Department Chair and Professor



Elizabeth A. Williams is chair of the Department of Communication Studies, Professor of Organizational and Health Communication, and is an affiliate faculty member in the Colorado School of Public Health. Her current research focuses on the practices and processes that high reliability organizations (e.g., fire departments) employ to ensure the health and safety of their members.  Recent studies have focused on how these organizations respond to accidents, ensure organizational learning, and utilize wearable technologies to promote health.  Dr. Williams co-edited Organizations, Communication, and Health (winner of the 2017 NCA Organizational Communication Division Edited Book Award) and has published numerous articles and book chapters.  She has also served as an advisory board member for ResponderStrong, an organization committed to the mental health of first responders. Dr. Williams has been recognized for Excellence in Teaching and Outstanding Service by the College of Liberal Arts.


Elizabeth A. Williams and Andrew W. Ishak, “Discourses of an Organization Tragedy: Emotion, Sensemaking and Learning After the Yarnell Hill Fire.” Western Journal of Communication