Tony Docan-Morgan

Communication Studies

Brief biography

My mission is to help others become effective, empowering, and ethical communicators. For the past 16 years, my teaching and research have spanned the topics of public speaking, interpersonal relationships, nonverbal communication, and ethics and deception. I have taught and created a variety of courses on these subjects, published more than 30 scholarly articles, and received awards for teaching and research.

In support of student success at UWL, I created and directed the UWL Public Speaking Center and Public Speaking Competition, and have served on or led committees addressing topics such as academic standards, assessment, and curriculum development. I invite students to check out my Advising Guide for UWL Students, which provides information about the Communication Studies major or minor, exploring career options, finding internships and applied experiences, and developing professionally.

I serve as Senior Fellow of Communication and Advocacy for Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR), a nonprofit volunteer-based NGO that empowers North Korean refugees to find their own voice and path through education, advocacy, and support. In my role, currently in Seoul, I provide public speaking coaching for refugee learners, moderate events focused on North Korean refugee issues, and help lead fundraising efforts. Via collaboration with TNKR co-directors Casey Lartigue Jr. and Eunkoo Lee, I led the creation of and currently co-direct TNKR’s Global Leadership Program, which focuses largely on improving refugee learners' public speaking and leadership skills. See "A Voice for Refugees," which summarizes my work with TNKR and provides a brief summary of the plight of North Korean refugees. In line with UWL's core values, I am a proponent of civic engagement—serving as a resource for our global communities, collaborating and sharing resources and expertise to improve the human condition.

My interests in ethical behavior and the complexities of human communication has led me to serve as the editor of the Palgrave Handbook of Deceptive Communication, which brings together more than 100 prominent and emerging deception scholars from around the world to investigate the history of the study of deception, the myriad forms of deceptive behavior, cross-cultural perspectives on deceit, strategies for detecting and deterring deception, and contexts of deception.

Teaching history

Communicating Effectively
Introduction to Public Speaking
Advanced Public Speaking
Public Speaking Center Practicum
Introduction to Communication Studies
Theories of Communication
Social Scientific Research Methods
Interpersonal Communication
Lying and Deception in Human Interaction
Nonverbal Communication

Professional history

Professor (2016 - )
Associate Professor (2011 - 2016)
Assistant Professor (2008 - 2011)

Research and publishing

Selected Publications:

Docan-Morgan, T. (Ed.) (in process). Palgrave Handbook of Deceptive Communication.

Docan-Morgan, T. (2018, early release article). Review of North Korea's hidden revolution: How the information underground Is transforming a closed society by Jieun Baek. Korean Studies. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2017). Observational measurement: Proxemics and Touch. In M. Allen, The SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods (pp. 1109-1111). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2016). Teaching interpersonal communication online: Experiential opportunities and student engagement. Syllabus, 5(2), 1-15. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T., & Nelson, L. L. (2015). The benefits and necessity of public speaking education. In K. Vaidya (Ed.), Public speaking for the curious: Why study public speaking (pp. 1-16). Curious Academic Publishing. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2015). The participation log: Assessing students’ classroom participation. Assessment Update: Progress, Practices, and Trends in Higher Education, 27(2), 6-7. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2014). Mingling with students before class: What to ask. College Teaching, 62, 117. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2014). The career assignment: Helping students find their way. Journal of Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri, 44, 83-86. (link)

Manusov, V. L., Docan-Morgan, T., Harvey, J. (2014). Nonverbal firsts: When nonverbal cues are the impetus of relational and personal change in romantic relationships. In A. Kostic & D. Chadee (Eds.), Social psychology of nonverbal communication (pp. 153-172). Palgrave Macmillan. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T., Huisman, D., Docan-Morgan, S. (2014). A “dynamic knot” of students: A classroom activity for teaching relational dialectics. Carolinas Communication Annual, 30, 102-106. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2014). The nonverbal communication course: Active engagement in the classroom and online. Syllabus, 3, 1-17. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T., Manusov, V. L., & Harvey, J. (2013). When a small thing means so much: Nonverbal cues as turning points in relationships. Interpersona: An International Journal on Personal Relationships, 7, 110-124. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2011). “Everything changed”: Relational turning point events in college teacher-student relationships from teachers’ perspectives. Communication Education, 60, 20-50. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2010). Mindmapping and beyond: Teaching students to select and narrow communication research topics. Journal of Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri, 40, 145-151. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2010). “You're a grounded theorist for the day”: Teaching students the grounded theory approach. Communication Teacher, 24, 203-207. (link)

Docan-Morgan, S., & Docan-Morgan, T. (2010). Compassion, moderation, and humility in interpersonal relationships. In D. Newton, W. Fong, & N. Van Leuven (Eds.), Communications for everyday life (pp. 89-112). Toronto: Ginger Post Imprints. (link)

Docan-Morgan, S., & Docan-Morgan, T. (2009). Compassion, moderation, and humility in interpersonal relationships. In N. Van Leuven & A. B. Chan (Eds.), The Dao of communication (pp. 97-121). Toronto: Ginger Post Imprints. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T., & Manusov, V. (2009). Relational turning point events and their outcomes in college teacher-student relationships from students’ perspectives. Communication Education, 58, 155-188. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2009). A typology of relational turning point events in college teacher student relationships. Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9, 82-97. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2009). “I now see how I can use these skills”: An applied project for the public speaking course. Communication Teacher, 23, 110-116. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T., & McDermott, V. (2009). Becoming a better listener: The listening log project. Journal of Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri, 39, 93-99. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T., & McDermott, V. (2009). The listening log assignment. In B. Hugenberg & L. Hugenberg (Eds.), Teaching ideas for the basic communication course 12 (pp. 175-182). Dubuque, IA: Great River Technologies. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2008). Review of Infidelity: A Practitioner’s Guide to Working with Couples in Crisis edited by Paul R. Peluso. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 13, 481-484. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T., & Docan, C. A. (2007). Infidelity on the Internet: Double standards and the differing views of women and men. Communication Quarterly, 55, 317-342. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2007). Training law enforcement officers to detect deception: A critique of previous research and framework for the future. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 3, 143-171. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T. (2007). Writing and communicating instructional objectives. In B.
Hugenberg, L. Hugenberg, S. Morreale, D. Worley, & D. Worley (Eds.), Basic communication course best practices: A training manual for instructors (pp. 25-41). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. (link)

Docan-Morgan, T., & Docan-Morgan, S. (2007). A transparency is worth a thousand words: The picture speech assignment. In B. Hugenberg & L. Hugenberg (Eds.), Teaching ideas for the basic communication course 11 (pp. 31-37). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. (link)

Docan, T. (2006). Positive and negative incentives in the classroom: An analysis of grading systems and student motivation. Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 6, 21-40. (link)

Docan, T. (2006). Using Jenga® to teach system theory. Communication Teacher, 20, 11-13. (link)

Docan, T. (2004). A tale of two ideologies: Winona LaDuke’s Vice Presidential nomination acceptance speech. In S. Foss (Ed.), Rhetorical criticism: Exploration and practice (3rd ed.) (pp. 280-293). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.


A.A., Los Angeles Valley College (Administration of Justice)
B.A., California State University, Northridge (Communication)
M.A., University of New Mexico (Communication)
Ph.D., University of Washington (Communication, focus on Social Interaction)