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James R. DiSanza

James R. DiSanza

Professor & Department Chair

Office: Frazier Hall 223

(208) 282-1242


BA, California State University Stanislaus; MA, San Francisco State University; Ph.D. Penn State University


Corporate Communication & Leadership

Courses Taught:

CMP2201: Business & Professional Communication; CMP3320: Foundations of Leadership; CMP4422: Conflict Management; CMP4424: Management Communication; CMP5522: Conflict Management

Idaho State University was my first full-time, tenure-track job after getting my Ph.D. I suspected it would be a three or four year gig. Twenty-nine years later I'm still here and I wouldn't even consider leaving ISU. I am privileged to lead the finest group of faculty at this institution. You can't find a more "present" and caring group who throw themselves into their teaching and research. I often remind myself that most people go an entire career and are never be part of a creative team like this one.
My annual teaching schedule includes Foundations of Leadership, Conflict Management, Small Group Communication, and Business and Professional Communication. The greatest reward is watching students' improve their communication skills and the increased self-confidence that this improvement creates.
My research interests are in persuasive attack and defense. As part of a research team that includes John Gribas, Nancy Legge, Karen Hartman, Jasun Carr, and Zac Gershberg, we examine how organizations are attacked during a crisis and how they defend themselves using various image repair tactics. I enjoy bringing the findings of our research into the classroom for students' benefit.

Dr. Disanza’s ResearchGate

Selected Publications:

DiSanza, J. R., Hartman, K. L., Legge, N. J., & Gershberg, Z. (2018, in press). Adding narrative to the situational crisis communication theory: The case for crisis ‘Narrative Management’ in sport.

Gribas, J., Gershberg, Z, DiSanza, J. R., and Legge, N. L. (2017). Finding story in unexpected places: Branding and the role of narrative in the study of communication. In B. Attebery, J. Gribas, M. K. McBeth, P. Sivitz, and K. Turley-Ames (Eds.), Narrative, Identity, and Academic Community in Higher Education (pp. 91-110). New York: Routledge.

DiSanza, J. R., Carr, D. J. (2017). Corporate Communication. In Mike Allen (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods (pp. 264-266). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gribas, J., DiSanza, J., Legge, N., Hartman, K., and Santee, C. (2016). Exploring the alignment of image repair tactics to audience type. In J. R. Blaney (Ed.), Putting Image Repair to the Test (pp. 41-61). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Legge, N. J., DiSanza, J. R., Gribas, J., & Schiffler, A. (2012). "He sounded like a vile, disgusting pervert. . ." An analysis of persuasive attacks on Rush Limbaugh during the Sandra Fluke Controversy. Journal of Radio & Audio Media, 19, 173-205.

Awards & Honors

Outstanding Service Award nominee, 2011, 2014