APRON Collaborators

APRON includes Lab team members, faculty collaborators, and the APRON Advisory Board. 

The Team



Lab Director

Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Joshua B. Barbour (Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is an associate professor of Communication Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Health Communication, a collaboration between the Moody College of Communication and Dell Medical School. He investigates how organizations design and discipline their communication to solve problems

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Doctoral Student, University of Texas at Austin

Jared is a doctoral student in Organizational Communication and Technology at The University of Texas at Austin. His primary research interests involve the communicative dynamics between leadership, autonomy, creativity, and work. These topics have led to a variety of ambitious projects including a study of independent bands in the Austin music scene and another concerning issues of temporal power in an academic medical organization. Jared received his BA from Portland State University. He currently lives in Austin but still calls the Pacific Northwest home.



Doctoral Student, University of Texas at Austin

Shelbey is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin, studying Organizational Communication and Technology. Her research explores how organizational members employ communication in order to navigate interdisciplinary collaboration, negotiate their professional identity, and represent knowledge in their day-to-day work practice. Her current project focuses on the complexities of coordinating knowledge-intensive, interdisciplinary work in a newly-founded academic medical center. Shelbey aims to conduct research which is both theoretically developmental to the field, as well as pragmatically valuable to the organizations she studies. In her free time, she enjoys making a mess of her kitchen and exploring Austin with her sweet dog. 



Post Doctoral Fellow, University of Texas at Austin

Billy Table is a Post Doc at The University of Texas at Austin, studying Interpersonal Communication. Billy's research interests involve difficult conversations - specifically, the development and testing of persuasive and supportive messages; navigating stigmatized topics, and communication skills outcomes in healthcare education. Their recent works focus on the communicative processes involved in coping with stressors, negotiating competing goals, and fostering resilience. Billy joins the APRON lab in collaboration with Dr. Josh Barbour and Dr. Virginia A. Brown investigating the competing goals that emerge as a result of implementing patients' psychiatric advanced directives in clinical organizations. In their free time, Billy enjoys singing karaoke, scrolling Instagram, and weight lifting.

Faculty Collaborators



Professor, Austin Community College

Tasha Davis (Ph.D., University of Texas) is a professor of Communication Studies at Austin Community College. Her teaching focuses on preparing college students for the workplace, and examining temporal issues in organizational structure and design.



Associate Professor, Wake Forest University

Dr. Rebecca Gill (Ph.D., University of Utah) is the LeAnne E. Merlo Presidential Chair in Communications and Entrepreneurship at Wake Forest University. Her research is centered on organizational and occupational identity, with particular attention to entrepreneurial identity and how it is shaped alongside social identities, place, and culture. Gill’s recent scholarship examines the various elements of identity that may be involved in the formation of regional innovation ecosystems, and the implications thereof. She teaches courses that address entrepreneurial storytelling; entrepreneurial organizing; and critical theory. Her work has been published in several top tier journals, including Communication Monographs, Communication Theory,Human Relations, Management Communication Quarterly, and Organisation.



Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Jeffrey W. Treem (Ph.D., Northwestern University) studies the relationship between technology use and social perceptions of expertise, primarily in organizational contexts. This research explores how communication technologies facilitate recurrent, interactive practices that affect attributions of knowledge individuals make regarding coworkers. Currently, Dr. Treem is pursuing two lines of research: the study of communication and expertise in knowledge-intensive and service-oriented work contexts, and investigation of issues surrounding the introduction of social media technologies into organizations. This work employs a variety of qualitative and quantitative analytical approaches including ethnographic methods and social network analysis.

Founding Students and Lab Alumni

In 2018, Anastazja Harris, Jared Jensen, Courtney Powers, and Kendall Tich, and Shelbey Rolison founded the Lab with Joshua Barbour. Their early input helped guide the Lab's mission and goals.



Doctoral Student, University of Texas at Austin

Anastazja Harris is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her current research interests focus on understanding the organizational selection and hiring process from the perspective on the hiring organization and applicants. Additionally, she is interested in exploring the evolving communication technologies that facilitate interview processes. Outside of research, she is passionate about advising and training people to be more skillful and considerate in their communication practices at work. She enjoys cooking, exploring the local food scene, and traveling.

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Doctoral Student, University of Texas at Austin

Courtney is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin, studying Organizational Communication and Technology. Prior to starting at UT, she completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her research focuses on a variety of topics within organizational communication, including cybervetting and hiring, family business, training and development, social media, conflict management, and change management. Courtney also has a background in human resources, particularly in system implementation of human resources systems, which has fueled her passion for learning about how humans interact with and communicate using technology at work. Outside of school, Courtney is very involved in her family’s business, performing human resources, marketing, and accounting responsibilities, and enjoys spending her free time with her beloved dog, Noel.



Doctoral Student, University of Texas at Austin

Kendall Tich is a current Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Austin, studying Organizational Communication and Technology. She is interested in risk and crisis communication in the healthcare space. As an M.A. graduate from the University of Minnesota, Kendall has extensive research experience in mass and crisis communication. Prior to beginning her Ph.D., Kendall worked at a global, integrated communications agency in San Francisco. Supporting various public relations and marketing work streams, she partnered with healthcare and technology clients to strategically advise communication strategies and improve operational design. Kendall grew up across the U.S., culminating in an ExPat experience in Hong Kong before moving to San Diego for her B.A.In her free time, Kendall enjoys traveling, skiing, and exploring Austin. Kendall joined the APRON lab to combine her passion for the healthcare industry with her desire to provide practical recommendations for communications at the organizational level.