Office: Room 220
My name is Patricia Covarrubias, I am a native of Mexico, and I am Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico in the Department of Communication and Journalism. I earned my B.A. and M.A. degrees from California State University, Sacramento specializing in French language and literature. Besides English (not my native tongue), I speak Spanish, French, and Italian. I have lived in Europe for 18 months and spent one year as instructor at the Lycée Bellevue in Albi, France teaching English to high school girls. Upon my return to the United States, I worked for several years as an on-air television news reporter for KCRA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Sacramento, California. My broadcast reports broached a wide range of topics including: politics, medicine, crime, education, and human interest. For ten years I owned and operated OCELOTL, a consultant business in Stockton, California specializing in communication skills for individual and corporate clients. This consulting practice also involved me with studying Japanese so that I could better work with Japanese businessmen from Nippon Steel Corporation. I earned a doctorate degree at the University of Washington specializing in cultural and intercultural communication as well as qualitative research methods, in particular, the ethnography of communication.
At UNM, I have served as the M.A. program director for the Department of Communication and Journalism, and currently serve as the president of the Faculty Concilium Executive Committee for the Latin American and Iberian Institute (LAII). I teach courses in cultural and intercultural communication; global metaphors; language, thought, and behavior; communication theory; and qualitative research methods with emphasis on language and social interaction, and the ethnography of communication.
My research has been dedicated to understanding and describing how indigenous culture influences peoples' ways of communicating and vice versa, and on describing how culturally grounded communicative practices reflect and create a unique life for groups of people. Ultimately, I am interested in studying the influence of culture within the activities and events of everyday life across a variety of contexts. My research goals include contributing to: cultural and intercultural communication, language in social interaction, racialized communication, the much understudied activity of communicative silence, and ethnographic approaches.
My past research includes a book investigating the communication practices of Mexican construction workers in Veracruz, Mexico, and the ways they used these practices to create and maintain relational alignments that in turn were used to create and maintain networks of workplace cooperation. Past work also includes probing into the creative aspects of American Indian silences.
At other universities I have taught cultural communication; organizational communication; small group communication; language, culture, and society; public speaking; advanced public speaking; French literature; business French; and French grammar. At UNM I have taught the following courses at the undergraduate level: Intercultural Communication; Communication Theory; Language, Thought, and Behavior; and Metaphors to Live and Die for: Global Perspectives co-sponsored by the Latin American and Iberian Institute. At the graduate level, I have taught: Seminar in Intercultural Communication; Advanced Seminar in Intercultural Communication; Language Behavior (Language, Thought, and Culture); Metaphors to Live and Die For, and; Qualitative Research Methods I and II.
I also am founding faculty and current instructor with UNM's Graduate & Professional Student Academy. Graduate Academy sponsored by the Graduate Resource Center. This endeavor offers intellectual and social support to help graduate students achieve their educational goals.
My experience with teaching cultural/intercultural communication transcends teaching: I live it daily at home, work, and play. I am a native Mexican who uses Spanish regularly. I have studied Japanese and have worked with the Japanese business community. Further, four years as a television news reporter for KCRA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Sacramento, Calif., diversifies my knowledge of communication studies to include mass media. In my personal life, my everyday activities embrace the challenges and pleasures of raising a young son to be bilingual and multicultural.
View Patricia O. Covarrubias's profile on the Faculty Authors page.