Cara Jacocks, Ph.D.

Dr. Jacocks earned her Ph.D. in Organizational Communication from Texas A&M University, her M.A. in Communication from Abilene Christian University, and her B.A. in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University.  Over the course of her 17-year teaching career, she has instructed classes in Business and Organizational Communication at the undergraduate level that include:  Business Communication, Management Communication, Organizational Communication, Group Communication, Gender & the Workplace, Leadership, Conflict in the Workplace, Negotiation, Research Methods, Communication Theory, and Interviewing.  She has also instructed courses at the graduate level including the Organizational Communication seminar course to MA, MLS and DLS students.  Her teaching career has exposed her to several university student populations including ACU, TCU, SMU, UT, UTA, UTD and now the University of Dallas.  As new faculty at UD she is joining the Gupta College of Business where she will teach Business Communication courses to undergraduates and Qualitative Research Methods and the Craft of Research & Writing to students enrolled in the DBA program.  Her research program examines the changing landscape of entrepreneurship, leadership and business/organizational communication practices, primarily through an interpretive/qualitative lens.  She has authored and co-authored several projects that have been published in top journals, as peer-reviewed book chapters, and accepted as top paper and panel presentations.  Cara's family resides in Fort Worth, TX and the bulk of her free time is devoted to raising three little boys, Everett (6), Liam (4), and Alec (20 months).  Her husband, Victor, is VP of Marketing for a Fort-Worth-based nonprofit, Hope Farm Inc., so a good deal of her personal time is also spent supporting his leadership and fundraising activities!

Why did you become a professor?
My mom always said I would become a teacher one day, and like most hard-headed daughters I spent many, many years trying to prove her wrong.  I did this by majoring in Communication (NOT Education, like she suggested) and working in the media industry for a few years after graduating from A&M with a B.A. in Speech Communication.  After working the early shift at CBS11 where I clocked in at 3:30 am every weekday morning, I decided graduate school might be a good option.  While earning my M.A. in Communication from Abilene Christian University I was offered a graduate assistantship where I taught undergraduate Speech Communication courses in exchange for partial tuition reimbursement and a monthly stipend.  I viewed this as a great opportunity to finance my graduate degree, but along the way, I fell in love with teaching undergraduates how to communicate professionally.  I especially loved watching their growth from the first to the final speeches in the public speaking course.  So I guess mom was right after all (spoiler alert - we're always right!).

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
My students.  I learn from them as much as they learn from me.

What do you hope students gain from your courses?
Their professional wings.  Communication affects everything from getting that first job, to keeping it, to advancement opportunities, to the final frontier of your career trajectory.  I strive to help them land their "dream job" or position as post-grads.

What did you do prior to entering academia?
I worked in the and media industry.  More specifically, I worked as a news editor at KBTX in Bryan/College Station for over a year where I edited video and audio footage for the 5, 6, and 10 pm newscasts.  As previously referenced, I worked at CBS11 for a few years after graduating from college as a production assistant, where I did everything from ripping to writing scripts.

What are you passionate about outside of the University?
I am very passionate about my faith and my family.  I have three little boys, Everett (6), Liam (4) and Alec (20 months).  Our oldest has Trisomy 21 so we are very involved in local and national Down syndrome advocacy organizations.  And my husband, Victor, is VP of Marketing for a Fort-Worth-based nonprofit (Hope Farm, Inc.), so as a family we are very passionate about supporting him in his leadership and fundraising initiatives.  We are also very involved in our church community where we're members of a "young marrieds" group and serve as bible class and VBS volunteers.  

What are your research interests?
My research interests are always evolving, but right now I am focused on interesting intersections across entrepreneurship, leadership and business/organizational communication theory and practice, primarily through an interpretive/qualitative lens.