COVID-19 Information

Until further notice, the University of Arizona, in accordance with the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, encourages all employees to work remotely.

The Communication Building is now open from Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. COMM's main office (211) is open from Monday-Friday 9am-3pm. You can reach the Communication Department Monday-Friday 8am-5pm by email to

Get COVID-19 updates and information for the University of Arizona community. Also, see SBS resources for continuing instruction and learning.

Erin Ruppel, M.A. & Ph.D.

About Erin Ruppel, M.A. & Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Research Interests

  • Communication Technologies
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Health Communication
  • Small Group Communication

Selected Publications

Ruppel, E. K., Burke, T. J., Cherney, M. R., & Dinsmore, D. (2018). Social compensation and enhancement processes via mediated communication in the transition to college. Human Communication Research, 44, 58-79.

Ruppel, E. K. (2018). Preference for and perceived competence of communication technology affordances in face-threatening scenarios. Communication Reports, 31, 53-64.

Ruppel, E. K., Burke, T. J., & Cherney, M. R. (2017). Channel complementarity and multiplexity in friendship: Associations with closeness and sex composition. New Media & Society.

Blight, M. B., Ruppel, E. K., & Schoenbauer, K. V. (2017). Sense of community on Twitter and Instagram: Exploring the roles of motives and parasocial relationships. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 20, 314-319.

Ruppel, E. K., Gross, C., Stoll, A., Peck, B., Allen, M. R., & Kim, S. (2017). Reflecting on connecting: Meta-analysis of differences between mediated and face-to-face self-disclosure. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 22, 18-34.

Ruppel, E. K., Blight, M., Cherney, M., & Fylling, S. (2016). An exploratory investigation of communication technologies as a means to alleviate communicative difficulties and depression in older adults. Journal of Aging and Health, 28, 600-620.

Ruppel, E. K. (2016). Scanning health information sources: Applying and extending the comprehensive model of information seeking. Journal of Health Communication, 21, 208-216.

Rains, S. A., & Ruppel, E. K. (2016). Channel complementarity theory in the health information-seeking process: Further investigating the implications of source characteristic complementarity. Communication Research, 43, 232-252.

Ruppel, E. K. (2015). The affordance utilization model: The role of affordances as relationships develop. Marriage & Family Review.

Erin Ruppel, M.A. & Ph.D.'s picture

Contact Information


PhD, Communication, University of Arizona

MA, Communication, University of Arizona

BA, Communication, University of the Pacific

Dissertation Title

The Affordance Utilization Model: The Role of Affordances as Relationships Develop

Courses Taught

  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Organizational Communication
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Communication Technologies
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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