Dr. Colter Ray

Colter D. Ray

Assistant Professor, Interpersonal Communication

Bachelor’s Degree: Mass Communication – Public Relations, Texas State University (2011)

Master’s Degree: Communication Studies, Texas State University (2014)

Graduate Certificate: Corporate Communication and Training, Texas State University (2014)

Doctoral Degree: Communication, Arizona State University, (2018)

Email: ColterRay@lsu.edu

Website: www.ColterRay.com

Google Scholar Profile: scholar.google.com

Office: 216 Coates Hall

Gender Pronouns: he/him


Research & Teaching

Colter D. Ray is a communication scientist whose research focuses on how people support loved ones who have been diagnosed with cancer. His work explores reasons why some attempts to be supportive are viewed negatively by cancer patients, and he also investigates instances when people choose not to communicate with those they know with cancer. Ray’s research also explores issues related to loneliness and communication strategies that lonely individuals can use to make meaningful connections with others.

As a researcher, Ray employs several social science methodologies ranging from experimental designs that incorporate the measurement of biological/physiological markers (e.g., salivary cortisol) to longitudinal questionnaires, expressive writing interventions, and qualitative interviews. Potential doctoral, masters, and undergraduate students interested in learning these methods to conduct original research on communication in close relationships should connect with Ray via email.

Ray typically teaches undergraduate and graduate courses related to personal relationships (e.g., interpersonal communication) and social scientific research methods. Outside of the classroom, Ray has discussed his work as a guest on multiple podcasts and livestreams and has been quoted in several news outlets, including USA Today, The Guardian, and The Telegraph. Ray is also a consultant for multiple non-profit and for-profit organizations whose missions are to develop communication skills that improve people’s relationships, cognitive and behavioral empathy, and confidence to support loved ones during difficult times.

Selected Publications

Ray, C. D. (2021). The trajectory and determinants of loneliness during the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38(6), 1920-1938. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/02654075211016542

Ray, C. D., Harvey, J., Floyd, K., Bonito, J. A., & Reblin, M. (2020). Mixed messages: II. Outcomes associated with the proportion and placement of negative statements in support messages. Health Communication, 36(7), 856-865. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2020.1719322

Ray, C. D., Floyd, K., Mongeau, P. A., Mark, L., Shufford, K. N., & Niess, L. C. (2019). Planning improves vocal fluency and appearance of concern when communicating emotional support. Communication Research Reports, 36(1), 57-66. https://doi.org/10.1080/08824096.2018.1560251

Ray, C. D., Manusov, V. L., & McLaren, R. M. (2019). “Emotional support won’t cure cancer”: Reasons people give for not providing emotional support. Western Journal of Communication, 83(1), 20-38. https://doi.org/10.1080/10570314.2018.1472800

Ray, C. D., & Veluscek, A. M. (2018). Nonsupport versus varying levels of person-centered emotional support: A study of women with breast cancer. Journal of Cancer Education, 33(3), 649-652. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13187-016-1125-z

Ray, C. D., & Veluscek, A. M. (2017). Face threats and additional reasons for perceiving support as unwanted: A study of recently diagnosed cancer patients. Health Communication, 32(11), 1396-1402. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2016.1228027

All of Dr. Ray’s published research is available at the following link: colterray.com/research