Susan Hafen


  • 1992-95 Ph.D. School of Interpersonal Communication, Ohio University, Athens, OH
    Major: Organizational Communication Minor: Interpretive Research Methods Dissertation: "The Gossip Web of Organizational Life"
  • 1976-78 M.Ed., Secondary Education, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
    Major: Curriculum Design; Minors: School Counseling and English
    Internship: High School Peer Counseling Program
  • 1970-74 B.S., Distributive Education, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Academic & Professional Experience

Teaching Experience

  • 2003-present Organizational Communication, Communication Theory, Interpersonal and Small Group Communication, Research Methods, Senior Seminar, Interviewing, Training, Public Speaking
  • 1995-2003 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC)
    Training & Human Resource Development, Cultural Diversity Training & Human Resource Development, Introduction to Organizational Communication, Communication Theory, Communication Criticism, Intercultural Communication, Fundamentals of Speech, Communication Research Seminar, Women’s Talk: The Politics of Gossip (Women’s Studies Seminar), First Year Seminar (Freshman Experience Class)
  • 1992-1995 Graduate Teaching Associate, School of Interpersonal Communication, Ohio University
    Courses: Introduction to Public Speaking, Group Communication Techniques, Communication Theory
  • 1976-78 Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant, College of Education, Brigham Young University
    Courses: Creativity, Evaluation Theory
  • 1974-76 Distributive Education Teacher, Brighton High School, Salt Lake City, UT
    Courses: Interpersonal Communication, Selling, Fashion Merchandising

Professional Experience

  • 1990-92 Training and Education Consultant, Continuing Education & Community Services, Weber State University, Ogden, UT
    Designed professional workshops to offer business/community. Designed/implemented Continuing Education Policies & Procedures Manual and staff evaluation system. Conducted University-wide diversity audit.
  • 1988-90 Human Resources Manager, Kimberly-Clark, Ogden, UT
    Managed seven-person staff responsible for all hiring, training, benefits, safety, disciplinary action, EEO, and health care for 600 employee diaper manufacturing plant.
  • 1984-88 Training Superintendent, Kimberly-Clark, Ogden, UT
    Started up training function for new plant; managed all technical and supervisory training.
  • 1981-84 Employee Relations Adviser, Mobil Oil, Gillette, WY
    Designed/conducted all supervisory courses for Mobil's first coal mine: EEO, Technical Writing, Effective Listening, Interviewing, Train-the-Trainer, and Managing a Union-Free Environment. Designed technical training for the warehouse, preparation plant, and maintenance departments. Wrote Affirmative Action Compliance Plans and the Employee Handbook. As co-editor, wrote articles for employee newsletter, The Miner.
  • 1979-81 Training Specialist, Potomac Electric Power Company, Washington, D.C.
    Designed/conducted new employee orientation, as well as workshops in Interpersonal Communication, Career-Life Planning, Interviewing, Motivation, and Train-the-Trainer.
  • 1978-79 Curriculum Specialist, Maryland Vocational Curriculum R&D Center, University of Maryland (see publications)

Faculty Mentor for Undergraduate Research

  • At Weber State University, mentored four student papers presented at 2007 & 2008 WSU Undergraduate Research Conference and two at 2008 Utah Communication Association, one of which won top paper.
  • At University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, mentored 34 student conference papers presented at undergraduate research conferences, 13 at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (3 of which won first place in the Wisconsin Communication Association Undergraduate Research Contest).

Scholarly Activity

Publications below are listed in order of recency. CONFERENCE PAPERS are grouped by topical area (group/organizational, rhetorical/cultural, and instructional), then listed by recency.


  • Hafen, S. (2009, accepted for publication). Patriots in the classroom: Performing positionalities post 9-11. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies.
  • Hafen, S. (2007, in press). Facilitating diversity focus groups: Service learning for organizational communication seniors. In M. Finucane & B. Clinton (Eds.), Teaching Diversity, Service Learning and Contemporary Social Issues Series, Anker Press.
  • Hafen, S. (2007, in press). Gendered gossip at work. In G. Fitzgerald (Ed.), Professional communication. Beijing, China: Fudan University Press.
  • Hafen, S. (2005). Cultural diversity training: A critical (ironic) cartography of advocacy and oppositional silences. In G. Barnett & G. Cheney (Eds.), Organization communication: Emerging perspectives, vol. 7 (pp. 3-44). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
  • Hafen, S. (2004). Regulating and resisting through organizational gossip: A postmodern account. Southern Communication Journal, 69, 223-240
  • Hafen, S. (2004). Lesbian history and politics of identities. In M. Fong & R. Chuang (Eds.), Cultural and ethnic identities, pp. 179-198. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Kjesbo, K. , & Hafen, S. (2001). Deconstructing Girl Scout rhetoric: Feminist roots and skeletons. Journal of Wisconsin Communication Association, 32, 1-19.
  • Planalp, S., Hafen, S., & Adkins, A. Dawn. (2000). Messages of shame and guilt. Communication Yearbook., 23, 2-65.
  • Hafen, S., & Ram, A. (1995). Women's gossip justified: Recuperating gossip as feminist praxis. In J. Knuf (Ed.), Texts and identities: Proceedings of the third annual Kentucky conference on narrative, (pp. 177-189). Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Printing Services.
  • Hafen, S., & Mangano, M. (1979). Evaluating resources for handicapped students. College Park, MD: Maryland Vocational Curriculum Research and Development Center.
  • Hafen, S., & DeGrey, G. (1979). Evaluating resources for disadvantaged students. College Park, MD: Maryland Vocational Curriculum Research and Development Center.
  • Hafen, S., & Baird, H. (1978). Getting to know adolescents as persons. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press.

Conference Papers: Organizational/Group

  • Hafen, S. (2005, July). The politics of talk: Gendered gossip at work. Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference. Christchurch, NZ.
  • Hafen, S. (1999, November). Cultural diversity training: Its cartographies of silences. National Communication Association Convention, Chicago.
  • Planalp, S., Hafen, S., Adkins, D. A. (1998, February). Messages of shame and guilt. Western States Association Convention, Denver CO.
  • Hafen, S. (1997, November). Theorizing organizational gossip. National Communication Association, Chicago IL.
  • Hafen, S. (1996, November). Doing postmodernism in organization studies. Top competitive paper for Organizational Communication Division. Speech Communication Association, San Diego, CA.
  • Hafen, S. (1995, November). The presentation of `group-ness': Consensus in everyday life in a collective. Speech Communication Association, Antonio, TX.
  • Hafen, S. (1995, November). The consulting conundrum for critical researchers. Speech Communication Association, San Antonio, TX.
  • Hafen, S. (1995, May). Rethinking group decision-making: From isolated loops to organizational webs. International Communication Association, Albuquerque, NM.
  • Hafen, S. (1994, April). Building a city's center: A case study of innovation diffusion through community partnerships. Central States Communication Association, Oklahoma City, OK.
  • Hafen, S. (1993, October). Worker-owners and the experience of "my-ness.” Kentucky Conference on Narrative, Lexington, KY.
  • Hafen, S. (1994, July). In search of the organizational unconscious. International Conference on Organizational Symbolism, Calgary, Canada.

Conference Papers: Cultural/Rhetorical

  • Hafen, S. (2003, February). The gendering and embodiment of gossip. Western States Communication Association Convention. Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Hafen, S. (2002, November). Lesbian identities: History, politics, and labels. National Communication Association Convention. New Orleans, LA.
  • Moua, M..; & Hafen, S. (2002, March). Hmong women leaders: Identities, roles, and stigmas. Western States Communication Convention. Long Beach, CA.
  • Kjesbo, K., & Hafen, S. (2000, April). Girl scout rhetoric: Feminist roots and skeletons. Eastern Communication Association Convention, Pittsburgh.
  • Hafen, S. (2000, November). Signifying with "[hu]man's best friend": A semiotics of animal-human communication. National Communication Association Convention, Seattle.
  • Hafen, S. (1999, November). Listening with the third eye: An ethnography of animal-human communicators. National Communication Association Convention, Chicago.
  • Hafen, S. (1999, February). Reading the earth: Learning from animal teachers. Western Communication Association Convention, Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • Knutson, J. M., Hafen, S., & Witczak, A. J. (1998, April). Telephone phobia in a "phone first!" culture. Eastern States Association Convention, Saratoga Spring NY.
  • Hafen, S. (1999, May). Positionality and othered epistemologies. International Communication Association Convention, San Francisco, CA.
  • Chuang, R., & Hafen, S. (1996, November). "I get a kick outta reading tabloid magazines": A cross-cultural comparison of gossipy discourse. Speech Association, San Diego, CA.
  • Ram, A. & Hafen, S. (1995, October). Narratives from the diaspora: (Re)presenting race, class, and gender in “Mississippi masala” and “bhaji on the beach. Kentucky Conference on Narrative, Lexington, KY.
  • Hafen, S. (1995, May). Em(bracing) female sexualit(ies): An othered gaze at postmodern feminism. International Communication Association, Albuquerque, NM.
  • Hafen, S. (1994, November). Re-visioning the female body into The Rhetorical Tradition. Speech Communication Association, New Orleans, LA.
  • Hafen, S., & Nelson, J. (1994, November). Roseanne as an iconic rhizome: A dialogic semiosis. Speech Communication Association, New Orleans, LA.
  • Hafen, S., & Ram, A. (1994, October). Women's gossip justified: Recuperating gossip as feminist praxis. Kentucky Conference on Narrative, Lexington, KY.
  • Hafen, S. (1994, April). Roseanne Barr and Jean Baudrillard: The ironic object "talks back" to the fatal subject. Communication Research Conference of Ohio University, Athens, OH.

Conference Papers: Instructional

  • Hafen, S.; Pierce, T.; Brabo, L. M. (2001, November). Students evaluating students: Risks and responsibilities. National Communication Association Convention. Atlanta, GA.
  • Hafen, S. (1999, February). Metaphors from the new science. Western Communication Association Convention, Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • Hafen, S. (1997, November). Students facilitate diversity focus groups. National Communication Association, Chicago.
  • Hafen, S. (1996, November). Taking the temperature of diversity climate(s): Students take readings of faculty and staff. Speech Communication Association, San Diego, CA.
  • Hafen, S. (1995, November). Disturbing attractions: “Boys in the band” teaches theory and self-confrontation. Speech Communication Association, San Antonio, TX.



  • Departmental and University Committees (2003-Present)
  • University Diversity Research Team: Designed and conducted 3-day workshops for students to co-facilitate diversity focus groups for Latino/a students, students with disabilities, and majority group students. Coordinated and observed all 5 focus groups and their submission of focus group reports (Summer, 2006)


  • Presentations on workplace gossip (2005-2008): International Association of Business Communicators, Utah Society of Human Resource Management Conference, Layton Parks and Recreation Department, Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership, Utah Council on Conflict Resolution, Norther Utah Human Resource Management Chapter, Department of Management at Waikato University, New Zealand, WSU Professional Staff Association,
  • Wisconsin Community Clients for Student-Facilitated Diversity Focus Groups (1997-2003): Trained seniors to co-facilitate focus groups and provide reports to the Indian Water Girl Scouts, and West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency (WestCAP).


  • Textbook/Journal Article Reviewer:
  • The Mass Comm Murderers: Five Media Theorists Self-Destruct, Arthur Asa Berger, 2002
  • Essays for anthology, Communicating Ethnic and Culture Identity, eds. Mary Fong and Rueyling Chuang, 1999
  • Journal article for Studies in Cultures, Organizations, and Societies, 1995.


  • National Communication Association, Western States Communication Association
  • Conference Panel Chair (when not presenting), Respondent, and Reader (when not presenting): 1997-2004


Communication Theory
Organizational Communication
Interpersonal & Small Group Communication
Senior Seminar

Elizabeth Hall 349