Faculty Profile for Dr. Maureen Keeley-Vassberg

profile photo for Dr. Maureen Keeley-Vassberg
Dr. Maureen Keeley-Vassberg
Professor — Department of Communication Studies
CENT 205
phone: (512) 245-3133

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Dr. Keeley was born and raised in Tucson, AZ ; she comes from a large Irish American family filled with civil servants (police officers, fire fighters, and nurses) and believes that her work as a Professor (scholar and teacher) has the same service goal as those distinguished professions: to help others and to improve lives. She is happily married and they have a son and a daughter.

Teaching Interests

Nonverbal Communication, Family Communication, Relational Communication, Interpersonal Communication (at both the Graduate and Undergraduate levels).

Research Interests

Dr. Keeley is considered on of the leading experts in the area family communication at the end of life. Her focus for over a decade and a half has been to explore "Final Conversations" (i.e., all verbal and nonverbal messages from the time of a terminal diagnosis until the moment of death) from the family members and close friends' perspective.

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Keeley, M. P. (2017). “Family Communication at the End of Life”: Introduction to the Special Issue (Guest Editor, M. P. Keeley) on “Family Communication at the End of Life.” Behavioral Sciences, 2017(7), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs7030045
  • Manusov, V., & Keeley, M. (2015). When Talking is Difficult: Nonverbal Communication at the End of Life. Journal of Family Communication, 15, 387–409. Retrieved from 10.1080/15267431.2015.1076424
  • Keeley, M., Generous, M., & Baldwin, P. (2014). Final Conversations Phase II: Children’s Final Conversation Messages with Dying Family Members. Journal of Family Communication, 14(3), 208–229. https://doi.org/10.1080/15267431.2014.908198
  • Keeley, M. (2007). Turning toward death together, The functions of messages during Final Conversations in close relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 24(2), 225–253. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407507075412
  • Keeley, M. P., & Yingling, J. (2007). Final Conversations: Helping the living and the dying talk to each other. Acton, MA, USA: VanderWyk & Burnham.

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Distinguished Article of the Year, Division of Health Communication, National Communication Association. March 1, 2016 - November 20, 2016
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Outstanding Article of the Year, Journal of Family Communication, Journal of Family Communication. December 15, 2015 - November 20, 2016
  • Award / Honor Recipient: College Achievement Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities, College of Fine Arts and Communication, Texas Stat University. January 15, 2016 - September 15, 2016
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Favorite Professor Award, The Alfred H. Nolle Chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society. August 30, 2015 - May 15, 2016
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Favorite Professor Award, The Alfred H. Nolle Chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Southwest Texas State University. 2015

Selected Grants

  • Villagran, Melinda Morris (Principal), Burney, Marsha N (Supporting), Keeley-Vassberg, Maureen (Supporting). Networx: A Virtual Safety Net to Improve Postpartum Health, St Davids Foundation, Private / Foundation / Corporate, $209633. (Submitted: October 2017, Funded: January 2018 - July 2019). Grant.
  • Keeley, Maureen (Co-Principal), Villagran, Melinda (Co-Principal), Burns, Michael (Co-Principal). Communication between Special Olympians, Family Caregivers, and Medical Professionals, Special Olympics, Texas Chapter, Private / Foundation / Corporate, $8000. (Submitted: 2014). Grant.
  • Keeley, Maureen (Principal). Final Conversations II: The Children Voice, Texas State University-San Marcos, Research Enhancement Grant, Institutional (Higher Ed), $8000. (Submitted: 2009). Grant.
  • Keeley, Maureen (Principal). Final Conversations, Texas State University-San Marcos, Research Enhancement Grant, Institutional (Higher Ed), $8000. (Submitted: 2002). Grant.
  • Keeley, Maureen (Principal), Flauto, Frank (Co-Principal). The Assimilation of Women into Military Organizations, Southwest Texas State University, Research Enhancement Grant, Institutional (Higher Ed), $11899. (Submitted: 1998). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

Graduate Admissions Committee
August 2018-Present
Communications Field of Study (FOS) Advisory Committee at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
August 8, 2018-Present
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
September 11, 2017-Present
Reviewer / Referee
Reviewer / Referee
Journal of Children Studies
August 2016-Present