Paula Hopeck is a fourth-year PhD student in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University. After completing her bachelor of arts at Canisius College with a dual major in communication studies and history, she earned her master of arts in organizational communication from Purdue.
Paula’s research focuses on organizational conflict management by third parties not formally trained in conflict resolution. She has primarily worked with educational institutions, including parent-teacher conflict in public schools and university ombuds processes. Recently, Paula entered health organizations, where she studied the organization’s role in end-of-life discussions.
Her dissertation focuses on the process of uncovering the experiences of medical personnel and religious figures in facilitating discussions, resolving conflict, and helping with end-of-life decision making. Additionally, she is interested in discovering whether these tactics are formally taught, based on experience, or dictated by policy at the organizational, state, or national level.
Paula has studied the conflict in Northern Ireland through a structuration lens. She is scheduled to present a network analysis of April 1998 Northern Ireland political and paramilitary groups at the upcoming National Communication Association Conference.
Other minor research interests include political communication and, of course, media portrayals. Her coauthored work has appeared in the International Journal of Conflict Management.