Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Pensoneau-Conway, Sandy


This dissertation sought to unpack the ways in which GTACs understand the concepts of diversity and difference as they integrate them into communication GTA professional training and development, how GTACs integrate diversity and difference into communication GTA professional training and development, and the barriers surround the integration of diversity and difference into communication GTA professional training and development. I conducted interviews with 8 GTACs, using semi-structured interview design combined with expert interview processes, to address these questions. Using grounded theory methods, I coded the interview data and thematized them as a way to make sense of participant statements in relation to the research questions. The findings of the research show that GTACs’ perceptions regarding diversity and difference, GTA training, and barriers to training are important parts of their positions and are communicatively rich areas of analysis. Finally, I discuss the theoretical, institutional, and pedagogical dimensions of my findings. To conclude, I invite readers to consider my future recommendations and to create ways to evaluate their effectiveness toward liberatory goals—goals that should always evolve and lead us toward a path of justice, peace, and equity.




This dissertation is only available for download to the SIUC community. Current SIUC affiliates may also access this paper off campus by searching Dissertations & Theses @ Southern Illinois University Carbondale from ProQuest. Others should contact the interlibrary loan department of your local library or contact ProQuest's Dissertation Express service.