 2014 as an Assistant Professor specializing in Interpersonal Communication.

Dr. Abetz came to Charleston from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she earned her Ph.D. in Communication Studies, with a specialization in Interpersonal and Family Communication and a secondary emphasis in Rhetoric and Public Culture. At UNL, she taught courses in family communication, interpersonal communication, and communication and aging. Coming from an interdisciplinary background, she received her master’s degree in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University in 2010, and her undergraduate degree in History from James Madison University in 2008.

Informed by qualitative and critical approaches to communication, her research interests are centered within interpersonal, family, and gender communication. Her research program examines the construction and negotiation of identity, particularly during times of relational transition and contestation. This work has included explorations of communication in emerging adulthood, dual-career couples, and mother-daughter relationships and has been published in outlets including Western Journal of Communication, Women’s Studies in Communication, and the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Dr. Abetz is an advocate of student research as her academic training has emphasized faculty-student and interdisciplinary collaboration. She looks forward to advising and collaborating on research with CofC students.


2008, B.A., History, James Madison University

2010, M.A., Women's Studies, San Diego State University

2013, Ph.D., Communication Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 

Research Interests

Interpersonal and Family Communication, Gender and Communication

Courses Taught

Fall 2014: COMM 215


Abetz, J. S., & Holman, A. J. (2015). “College is just not the same”: Communicating and managing identity on social media.

In D. O. Braithwaite & J. T. Wood (Eds.), Casing interpersonal communication: Case studies in personal and social relationships (2nd Ed.) (pp. 169-174). Dubuque IA: Kendall/Hunt.

Braithwaite, D. O., Moore, J., & Abetz, J. S. (2014). “I need numbers before I will buy it”: Reading and writing qualitative scholarship on personal relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 31, 490-496.

Stephenson-Abetz, J. (2012). Everyday activism as a dialogic practice: Narratives of feminist daughters. Women’s Studies in Communication, 35, 1-22.

Stephenson-Abetz, J., & Holman, A. (2012). Home is where the heart is: Facebook and the negotiation of "old" and "new" during the transition to college. Western Journal of Communication, 76, 175-193.

Stephenson-Abetz, J., & Alemán, M. W. (2012). Creating a consciousness of leadership: A case study of a university women’s CR group.

In A. Holba & E. Ruminski (Eds.) Communicative Understandings of Women's Leadership Development: From Ceilings of Glass to Labyrinth Paths (pp. 113-134). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books: