Common Searches

Alan D. Heisel


Dr. Alan D. Heisel, Professor of Communication, currently serves as the Graduate Program Director for the Master of Arts in Communication degree at UMSL. He is a former Department Chairperson and has served in a variety of administrative roles, including Special Assistant to the Provost for Accreditation, Interim Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication, and Special Projects Administrator for the College of Fine Arts and Communication. He has been a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission (the accrediting arm of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools) for more than a decade. He is a member of the Civic Engagement Coalition and serves on Advisory Board for SUCCEED. He is a strong advocate for students and the community.

Dr. Heisel studies “the construction, delivery, and perception of messages in a goal-directed context.” He specializes in perception and emotion-related communication including argumentativeness, communication apprehension, verbal aggression, empathy, perspective-taking, and communicative competency (appropriateness + effectiveness). However, he has published and presented research on a wide-range of topics. His current research interests focus on how conformity and related factors impact behavior. In particular, the willingness of individuals to share discordant positions/opinions when said positions are (or have been) minoritized by others. He enjoys working with both graduate and undergraduate students on research topics of mutual interest.

Dr. Heisel has taught a variety of different communication courses at the graduate and undergraduate level (from general introductory courses such as COMM 1030: Interpersonal Communication and COMM 1040: Introduction to Pubic Speaking, to advanced undergraduate and graduate courses). He is also a creative and collaborative teacher, developing and delivering cross-listed courses (e.g., COMM 3395/HONORS 3030/POL SCI 3390: Communication in the 2020 US Presidential Election) and participating in team-taught interdisciplinary courses (INTDSC 1234: Science Literacy). He is a student-centered teacher that regularly delivers graduate and undergraduate directed reading courses (independent studies) to students.

Favorite quotes:

“Your actions speak so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say but keep on saying it.” –Robert Frost

“The great tragedy of science—the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact” – Thomas Huxley

Contact Information:
Office: 581 Lucas Hall
Phone: (314) 516-6189
Email: heisela@umsl.edu