» Dr. Sara LaBelle
Assistant Professor

School of Communication; Communication Studies
Dr. Sara LaBelle
Office Hours:
M 1-4pm; W 1:30-4:30pm
Canisius College, Bachelor of Arts
West Virginia University, Master of Arts
West Virginia University, Ph.D.

Dr. Sara LaBelle (B.A., Canisius College, M.A., Ph.D., West Virginia University) is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies Department and a core faculty member for the Strategic and Corporate Communication (SCC) major in the department. Her primary area of study is in Health Communication, with a secondary area of emphasis in Instructional Communication. Her research focuses on the most effective means of implementing, disseminating, and evaluating health communication campaigns and health information in patient-provider care, as well as on improving the outcomes of these endeavors using knowledge on the teaching-learning process. Her dissertation work focused specifically on developing and validating a stronger measurement of health literacy for use in social science research. Dr. LaBelle has published her work in a number of peer-reviewed journals including Personal Relationships, Communication Education, Western Journal of Communication, The Journal of Health Communication, Southern Communication Journal, and Communication Research Reports. Her work has also been acknowledged for several top paper awards in the fields of instructional and health communication for both regional and national communication conventions. Dr. LaBelle is currently an active member of the Eastern, National, and International Communication Associations.

She teaches courses in group communication, interpersonal communication, health communication, empirical and applied research methods, and introductory courses for the SCC major. Dr. LaBelle also enjoys working with undergraduate students on independent collaborative research projects, and is currently working with students to further explore the impact and influence of health literacy in a variety of health and social contexts.



Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
LaBelle, S. (2017). Preparing to be a strategic communication professional: What can and should you be doing now to prepare for your professional career as a strategic communicator? In J. H. Waldeck, P. Kearney, & T. G. Plax, Strategic Communication at Work. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt. (Invited book chapter)
Goldman, Z. W., Cranmer, G. A., Sollitto, M., LaBelle, S., & Lancaster, A. L. (2017). What do college students want? A prioritization of instructional behaviors and characteristics. Communication Education, 66, 280-298.
Johnson, Z. D., LaBelle, S., & Waldeck, J. H. (2017). A cautious approach to reliance on interpersonal communication frameworks: The importance of context in instructional communication research. Communication Education, 66, 115-117.
Johnson, Z. D., & LaBelle, S. (2017). An examination of teacher authenticity in the college classroom. Communication Education. doi:10.1080/03634523.2017.1324167
LaBelle, S. (2017). Publishing journal articles. In M. Allen (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods (April 2017 ed.).
LaBelle, S. (2017). Communication journals. In M. Allen (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods (April 2017 ed.).
LaBelle, S. (2017). Effective instructional practice: Facilitating constructive dissent. Available at natcom.org.
Waldeck, J., & LaBelle, S. (2016). Theoretical and methodological approaches to instructional communication. In P. Witt (Ed.), Communication and Learning, pp. 67-101. Walter de Gruyter: Boston.
Johnson, Z. D., & LaBelle, S. (2016). Student-to-student confirmation in the college classroom: An initial investigation of the dimensions and outcomes of students’ confirming messages. Communication Education, 65, 44-63.
LaBelle, S., & Myers, S. A. (2016). The use of relational maintenance behaviors among sustained friendship types. Communication Research Reports, 33, 310-316.
Johnson, Z. D., & LaBelle, S. (2015). Examining the role of self disclosure and connectedness in the process of instructional dissent: A test of the instructional beliefs model. Communication Education, 64, 154-170.
LaBelle, S., Odenweller, K. G., & Myers, S. A . (2015). Applying instructor communication behaviors and learning outcomes to the pediatrician-parent context. Southern Communication Journal, 80, 55-73.
Kennedy-Lightsey, C. D., Martin, M. M., LaBelle, S., & Weber, K. (2015). Attachment, identity gaps, and communication and relational outcomes in marital couples’ public performances. Journal of Family Communication, 15, 232-248.
LaBelle, S., & Martin, M. M. (2014). Attribution theory in the college classroom: Examining the relationship of student attributions and instructional dissent. Communication Research Reports, 31, 110-116.
Wanzer, M. B., Foster, S. C., Servoss, T, & LaBelle, S. (2014). Educating males about testicular cancer: Support for a comprehensive testicular cancer campaign. Journal of Health Communication, 19, 303-320.
Dillow, M. R., & LaBelle, S. (2014). Discussions of sexual health testing: Applying the theory of motivated information management. Personal Relationships, 21, 676- 691.
LaBelle, S. Booth-Butterfield, M., & Weber, K. (2013). Humorous communication and its effectiveness in coping with interpersonal transgressions. Communication Research Reports, 30, 221-229.
LaBelle, S., Martin, M. M., & Weber, K. (2013). Instructional dissent in the college classroom: A test of the Instructional Beliefs Model. Communication Education, 62, 169-190.
LaBelle, S., Booth-Butterfield, M., & Rittenour, C. E. (2013). Attitudes toward profoundly hearing impaired and deaf individuals: Links with intergroup anxiety, social dominance orientation, and contact. Western Journal of Communication, 77, 489-506.
Krezmien, E., Wanzer, M.B. , Servoss, T., & LaBelle, S. (2011). The role of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertisements and individual differences in getting people to talk to physicians. Journal of Health Communication, 8, 1-18.