Dr. Varner is an an Associate Professor of Communication Department at St. Edward’s University (Austin, TX). She holds a Ph.D. in Communication with an emphasis in Performance Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches basic courses in communication, communication theory, nonverbal communication, public speaking and active listening.

Her ethnographic qualitative research interests range from women of color in American higher education to hair/body politics to increasing the amount of classroom instruction devoted to teaching students how to actively listen in the 21st century. She has over 15 years of diversified experience in higher education including classroom instruction, directing, lecturing and coaching with an emphasis on communication skills enhancement, and oral interpretation. She has more than eight years of performing, directing, adapting poetry, prose, non-fiction and theatrical projects. She is highly skilled in editing and writing academic research and presenting both written and performance based scholarly presentations at national conventions.

Dr. Varner is an active member of National Communication Association (NCA) and is currently serving on the International Listening Association (ILA) Nomination Committee. Her current research examines metacognitive listening strategies and takes a qualitative look at strategies that students use before, during, and after a listening event. The study investigates strategy usage, as well as identifies any strategies unique to L1 listening in the United States.

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Communication 2014- present
  • Interim Department Chair, 2016-10/09/2016
  • Department Chair, Communication, 2013-2016
  • Assistant Professor of Communication, 2009-2014
  • Interim Area Coordinator, Communication 04/2013-08/2013
  • Course Coordinator, COMM 1317 - Presentational Speaking 09/2009-05/2013
  • Visiting Professor of Communication 2008-2009
  • Adjunct Faculty 08/2007-08/2008

Year Started

2008

Languages Spoken

  • English

Education

  • Ph.D., 2003 - University of Texas, Austin, TX
  •  M.A., 1996 - Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI
  •  B.S., 1993 - Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI

Achievement & Involvement

Honors and Awards

  • 2016 Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grant Recipient, $5,000
  • 2014 Outstanding Undergraduate Faculty Advisor, School of Humanities, University Winner
  • 2013 Outstanding Undergraduate Faculty Advisor, School of Humanities

Community Service

  • (2014, July), "Public Speaking, the TCF Message, and Active Listening." Day-long workshop (Saturday, July 26,2014) given to the Team Single Jingles: Speakers’ Bureau, Austin TX; LBJ Room on the 2nd Floor. Radisson Hotel, 111 Cesar Chavez at Congress, Austin, TX 78701
  • (2014, February), "So You Think You’re A Good Listener!, " Multicultural Awareness Conference for
    Leadership; Part of a day-long conference; this45 minute workshop is given to students wanting to engage in dialogue about multicultural and diversity issues such as racial equality, gender equality, socioeconomic issues, etc. in relation to leadership. St. Edward’s University, Ragsdale 3rd Floor; 3001 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704
  • (2013, June). "Public Speaking, the TCF Message, and Media Training." Day-long workshop given to the Team Single Jingles: Speakers’ Bureau, Austin TX; LBJ Room on the 2nd Floor. Radisson Hotel, 111 Cesar Chavez at Congress, Austin, TX 78701

Organizations, Boards and Memberships

  • National Communication Association (NCA)
  • International Listening Association (ILA)
  • University of Texas Alumni Association
  • Eastern Michigan University Alumni Association
  • Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA)
  • Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Incorporated (DST), 04/96

Conferences

  • Varner, T. (2014, November). "100 Years of Listening Theory, Research, Pedagogy, and Practice" Chair, National Communication Association (NCA)., Panel accepted for presentation at the 100th Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.
  • Varner, T. (2014, November). "Our Collective Voices: Shared Narratives of Female Scholars’ NCA Journey" Panelist, National Communication Association (NCA)., Panel accepted for presentation at the 100th Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.
  • Varner, T. (2013, November). “Teaching Listening: CONNections & Undergraduate Courses” Chair & Presenter, National Communication Association (NCA)., Panel accepted for presentation at the 99th Annual Convention, Washington, DC.
  • Varner, T. (2009, November). “From Personal to Universal: Yes We Can! Changing the Isolation of Cancer,” Chair & Presenter, National Communication Association (NCA)., 95th Annual Convention, Chicago, Illinois

Research

Research

My research interests include the (Re)Discovering Metacognitive Listening Strategies in First Language (L1) Contexts.  This project will add to the literature  (Janusik,L.A.,&Keaton,S. (2013) of metacognitive strategies being used in teaching listening in first language contexts. What is significant about this line of research is that metacognitive listening strategies, not cognitive listening strategies, have found greater success in student comprehension and the distinction between the two has important implications for teaching and instruction.

Publications & Articles

Publications

  • Varner, T.L. (2015). So You Want to Be a Communication Major? Opportunities in the 21st Century. In Communication for the Curious: Why Study Communication (pp.23-30). Canberra, Australia: Curious Academic Publishing.
  • Varner, T. L. (2013). “Question and Answer Session,” Guide B (G7-G9), O’Hair, D., Stewart, R., & Rubenstein, H.; A Speaker’s Guidebook: Text and Reference. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s.
  • Kopec, R. & Walter, P. & Varner, T. L. (2013). “Science Presentations,” Guide C (G10-G12), O’Hair, D., Stewart, R., & Rubenstein, H. A Speaker’s Guidebook: Text and Reference. 5th ed.Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s.
  • Varner, T. L. (2013). “Speech Rubrics,”; Guide D (G13-G16), O’Hair, D., Stewart, R., & Rubenstein, H. A
    Speaker’s Guidebook: Text and Reference. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s.
  • Martinez, S.P., & Varner, T. (2010). COMM 1317 workbook. (2nd Ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Presentations

Presentations

 

  • Varner, T. (2015, November). "(Re)Discovering Metacognitive Listening Strategies" Presenter, National Communication Association (NCA)., 101st Annual Convention, Las Vegas, NV., November 19-22. 
  • Varner, T. (2014, November). "Our Collective Voices: Shared Narratives of Female Scholars’ NCA Journey" Panelist, National Communication Association (NCA)., Panel accepted for presentation at the 100th Annual Convention, Chicago, IL
  • Varner, T. (2014, October) “Adolescent and Young Adult (AYAs) Cancer Related Stories: TXT MSG Shut-up and listen already” European Listening and Healthcare Conference. Radboud REshape & Innovation Centre of the Radboud Medical Centre in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
  • Varner, T. (2013, November). “Teaching Listening: CONNections & Undergraduate Courses” Chair & Presenter, National Communication Association (NCA)., Panel accepted for presentation at the 99th Annual Convention, Washington, DC