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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

This is a profile picture of Dr. Sharon Lauricella, Associate Professor with the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at Ontario Tech University.

Sharon Lauricella


Communication and Digital Media Studies

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Contact information

Bordessa Hall - Room 308
Downtown Oshawa
55 Bond Street East
Oshawa, ON

905.721.8668 ext. 3828


Dr. Sharon Lauricella is an award-winning university professor. She is a two-time recipient of the Ontario Tech University Teaching Award and a two-time recipient of the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities Teaching Award. She has been nominated for provincial and national teaching recognition, including a nomination for the 3M National Teaching Fellowship and the Ontario OCUFA Teaching Award. She instructs courses including Non-Violent Communication, Public Speaking, and Communication Ethics.

She holds a doctoral degree from Cambridge University in England. Her undergraduate work was completed in Boston, Massachusetts, and Edinburgh, Scotland. She has climbed mountaintops all over the world, and has practised yoga for more than 15 years, having studied all over North America with the world’s leading instructors.

Dr. Lauricella is keenly interested in the interplay between spirituality and communication, and is past Chair of the Spiritual Communication Division at National Communication Association. She has published articles on the spiritual component of Lil’ Wayne’s blog from prison and spirituality in rap music. She is also actively engaged in studies addressing digital feminist identities, focusing on how women construct and maintain their online digital identities, with particular attention to gender performance and digital silencing in social media.

She has published widely on the scholarship of teaching and learning, as well as the student experience with technology in higher education. Her scholarship has been published in a variety of academic journals including (but not limited to):

• Journal of Communication and Religion
• Journal of Peace Education
• Communication Pedagogy
• Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
• Journal of Religion and Health
• Research in Learning Technology
• Mindfulness


  • PhD, Social Demography Cambridge University

Courses taught

  • COMM 1310: Public Speaking
  • COMM 3110: Communication Ethics
  • COMM 4210: Special Topics: Listening
  • COMM 4120: Contemporary Issues in Communication
  • COMM 4310: Non-Violent Communication
  • COMM 4610: Communication and Conflict

Research and expertise

Dr. Lauricella’s research addresses three burgeoning areas in communication studies: spiritual communication, feminist digital identities, and educational technology.


  • Selected publications

    Lauricella, S. (2019). Darkness as the frenemy: Social media, student shaming, and building academic culture.  Communication Education 68(3), 378-391.

    Lauricella, S. (In Press, 2019). Prime time for prayer: An analysis of prayers offered and answered in the reality series Answered Prayers. Journal of Religion and Popular Culture.

    Lauricella, S. (2019). What ever happened to Academic Batgirl? Hyperrhiz 21, Scholarship in the Internet Vernacular.

    Lauricella, S. (2019). Nonviolence, weapon of the strong: Teaching an undergraduate course in Nonviolent Communication.  Journal of Communication Pedagogy.

    Lauricella, S. & Scott, H. M. (2018). Anatomy of a wedding: Examining religiosity, feminism, and weddings in Grey’s Anatomy. Journal for Religion, Film, and Media 4(2). doi: 10.25364/05.4:2018.2.3

    Lauricella, S. (2018). Praying for reality: The invisible hand in Downey and Burnett’s Answered Prayers. In M. Einstein, K. Madden & D. Winston (Eds.), Religion and Reality TV: Faith in Late Capitalism (165-185). London: Routledge.

    Lauricella, S. & Pankhurst, K. (2018). The safe tweet: Social media use by Ontario Fire Services. International Journal of Emergency Services.

    Lauricella, S. (2016). Acknowledgement: A way toward spiritual communication. Spirituality Studies 2(2), 20-31.

    Lauricella, S. (2016). The ancient-turned-new concept of “spiritual hygiene”: An investigation of media coverage of meditation from 1979-2014. Journal of Religion and Health 55(5), 1748-1762. doi: 10.1007/s10943-016-0262-3.

    Kay, R. H. & Lauricella, S. (2016). Assessing laptop use in higher education: The Laptop Use Scale. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 28(1), 18-44. doi: 10.1007/s12528-015-9106-5.

    Kay, R. H. & Lauricella, S. (2015). Investigating and comparing communication media used in higher education. Journal of Communication Technology and Human Behaviors, 2(1), 1-20.

    Lauricella, S. (2014). Judging by the way animals are treated: Gandhi as a manifestation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Gandhi Marg, 35(4), 655-674.

    Lauricella, S. (2014). Mindfulness meditation with undergraduates in face-to-face and digital practice: A formative analysis. Mindfulness, 5(6), 682-688. doi: 10.1007/s12671-013-0222-x.

    Douai, A. & Lauricella, S. (2014). The “terrorism” frame or “neo-Orientalism”: How Western media cover Islam’s Sunni-Shia sectarian relations after 9/11. International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, 10(1), 7-24.

    Kay, R. H. & Lauricella, S. (2014). Investigating the benefits and challenges of using laptop computers in higher education. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 40(2), 1-25.

    Lauricella, S. (2013). Performing spirituality: Lil’ Wayne’s letters from a New York jail. Urban God Talk: Rap, Religion and a Spirituality of Hip Hop. Andre Johnson, Ed. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

    Baesler, E. J. & Lauricella, S. (2013). Teach peace! Assessing instruction of the nonviolent communication and peace course. Journal of Peace Education. doi: 10.1080/17400201.2013.777899.

    Lauricella, S. & Kay, R. H. (2013). Exploring the Use of Text and Instant Messaging in Higher Education Classrooms. Research in Learning Technology, 21. 

    Lauricella, S. (2012). The lifetime of prayer: A review of literature on prayer throughout the life course. Journal of Communication and Religion, 35(3), 209-236.

    Lauricella, S. & Alexander, M. (2012). Voice from Rikers: Spirituality in hip hop artist Lil’ Wayne’s prison blog. Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, 24(1). doi:10.3138/jrpc.24.1.15.