Brenda Rourke


M.A., Communication, University of Connecticut, 2013
B.A., Communication and English, Rhode Island College, 2010


Brenda is a fifth year doctoral student in the department of communication. Her research is focused on a typical populations, such as individuals with high functioning autism and those with attention deficit disorders. She is interested in person perception, persuasion, and information processing, and how these processes change with the use of new technology. She is currently working with the Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences on a grant proposal examining the influence of social presence on information processing for neurotyoical and neurodiverse populations. Her work draws from research in education, psychology, communication, telecommunication, engineering, and cognitive science.

Courses Taught

  • COMM 1100: Public Speaking
  • COMM 3300: Persuasion
  • COMM 4660: Computer Mediated Communication

Teaching Assistant

  • COMM 1000: Introduction to Communication
  • COMM 1300: Mass Communication Systems

Research Interests

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Information processing
  • Social cognition
  • Social presence
  • New communication technology

Research Affiliations

UConn Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory

The Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Conference Papers

Rourke, B.L., Roy, D., & Golas, E. (2014, November) The Impact of Emoticon Use on Source Evaluation and Message Persuasion in Computer Mediated Communication at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association in Chicago, Illinois.

Rourke, B.L. & McGloin, R. (2015, May) A Different Take On The Big Bang Theory: Examining the Influence of Asperger’s Syndrome on Fictional TV Character Attributions at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association in San Juan, Puerto  Rico. Top Poster, Popular Communication Division.

Rourke, B. L., Nowak, K. L., & Bellur, S. (2016, February) The role of Autism and Multitasking on Classroom performance and GPA at the annual meeting of the Western Communication Association in San Diego, California.

Park, S., Xu, X., Rourke, B. (2016, November) Are you having fun with live Tweeting? Media Multitasking, Immersion, Arousal and Enjoyment, in A Second Screen Media Environment at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association in Philadelphia, PA.