Student Voice


February 21, 2024



Communications professor remembered

February 28, 2013

Barbara Lynn Werner, a professor in UW-River Falls’ Department of Communication Studies and Theatre Arts (CSTA) died Feb. 2, 2013, at the Christian Community Home in Hudson. She was 59.

She joined the faculty of UWRF in 1994 and until the time of her death was a professor.

Friends and colleagues celebrated the life of Barbara Werner.
Friends and colleagues celebrated the life of Barbara Werner on Feb. 27. (Megan Rodriguez/Student Voice)

A celebration of Werner’s life was held on Feb. 27 at the Falls Room in the University Center.

According to Werner’s obituary on the O’Connell Family Funeral home’s website, Werner gave professional presentations, led workshops, and was a published scholar, specializing in interpersonal communication and gender studies.

Her professional awards included UWRF’s College of Liberal Arts’ Outstanding Teacher.

She served the University in various leadership positions, including as department chair, women’s studies program chair and Faculty Senate chair.

Jennifer Willis-Rivera, a professor in the communications department, noted the influence Werner had on her colleagues and students.

“Barbara had a lasting impact on the CSTA department – she was a great mentor for students. She could be a tough professor, but students always learned so much from her classes. When our seniors did their capstone presentations, many of them would use projects they created in Barbara’s classes as examples of their best work. She had a lasting impact outside the department too,” Willis-Rivera said.

Werner was also a member of the National Communication Association; the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender; and Wisconsin Women in Higher Education Leadership, according to her obituary.

Associate Professor of English Michelle Parkinson worked with Werner in the women and gender studies program. Parkinson applauded Werner’s work for female advancement.

“She has been a strong supporter of her female colleagues and has stood up for her belief in gender equity consistently over the time she has been here. Barbara was someone who ‘walked the walk,’ embodying her beliefs in justice in all she did. She will be deeply missed by our community,” Parkinson said.

Her obituary stated that Werner enjoyed travel to the Caribbean, Greece and China.