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Melissa Maier


  • Associate Professor


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Communication
    University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • Master of Arts, Communication Studies
    University of Montana, Missoula
  • Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies
    Winona State University

Recent and upcoming courses

Spring 2024

Summer 2024


Melissa Maier is an associate professor and department chair in the Department of Professional Communication at Metro State University.

Maier teaches courses in organizational communication, group work, and mediation. She teaches across multiple modalities including face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses. She facilitates the COMM 103P: Public Speaking Proficiency Test and other student-designed learning opportunities, including prior learning credit for group communication, student-designed independent studies on communication careers, and facilitates and evaluates professional communication student internship opportunities.

In addition to her work as a teacher, Maier is an experienced conflict resolution practitioner. As a communication and conflict consultant, she works with academic and corporate institutions on organizational assessment, strategic planning, organizational development, communication and culture, and strategic problem solving. She offers trainings and workshops to various audiences on dealing with challenging people in the workplace, workplace bullying, effective conflict management skills, and effective communication. As a mediator, facilitator, and communication coach, she works with persons who struggle with substance abuse to return home and to their families, middle-school girls to build self-esteem and healthy relationships, and mediates civil, family, and employment discrimination disputes.

Maier’s research interests are grounded in conflict and communication. She takes a interest in the conflict and troublesome encounters that occur in relationships in personal and professional lives, particularly focusing on how communication is used to manage relationships when conflict occurs. She researches conflict within a variety of contexts including organizational, interpersonal, educational, and international contexts. Her early socio-psychological research focused on interpersonal relationships, and she has more recently moved toward both cybernetic approaches (e.g., studying how an organizational system—teachers, parents, administrators—presents challenges to managing conflict in the classroom) and more applied scholarship in her consulting work. She is a multi-methodological scholar, specializing in meta-analysis and qualitative methodologies.

Selected Publications

Maier, M.A., Turkiewicz, K.L., & Herrman, A.R. (2019). Relational maintenance strategies and satisfaction in the stepmother-stepdaughter dyad. The Family Journal, 27(4), 377-386.*

Maier, M.A., Herrman, A.R., & Turkiewicz, K.L. (2018). It takes a village: Managing conflict in the K-12 classroom. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 19(1), 25-34.*

Maier, M.A., & Turkiewicz, K.L. (2018). Politely declining: Participant perception of instructor denials to student requests via email. Florida Communication Journal, 46(1).*

Herrman, A.R., Maier, M.A., Stache, L.C., & Turkiewicz, K.L. (2017). Evaluations of similar bodies: An examination of My Body Gallery. Journal of Communications Media Studies, 9, 79-93.*

Emmers-Sommer, T., Maier, M.A., & Allen, M. (2014). Condom use and conflict in heterosexual relationships. In N. Burrell, M. Allen, R. Preiss, and B. Gayle (Eds.), Managing Interpersonal Conflict: Advances through Meta-Analysis. Mahwah, NJ: Taylor and Francis.*

Maier, M.A., Allen, M., & Burrell, N. (2014). International conflict and intervention: Application of the SAT Model. In N. Burrell, M. Allen, R. Priess, and B. Gayle (Eds.), Managing Interpersonal Conflict: Advances through Meta-Analysis. Mahwah, NJ: Taylor and Francis.*


Maier, M. (2020, January). Facilitating Online “Conversations.” Presented at the STAR Symposium. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Maier, M. (2019, April). Using course evaluation processes to teach the strategy change cycle. Competitively accepted to the Central State Communication Association Conference, Omaha, NE.

Maier, M. (2016, April). The Challenges of Advocacy: An Analysis of Ombudsmen in the Long-Term Care Setting. Paper competitively accepted to The Conflict Conference, University of Texas, Austin, TX.

Maier, M., Holmes, S., & Chandler, R. (2023, November). The spoils of conflict: Applying the incivility spiral and TRIP Model to derail spoiling in the conflict resolution process. Panel: Setbacks & Spoilers to the Peace and Conflict Processes. Competitively accepted to the National Communication Association, National Harbor, MD.

Maier, M., Holmes, S., & Chandler, R. (2022, November). TRIPping up the incivility spiral: Developing a pedagogical model for disrupting the cycle of incivility in interpersonal communication. Panel: Aligning Peace and Conflict Communication Goals with our claims to PLACE/s in our lives. Competitively accepted to the National Communication Association, New Orleans, LA.

Maier, M. (2020, November). Communication at the crossroads: Embracing partnerships between the academy, international/local government, and non-governmental peace organizations. Competitively accepted to the National Communication Association, Indianapolis Indiana (Virtual due to COVID).

Maier, M. (2020, April). Breaking through borders in the communication classroom: A discussion of approaches and advantages to classroom assessment activities at small and mid-sized undergraduate institutions. Competitively accepted to the Central States Communication Association, Chicago, IL. (Conference canceled due to COVID).

Maier, M. (2019, November). Survival: Peace and conflict communication through the high density panel. Competitively accepted to the National Communication Association, Baltimore, MD.

Maier, M. (2019, September). Mediation, Dispute Resolution, and Communication Studies Departments. Competitively accepted to the Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota Annual Conference.

Maier, M. (2018, April). Different conversations: Facilitating discussions of difference in the undergraduate classroom. Competitively accepted to the Central States Communication Association, Milwaukee, WI.


Certificate in Mediation and Negotiation, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Girls’ Circle Facilitator

Victim Impact Facilitator

Master Advisor

Civil and Family Mediation

Family Group Conference Facilitator

Restorative Circle Facilitation

Awards and Honors

2018 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member, University of Wisconsin--Stevens Point

2016 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member, Missouri State University

2016 Nominee, Master Online Recognition Award, Missouri State University

2015 Nominee, Central States Communication Association Outstanding New Teacher Award

2015 Nominee, Missouri State University Outstanding Graduate Mentor