Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Communication Studies

Department or School/College

Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Joel Iverson

Commitee Members

Greg Larson, Meg Ann Traci


crisis communication, renewal theory, COVID-19, coronavirus, discourse of renewal, University of Montana


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Organizational Communication


The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a public health crisis that has affected lives and impacted organizations across the world. The pandemic has interrupted student learning and threatened universities nationwide. Crises are trying times for organizations, and when faced with a crisis, an organization has an obligation to keep its members informed; therefore, it must carefully choose how to respond and communicate about the crisis. This study uses discourse of renewal theory as a lens to analyze the University of Montana’s communication about COVID-19, studying 37 pages of university emails and documents on the university website. Results indicate that messages did not explicitly reflect renewal elements, but rather revealed themes that connect to features of renewal theory.



© Copyright 2021 Haley Renae Gabel