Dr. Lori West Peterson received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of South Florida, and is currently an associate professor at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.  Her interest in the study of human communication arose from her earlier career as a social worker, where she witnessed how empathic listening and compassionate responding could transform lives. 

As the field of Communication Studies is inherently interdisciplinary, Dr. Peterson’s teaching and research interests span the areas of interpersonal, intercultural, and family communication as well as leadership studies.  Her recent co-edited book, Narrating Midlife: Crisis, Transition, and Transformation (2019), offers firsthand, narrative accounts of interdisciplinary midlife issues encompassing gerontology, family studies, health communication, and women’s/gender studies She has extensive experience teaching abroad in France and Japan. 

Dr. Peterson served as Associate Vice President for Faculty Development and Academic Programs from 2015-2018, where she was responsible for coordinating training and development for faculty across five schools.