Faculty Profile for Dr. Maureen Keeley-Vassberg

profile photo for Dr. Maureen Keeley-Vassberg
Dr. Maureen Keeley-Vassberg
Professor — Department of Communication Studies
CENT 205
phone: (512) 245-3133

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Dr. Keeley was born and raised in Tucson, AZ ; she comes from a large Irish American family filled with civil servants (police officers, fire fighters, and nurses) and believes that her work as a Professor (scholar and teacher) has the same service goal as those distinguished professions: to help others and to improve lives. She is happily married and they have a son and a daughter. Dr. Keeley earned her PhD in 1994 from the University of Iowa, Her MA from the University of Arizona in 1987, and her BA from the University of Arizona in 1983 (All in field of Communication Studies)

Teaching Interests

Nonverbal Communication, Family Communication, Relational Communication, Interpersonal Communication (at both the Graduate and Undergraduate levels). She also teaches a graduate seminar on End-of-Life Communication and Proseminar (Introduction to Graduate studies) at the Graduate Level

Research Interests

Dr. Keeley is considered one of the leading experts in the area family communication at the End-of-Life. Her focus for over two decades has been to explore "Final Conversations" (i.e., all verbal and nonverbal messages from the time of a terminal diagnosis until the moment of death) from the family members and close friends' perspective. She is considered a "pioneer" in the area of Family Communication at the End-of-Life and has been conducting research in this area since 2000.

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Generous, M. A., & Keeley, M. P. (2020). Exploring the Connection Between End-of-Life Communication and Personal Growth after the death of a loved one. Omega-Journal of Death and Dying, 1–19. https://doi.org/doi.org/10.1177/0030222820915312
  • Keeley, M. (2016). Family Communication at the End of Life. Journal of Family Communication, 16(3), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/15267431.2016.1181070
  • Keeley, M., Generous, M., & Baldwin, P. (2014). Final Conversations Phase II: Children’s Final Conversation Messages with Dying Family Members. Journal of Family Communication, 14(3), 208–229. https://doi.org/10.1080/15267431.2014.908198
  • Keeley, M. (2007). Turning toward death together, The functions of messages during Final Conversations in close relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 24(2), 225–253. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407507075412
  • Keeley, M. P., & Yingling, J. (2007). Final Conversations: Helping the living and the dying talk to each other. Acton, MA, USA: VanderWyk & Burnham.

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Bernard J. Brommel Award in Family Communication for Outstanding Scholarship, National Communication Society. November 21, 2021
  • Award / Honor Recipient: College Achievement Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative, College of Fine Arts and Communication, Texas State University. August 2021
  • Award / Honor Recipient: College Achievement Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities, College of Fine Arts and Communication. August 2020
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Distinguished Article of the Year, Division of Health Communication, National Communication Association. March 1, 2016 - November 20, 2016
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Outstanding Article of the Year, Journal of Family Communication, Journal of Family Communication. December 15, 2015 - November 20, 2016

Selected Grants

  • Villagran, Melinda Morris (Principal), Burney, Marsha N (Supporting), Keeley-Vassberg, Maureen (Supporting). Networx: A Virtual Safety Net to Improve Postpartum Health, St Davids Foundation, Private / Foundation / Corporate, $289633. (Submitted: October 2017, Funded: January 2018 - August 2020). Grant.
  • Eger, Elizabeth Kamman, Smith, Tara, Pokharel, Manusheela, Keeley-Vassberg, Maureen, Dailey, Stephanie Layne. Library Online Resource Grant, Alkek Library, Texas State University, $30740. (Funded: March 2020). Grant.
  • Keeley, Maureen (Co-Principal), Villagran, Melinda (Co-Principal), Burns, Michael (Co-Principal). Communication between Special Olympians, Family Caregivers, and Medical Professionals, Special Olympics, Texas Chapter, Private / Foundation / Corporate, $8000. (Submitted: 2014). Grant.
  • Keeley, Maureen (Principal). Final Conversations II: The Children Voice, Texas State University-San Marcos, Research Enhancement Grant, Institutional (Higher Ed), $8000. (Submitted: 2009). Grant.
  • Keeley, Maureen (Principal). Final Conversations, Texas State University-San Marcos, Research Enhancement Grant, Institutional (Higher Ed), $8000. (Submitted: 2002). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

Bobcat Days
October 2023-Present
College Tenure and Promotion Committee Representative
September 2020-Present
Graduate Program Advisory Committee (GPAC)
September 2019-Present
Graduate Admissions Committee
August 2018-Present
GPAC Subcommittee: Graduate Admissions and Outreach
August 2009-Present