I’m a Professor in the Department of Communication at Sierra College and Principal at Edoptics, an NGO that brokers trusting relationships for collective impact projects that connect education, economics, and community assets. My teaching and international presentations focus on how people create their identities through social influence, how people interpersonally share their perceptions, expectations, and power as a part of community, and designing systemic change programs for community vitality.
My research follows three intersecting trajectories, the first, student-centered, critical communication pedagogy approaches to the foundations of the communication discipline, the second; is embedded in developing government and NGO impact projects that promote equity over competition for stronger communities and healthier businesses; and third, is to make academia a more accessible space.
I recently presented my research and participated in a scholarly exchange at the Communication, Media, & Governance in the Age of Globalization in Beijing, China. I’m also the author of the interpersonal communication text, Uncensored Relationships & Stories to Build Them By (or Not) and my forthcoming co-authored book in 2019, Don’t Forget to Change the World While You’re There! Navigating College and Building a Sustainable Future. In 2018, I was honored to be the inaugural recipient of the Central States Communication Association’s Warren Mentorship award.
I love working with people, collecting stories, and building connections. I'm often a tweet, fb post, or picture away from knowing my authentic self. Usually, I’m just a communication professor, an occasional compassionate disruptor, heavy consumer of culture, and broker of non-traditional relationships.
Highlighted Publications & Ancillary Materials
Ruddick, K., Zoffel, N., Hendrix, K. (in press). Don’t Forget to Change the World while You’re There! Navigating College and Building a Sustainable Future. San Francisco, CA: Cognella
(ANCILLARY MATERIALS) Guerrero, L. K., Andersen, P. A., & Afifi, W. A. (2017). Close encounters: Communication in relationships. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
(ANCILLARY MATERIALS) Dines, G., & Humez, J. M. (2017). Gender, race, and class in media: A critical reader. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Zoffel, N. (2016). Uncensored Relationships and Stories to Build Them By (or not). Debuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.
Zoffel, N. (2010). Producing a Mix-Tape: An Activity for Contextualizing Course Content. Communication Teacher, 24:4, 192-196.
Zoffel, N., & McGaffey, S. (2009). Contributions to peace through professional wrestling: Examining the peacekeeper performances by the gender twisted women of Lucha Libre Femenil. Global Media Journal, 8(15).
Warren, J.T. & Zoffel, N. (2006). Living in the Middle Sexual Identity and Communication in Everyday Lives. Eds. Karen Lovaas & Mercilee Jenkins. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Non-Profit, NGO, IGO Experience
Strategic Communication, Planning and Facilitation
Organizational Development and Capacity Building
Budget Management and Perpetuity Modeling
Policy Development and Analysis
Advocacy work and Constituency Building
Doctor of Philosophy
Bowling Green State University
M.A. Communication Studies
San Jose State University
Grants, Foundation Funding, & Awards
Grants Secured: $51,115,000
Current Projects Under Review, not included in secured totals: $1,013,933 | $205,7000 | $141,000 | $7,000,000 | $66,000 | $204,000 | $59,250 | $104,000
Inaugural recipient of the Central States Communication Association’s Warren Mentorship award
Research & Teaching Specialties
Communication Foundations & Pedagogy: Student centered approaches to the foundations of the communication discipline, including critical approaches within interpersonal and international contexts.
Interpersonal & International Media Communication: Ethnographic, Reflexive, and Media approaches to the study of relational difference, race, gender, sexuality, education, and power as part of routine relationship contexts in cultural settings and the dissemination of those understandings.
Cultural Performance: Social influence of identity and language, performance of everyday life and cultural membership, identity authenticity in community contexts attending to issues of agency within cultural settings.
Research Methods: Ethnomethodology, Critical Ethnography, Narrative Analysis, and Quantitative Representations of Phenomenology
PR/Data Mining Tools: Extensive use of research tools (Critical Mention, Factiva, Ethno2, ATLASi, MacShapa, SPSS, and SAS) to provide qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding issues of agency, power, race, and risk assessment.