Amanda Denes


Department of Communication


Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2012


Amanda Denes, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the
University of Connecticut. Her primary area of specialization is interpersonal and health
communication, with emphases in biosocial models of communication, sexual communication,
and communication processes related to maintaining healthy relationships. Overall, the aim of
her research is to identify communication processes in close relationships that contribute to
people’s physical, psychological, and relational health and use these findings to inform
interventions that improve the health and well-being of the individuals at the heart of her work.

Amanda is an award-winning, internationally recognized scholar. She is a proud Fulbright
alumna, having received a U.S. Scholar Award from the Australian-American Fulbright
Commission for her research at the Translational Health Research Institute at Western Sydney
University exploring couples’ communication when navigating a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
In addition to numerous paper awards from the International Communication Association,
Amanda received the Early Career Award from the Interpersonal Communication Division of the
National Communication Association and has been recognized as one of the top scholars in
communication studies about sex. She was also ranked as one of the most productive scholars in
the field of Communication in the past 5 years. Her research has been featured in over 100 news
and media outlets, such as Psychology Today, HuffPost, Newsweek, Women’s Health Magazine,
Men’s Health Magazine, Men’s Health Australia, ABC News Radio, Jezebel, Refinery29, and
Discovery News.

Amanda’s current work explores couples’ cancer experiences, with the aim of identifying forms of
communication that contribute to partners’ well-being when managing the relational and sexual
changes that accompany cancer and its treatment. She has collaborated with international
researchers, including those at the Translational Health Research Institute at Western Sydney
University, to gain a global perspective on the challenges facing couples managing cancer. She
continues to explore communication processes in intimate contexts and the bidirectional relationship
between communication and our bodies. Amanda is also committed to addressing the impact of
communication on the health of individuals from historically underrepresented and marginalized
groups, with a focus on the experiences of the LGBTQI+ community. Her current projects
explore the impact of cancer on LGBTQI+ individuals’ sexuality; the link between LGBTQI+
students’ communication, mental health, and environmental factors; and the impact of receiving
support on LGBTQI+ individuals’ stress and well-being when disclosing an experience of hate
speech directed at their sexual orientation.

Amanda is also committed to service and teaching. Her teaching has been recognized with the
Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching from the University of Connecticut Chapter of
the American Association of University Professors and the Outstanding Teaching and Classroom
Inclusion Award from the University of Connecticut Rainbow Center for her commitment to
supporting sexual and gender diversity in the classroom. Amanda also values digital education
and curriculum development. She has designed several online courses both independently and
with support from UConn eCampus. She appreciates innovation in digital education and has
published several studies examining the effectiveness of an online peer-to-peer relationship-
building exercise in promoting student connection. She has served as the Director of Graduate
Studies for the Department of Communication and on several national and international committees and review boards. She also serves as the Editor of Communication Reports and a
Co-Editor of The Oxford Handbook of the Physiology of Interpersonal Communication.

Courses Taught

  • COMM 2200: Interpersonal Communication
  • COMM 3210: Gender and Communication
  • COMM 4200: Advanced Interpersonal Communication
  • COMM 5200: Interpersonal Communication (graduate level)
  • COMM 5895: Advanced Interpersonal Communication (graduate level)
  • COMM 5895: Sexual Communication (graduate level)

Research Interests

  • Interpersonal and Relational Communication
  • Biosocial Approaches to Communication
  • Sex and Sexuality
  • LGBTQI+ Communication
  • Gender and Communication
  • Social Support, Relational Maintenance, and Infidelity

Research Affiliations

UConn Interpersonal Interaction Laboratory
UConn InCHIP (Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy)
The Kinsey Institute, Indiana University
Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University

Research Publications

Google Scholar

Curriculum Vitae

photo of Amanda Denes, PhD and associate professor
Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-6139
Mailing Address337 Mansfield Rd, Unit 1259 Storrs, CT 06269-1259
Office Location216 ARJ