Shardé Davis


Ph.D., University of Iowa, 2016


Shardé Davis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. Her primary area of specialization is interpersonal communication, with emphases in race, gender, identity, intra/intergroup dynamics, and supportive communication. Her specific line of research explores how Black women’s complex identities—and the power-laden social structures that create them—influence the way they communicate with close others. These interests are represented in her new theory, called The Strong Black Woman Collective (SBWC; Davis, 2015). The theory explicates how Black women use their communication during group-level interactions with other Black women to collectively manage their marginal position in U.S. society. Research on the theory connects Black women’s culturally nuanced behavior to important outcomes such as self-reported mental health, well-being, stress and anxiety, relational closeness, and group solidarity and esteem. While her primary line of research focuses on communication among Black women groups, a secondary interest involves investigating communication behavior of other marginalized groups, like the elderly, people of color, and low income families. Her work uses a variety of methods from post-positivist, feminist, and critical perspectives to address these inquiries. Dr. Davis has published her research in various academic outlets, such as Communication MonographsHuman Communication Research, Journal of Personal and Social RelationshipsWomen’s Studies in Communication, and Review of Communication.  Her research has also been featured in media outlets like Clutch Magazine. Aside from her academic pursuits, Dr. Davis volunteers her time to organizations and non-profits that support the overall livelihood of Black women and other women of color in the greater Hartford community.

Research Interests

  • Interpersonal, Relational, and Intergroup Communication
  • Communication among Black Women Groups
  • Supportive Communication
  • Race, Gender, and Communication
  • Black Feminism
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Methods

Research Affiliations

UConn Interpersonal Interaction Laboratory

UConn InCHIP (Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy)

UConn Africana Studies Institute


Curriculum Vitae