Assistant Professor


  • Find Me On:

  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Assistant Professor
  • Concentration:

    • Relating &
    • Organizing
  • Department:

    • Communication Studies
  • Education:

    • Ph.D. in Communication Studies, University of Kansas
    • M.A. in Communication Studies, Kansas State University
    • B.S. in Communication Studies, Missouri State University


Natalie Pennington is an Assistant Professor in the Relating and Organizing Area with specific interests in interpersonal communication and the use of communication technology. Dr. Pennington’s research focuses primarily on meeting social connection needs and friendship. Currently she is part of an international team of experts who are helping to develop public health guidelines for social connection. Her work has been published in journals such as Communication Monographs, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Communication Research, and Computers in Human Behavior. Dr. Pennington teaches classes in interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication, professional communication, and persuasion.


Rice, R. & Pennington, N. (2024). Involuntary adoption of ICTs during emergencies: Temporality of technology use in virtual collaborations. Management Communication Quarterly. Online First.

Pennington, N. & Palagi, J. (2023). Examining how social and emotional factors inform response to cross-cutting political views on social media. Social Media + Society, 9(4), 1-11.

Barney, J., & Pennington, N. (2023). An exploration of esports fan identity, engagement practices and motives. Telematics & Informatics Reports, 11, 1-7.

Pennington, N. & Dam, L. (2023). Social interaction, support preference, and the use of wearable health trackers. Frontiers in Communication, 8, 1-11.

Hall, J. A., Holmstrom, A. J., Pennington, N., Perrault, E., & Totzkay, D. (2023). Quality conversation can increase daily well-being. Communication Research. Online First, 1-25.

Hall, J. A., Pennington, N., & Merolla, A. J. (2023). Which mediated social interactions satisfy the need to belong? Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 28(1), 1-12. Lead article.

Holmstrom, A., Hall, J. A., & Pennington, N. (2022). Thriving or struggling? Social energy expenditure and patterns of interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Communication Studies, 73(2), 101-118.

Pennington, N., Holmstrom, A., & Hall, J. A. (2022). The toll of technology while working from home during COVID-19. Communication Reports, 35(1), 25-37.

Pennington, N. (2021). Extending social penetration theory to Facebook. Journal of Social Media in Society, 10(2), 325-343.

Pennington, N. (2021). Communication outside of the home through social media during COVID-19 and well-being. Computers in Human Behavior Reports, 4, 1-8.

Winfrey, K. L., & Pennington, N. (2021). Young women’s political discussion on social media in the 2016 presidential election. Ohio Communication Journal, 59, 1-16.

Pennington, N. (2021). The maintenance of dormant and commemorative relationships through social media. Southern Journal of Communication, 86(3), 244-255.

Hall, J. A., Pennington, N., & Holmstrom, A. (2021). Connecting through technology during COVID-19. Human Communication & Technology, 2(1), 1-18.

Pennington, N. & Hall, J. A. (2021). Does Facebook-enabled communication influence weak tie relationships over time? A longitudinal investigation into mediated relationship maintenance. Communication Monographs, 88(1), 48-70.

Pennington, N., & Winfrey, K. L. (2021). Engaging in political talk on Facebook: Investigating the role of interpersonal goals and cognitive engagement. Communication Studies, 72(1), 100-114.

Pennington, N. (2021). Quitting social media: A qualitative exploration of communication outcomes. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 22(1),30-38. Top ten most read article.