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Department of

Communication Studies

Jonathan Bowman, PhD

Associate Dean

Jonathan M. Bowman, PhD, associate professor of Communication Studies, teaches courses in human communication processes and the methods through which we obtain that knowledge about communication. He joined USD in 2007 after three years on the faculty at Boston College. Bowman’s research currently focuses on communication processes associated with intimacy and close relationships, with publications addressing male friendships and small group communication. He was the 2014-15 recipient of the National Communication Association Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education, the highest teaching honor in the discipline internationally.  He was also the 2014 recipient of the national Western States Communication Association Distinguished Teaching Award, the 2012 recipient of the Keck Faculty Fellowship for his focus on undergraduate research, and Bowman also received the 2013 Innovations in Experiential Education Award for his commitment to high-impact practices and USD's 2012-2013 Outstanding Preceptor Award for excellence in teaching and advising. He serves as a mentor to undergraduates in multiple capacities, particularly those students involved in student government, greek life, academic honors, and/or campus faith-based organizations.


Ph.D., Michigan State University, Interpersonal Communication
M.A., Michigan State University, Small Group Communication
B.A., University of California Davis, Communication Studies

University Distinguished Fellow, Michigan State University

Scholarly and Creative Work

Bowman’s program of research investigates interpersonal and small group communication processes across a variety of contexts, with an emphasis on the revelation of unknown information (i.e., “self-disclosure” in the interpersonal literature; “discussion of unshared information” in the small group literature). His work has been published in scholarly journals including The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, The Journal of Men’s Studies, Small Group Research, Communication Research Reports, and multiple book chapters. In addition to his scholarly publications, Bowman has contributed his expertise to multiple national media outlets, including interviews featured in national newspapers like The Boston Globe and on national and international radio and television news programs like Good Morning America.

Teaching Interests

An award-winning teacher, Bowman is best known for teaching a hands-on version of Communication Research Methods which emphasizes the completion of a quantitative research project which oftentimes benefits a local non-profit organization in the greater San Diego area. He also teaches seminar-style upper-division courses on nonverbal communication, interpersonal communication, and human communication theory. Bowman typically incorporates an experiential-learning approach in his classes, which helps students directly immerse themselves in course material both in and out of the classroom.