Professor took road less traveled to field of study
Joann Keyton, professor of communication studies, presents
a lecture to one of her classes. Keyton, who formerly was a professional
dancer and choreographer and an analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank,
is the editor of the Journal of Applied Communication Research. R.
Steve Dick/University Relations
Keyton joins ranks of KU professional journal editors
Joann Keyton took the logical step after working as a professional dancer
and choreograper and as an analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank. She became
a professor of communication studies.
Keyton may have taken what seemed like a circuitous path to her current
position at KU, but she says her former professions contributed to her
desire to learn more about communication and to become a professor.
“Amazingly, everything I’ve done has centered on communication,”
she said. “I took the long route—but a good one.”
Keyton grew up in Independence, Mo., and took journalism classes while
in high school. After graduation, she worked in publishing companies and
at several advertising agencies.
Later Keyton pursued a career as a professional dancer and choreographer
and began studying at Longview Community College in Lee’s Summit,
Mo. While in college, she took a job with the Federal Reserve Bank and
eventually worked her way up the ladder to an administrative position.
Her experiences, she said, all have contributed to her current field of
“I specialize in group and organizational communication,”
she said. “More specifically, I study the relationships among group
and team members and how those relationships influence team effectiveness.
“I also study organizational culture—particularly the way
in which an organization’s culture inhibits or facilitates sexual
Keyton also is the editor of the Journal of Applied Communication Research,
a professional journal published by the National Communication Association.
Keyton, who has been at KU since 2002, is in her second year as editor
of the journal. She will continue through 2005. As editor, Keyton performs
tasks that vary greatly.
“I do almost everything except print it,” she joked. “But
seriously, I manage all aspects of the journal: I call for manuscripts,
encourage submissions, select the editorial board and reviewers, manage
the review process and make editorial decisions.”
Keyton is not alone at the helm of a professional journal at the university.
KU boasts editors from a vast array of disciplines who produce journals
from literature to the study of indigenous nations and from pharmaceutical
sciences to dramatic theory and criticism.
The extra work is beneficial, Keyton said, expanding one’s knowledge
“Being an editor simply gives you another view of your discipline,”
she said. “I’m a better researcher and teacher for it.”
Do you edit a professional journal?
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