Thursday, September 23, 2021
Barbara Jago, associate professor of communication arts

Since joining the UNH Manchester faculty in 1998, Dr. Barbara Jago has challenged her students to become braver, stronger and more thoughtful. Jago, associate professor of communication arts, has taught courses in relational communication for two decades, inspiring students with her passion and knowledge on identity, gender, family communication and more.

Jago’s courses are hands-on and interactive, encouraging students to explore personal, cultural, social and political topics through open dialogue. Her dedication to fostering her students’ social, emotional and intellectual growth earned her UNH’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004.

Creating an inclusive learning environment is central to Jago’s teaching philosophy. She received the 2016 UNH Women’s Commission Faculty Award for her efforts in making the University a safe, welcoming environment for women. UNH also presented Jago with the 2013 Kidder Award for her commitment to educating students and colleagues about gender identity and sexual orientation—and for creating a safe and respectful forum for discussion.

In addition to teaching, Jago serves as chair of the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences and is an active researcher in the field of relational communication. Her research seeks to understand how we make sense of ourselves and our relationships through storytelling, and how we can use that understanding to improve our individual and collective lives. Jago has been published in a variety of academic journals, including Qualitative InquiryJournal of Loss and Trauma, and Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.

Jago earned a Ph.D. in Communication and M.A. in Secondary Social Science Education from the University of South Florida, an M.A. in Cinema Studies from New York University and a B.A. from Smith College.

What do you like best about your job?

Our students. We have the best students in the world! They are smart, thoughtful, and creative, and work diligently to earn their degrees. Teaching them is a privilege.

What is your favorite UNH Manchester memory?

Every graduation ceremony for the past 20 years.

Tell us your favorite:

  • Manchester restaurant: Royal India
  • New Hampshire destination: Kayaking on Umbagog Lake
  • Book: The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr
  • Movie: Annie Hall
  • Childhood book: Any Nancy Drew book
  • Childhood TV show: The Wonderful World of Disney

What are your hobbies?

Kayaking, hiking and traveling.

Best vacation ever?

Barcelona. I love the architect Gaudi and Barcelona is filled with his buildings. The Sagrada Familia and Park Güell are especially impressive.

We’d be surprised to know that

I love watching true crime stories.

Which 3 famous people, living or dead, would you want at your fantasy dinner party?

Margaret Sanger, Martin Luther King and Dorothy Parker.

As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?

National Geographic photographer.


Interested in human relations, film studies, advertising or digital media?
Learn more about UNH Manchester's communication arts program, which focuses on hands-on learning and offers specialized degree options for the future you want. learn more

Tom Kates | Tom Kates Photography
Kassidy Taylor | Marketing & Communications, UNH Manchester |