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2018 Seehra Lecture

Leading an “Integrated” Life: Relational and Reflective Communication Practices 

Erika Kirby, the A.F. Jacobson Endowed Chair in Communication and a professor of communication studies at Creighton University, will discuss how communicative practices can help (or hurt) work-life “balance.” She will discuss the communicative implications of how relationships – whether in the workplace, in the “homespace” or beyond – can be supportive and encourage work-life integration or non-supportive and create situations of overwork and stress. She will also discuss findings on intrapersonal communication and the utility of self-talk practices for finding balance, especially related to reflection and discernment. For both areas, academic findings will be combined with practical tips for leading a more integrated life.

About Dr. Kirby 

Erika Kirby

Erika Kirby is the A.F. Jacobson Endowed Chair in Communication and a professor of communication studies at Creighton University where she has been a teacher-scholar for 20 years. Erika received a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2000 in organizational communication. Her area of expertise is to study the everyday intersections of working and personal life – often called “work-life balance.” In her scholarly work, she emphasizes how differing social identities (especially gender) assimilate into and collide with organizational structures as people strive for work-life integration and wellness. She co-edited the book “Gender Actualized: Cases in Communicatively Constructing Realities,” and her research on work-life has been published in numerous outlets in her discipline, including chapters in the “Handbook of Conflict Communication” and the “Handbook of Organizational Communication.” In 2015, Kirby received the National Communication Association’s Charles Woolbert award. Her teaching interests are courses in organizational communication and courses related to communication and social justice. She is past-president of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender and a trained facilitator for the Great Plains Region of the Anti-Defamation League on issues of prejudice and discrimination. She is also a Jazzercise instructor, the life partner of Bob and the mother of Meredith (20) and Sam (18).  

About the Seehra Lecture Series

The Mohindar Singh Seehra Endowment was created to benefit WVU's Center for Women’s and Gender Studies in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and provides funds to host a guest speaker to explore topics related to the challenges involved in combining and balancing a professional career with a family life for the modern woman in the workplace. The Seehra Lecture Series was established by Mohindar Seehra, the Eberly Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and supports the professional development of women. Seehra has guided the research and careers of 65 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, including more than two dozen women. He retired in August 2016 after 47 years of teaching and research at WVU. Learn more about the lecture series.