Rebecca M. Townsend

Member Since: 
Aug 16 '10
Biography: 
Rebecca M. Townsend, Ph.D., studies and teaches communication, with a specific focus on deliberation, public engagement, and local communication, especially as it relates to transportation. In 2016-17 she is serving as Professor in Residence at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut, on leave from her role as Professor of Communication (and former department chair) at Manchester Community College.

The White House awarded her the “Champions of Change for Transportation Innovation” for her scholarship on public engagement in transportation planning. Her work has also been honored by the International Association of Public Participation, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, State of Connecticut, National Communication Association, Urban Communication Research Foundation, and the CT Board of Regents’ first Scholarly Excellence Award.  She is affiliated with Clark University and has taught graduate classes at the Społeczna Akademia Nauk in Łódź and Warsaw, Poland. Her dissertation was on the deliberative democracy of town meeting legislature, using Amherst, Massachusetts's Representative Town Meeting as a case study.

Her Ph.D. and B.A. are in communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and her M.A. is in speech communication from Indiana University. She is also the first woman elected as her town’s Moderator.