Associate Professor of Communication


Annex B 150

Maria Venetis’ research interests lie at the intersection of interpersonal and health communication; her research examines how individuals talk about health and the outcomes of these conversations. She examines patient-provider interactions and communicative practices within medical visits such as the connection between patient and companion question asking and stating of psychosocial outcomes such as satisfaction and adherence. Other work identifies specific patient disclosure strategies when sharing this medically relevant, non-visible, and potentially stigmatizing information. Venetis also studies how relational partners manage ongoing communication concerning cancer and other non-visible health conditions. Recent research includes communicative behaviors that promote resilience among relational partners and supportive communication during cancer care.


The University of Southern Mississippi
B.A., Speech Communication

The University of Southern Mississippi
M.A., Speech Communication

Rutgers University
Ph.D., Communication


Maria Venetis's current research, teaching, and doctoral projects emphasize the following themes:

  • Resilience-promoting communication within romantic relationships
  • Supportive communication patterns in dyads managing cancer
  • Provider-patient interactions
  • Disclosure patterns and strategies when sharing medically-relevant, potentially stigmatizing information

Centers, Labs, Working Groups, and Clusters

Selected Publications

Friley, L. B., & Venetis, M. K. (2022). Decision-making criteria when contemplating disclosure of transgender identity to medical providers. Health Communication, 37(8) 1031-1040.

Lillie, H., Chernichky-Karcher, S., & Venetis, M. K. (2021). Dyadic coping and discrete emotions during COVID-19: Connecting the communication theory of resilience with relational uncertainty. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38(6), 1844-1868. 

Venetis, M. K., Chernichky-Karcher, S., & Lillie, H. (2020). Dyadic communicative resilience: Predictors and outcomes among cancer patients and partners. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 48, 49-69.

Chernichky-Karcher, S., Venetis, M. K., & Lillie, H. (2019). The Dyadic Communicative Resilience Scale (DCRS): Scale development, reliability, and validity. Supportive Care in Cancer, 27, 4555-4564. 

Venetis, M. K., Meyerson, B. E., *Friley, L. B., Gilespie, A., Ohmit, A., & Shields, C.  (2017). Characterizing sexual orientation disclosure to health care providers: Lesbian, gay, and bisexual perspectives. Health Communication32, 578-586.  

Awards & Recognitions

2022    Rutgers University Department of Communication Teaching Award 

2021    Rutgers University Provost’s Teaching Fellowship  

2021     School of Communication and Information, Outstanding Faculty Support of Ph.D. Students Award, Honorable Mention  

2019     Lorene Burkhart Award for Excellence in Research about Families at Purdue University 

2017     Central States Communication Association Federation Research Prize ($4,830) 

2017     Top Four Paper Award, ICA Health Division 

Research Keywords