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Below is a list of the courses I have taught over the past six years at San Diego State University and UC Santa Barbara: Introduction to Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and the Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication. 


I have also included two courses I designed based on my research experience and interests: The Science of Social Connection and Health Communication & Sexual Minority Populations.

All images are credited to Francesco Ciccolella - you can find more of his work at


Introduction to Communication

An introduction to the basic concepts and principles in the field of communication. Contexts include intrapersonal, interpersonal, intercultural, public, small group, organizational, and mass communication.

(Francesco Ciccolella)

Interpersonal Communication

This course surveys interpersonal communication theory and research, encompassing social and personal relationships, as well as conversational dynamics. It explores communication's role in forming, maintaining, and ending relationships and addresses challenges in managing verbal and nonverbal messages within various contexts. Students learn fundamental processes, relationship development, conflict management, and coping strategies.


(Francesco Ciccolella)

Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication


(Francesco Ciccolella)

Provides an examination of recent and noteworthy scholarship from a variety of social scientific disciplines regarding the “dark side” of interpersonal communication. Dark side topics covered include, but are not limited to— evolutionary benefits of gossip, obsessive relational intrusion, sexual infidelity, intimate partner violence, and narcissism in romantic relationships. This course approaches each topic from a socially (dis)approved and (dys)functional perspective, engaging with the interplay of what is considered “bright” and “dark” in interpersonal relationships.

The Science of Social Connection

This interdisciplinary course draws upon the fields of interpersonal communication, sociology, social psychology, and evolutionary biology to introduce students to the scientific study of relationships. The primary goal is to elaborate on why humans have a ‘need to belong’ and how we develop and maintain relationships over the life course. There is a particular focus on understanding social connection as an interaction process. Topics for this course include a life-span perspective on loneliness, the communication of social exclusion, and

interpersonal triggers of social anxiety.


(Francesco Ciccolella)

Health Communication & Sexual Minority Populations


This course utilizes communication theory to explore the health disparities affecting sexual minority populations, including lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. Students engage in discussions relating to the provision of clinical care and public health practices tailored to the specific needs of this diverse community. This course also examines the influence of social connections on the well-being of sexual minorities, emphasizing the role of supportive networks in mitigating health disparities. 

(Francesco Ciccolella)

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