Erin B. Waggoner

Graduate Student, Communication (Affiliate)

Research Overview

My main research interests include identity and creative expression, particularly how, when, and why people disclose identity elements and use creative outlets to reduce stress regarding disclosures and mental management. Currently, my biggest project is looking at LGBTQ coming out processes and imagined interactions, particularly how television interacts with these processes and how these exposures to LGBTQ TV narratives cause more imagined interactions to be used to determine when deciding to disclose identity. An additional project I am working on is fanfiction writing and how imagined interactions moderate communication satisfaction when fictionally creating new stories from already existing narratives and how this works with intrapersonal conflict management, relational maintenance, and compensation.

In future work, I look to do more studies with imagined interactions and creative expressions to find ways to improve satisfaction and self-understanding, particularly how identity improves or suffers from being exposed to certain elements and how to cognitively relabel negative attitudes. Specifically, I am interested in mhealth and how imagined interactions can be used to help reduce stress and uncertainty, especially with disclosures and behavior. I look to do more work with imagined interactions and creative expression to improve mental behaviors across various things, such as persons with HIV and mental differences.


Masters, 2012, Communication, Gonzaga University.

Masters, 2009, English/Creative Writing, Marshall University.

Bachelors, 2005, English/Linguistics, Morehead State University.

Associates, 2003, Language, Maysville Communication College.

Featured Publications

Waggoner, E.B. (2012). Television and fanfiction online: Finding identity, meaning, and community [Master’s Thesis]. Retrieved from ProQuest. Publication: 1531378.

Contact Information
Mailing AddressDepartment of Communication
337 Mansfield Road, Unit 1259
Storrs, CT 06269-1259