Ph.D., Kent State University
Associate Professor of Communication
Director, Honors Program
Research/Teaching Interests: cultural competency and training effectiveness.
Dr. Pawena Sirimangkala is Associate Professor of Communication at Barry University (BU). She earned her doctorate degree in Communication with a specialty in Intercultural Communication from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, in 1993. Her research has been primarily aimed at explaining the role of communication in the intercultural communication relational process. She has conducted research among the African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, Latino, and Native American populations in the United States. During her 2-year faculty appointment at the University of Arizona (UA), she wrote a book chapter on Listening in Intercultural Context and conducted intercultural communication workshops for the UA staff and student populations. At BU, she teaches courses on communication theory, intercultural communication, conflict, organizational communication, leadership, interpersonal communication, and public speaking. As the director of BU’s Honors Program, she teaches Dimensions of Culture, oversees the undergraduate honors theses process, mentors the Honors Program Student Advisory Board, and travels with the students to present their research papers at national and regional conferences (e.g., National Collegiate Honors Council, National Conference on Undergraduate Research, and Southern Regional Honors Council). In addition to her teaching, she is active in her role as a cultural competency consultant and workshop presenter. She works closely with BU’s Physician Assistant (PA) Program in designing, assessing, and delivering the PA’s annual cultural competency workshops to all new PA students at three campuses [Miami Shores (FL), St. Petersburg (FL), and St. Croix]. She also collaborates with and conducts workshops for other university units, including Student Affairs, Residential Life, and Office of Mission Engagement. Since 2006, she has co-directed and directed two Study Abroad Programs (Thailand and China, respectively). As the director of the China Study Abroad program, she has been traveling to China with BU students. Each summer, she and her students spend one month mastering the Chinese Mandarin (Putong hua/Han Yu) and learning about the Chinese’s rich history, fine arts, and culture. She works closely with students to secure study abroad scholarships. Since 2011, three BU students have been awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and one student has been awarded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. In her spare time, Dr. Sirimangkala is devoted to advancing her Mandarin proficiency. Her current goal is to reach an intermediate level in reading and writing Chinese.
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