Natalie Pennington

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
Expertise: Online Relationships, Communication Technology, Grief, Social Support, Interpersonal Communication, Social Media


Natalie Pennington is an expert in interpersonal communication within the context of communication technology. An assistant professor of communication studies, she examines how private topics become public on social networking platforms and the resulting impact on relationships. Her research looks at how users of social media build and maintain relationships, the potential benefits and harms associated with technology use, and social support and grieving online. 

Pennington’s work has been published in several academic publications, including New Media & Society, Social Media + Society, Computers in Human Behavior, and the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media.


  • Ph.D., University of Kansas, Communication Studies
  • M.A., Kansas State University, Communication Studies
  • B.S., Missouri State University, Communication Studies

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Natalie Pennington In The News

Verywell Mind
January 6, 2022
Work-life balance is often encouraged, even when the reality may feel impossible. A recently published study in Communication Reports found that stress was higher among women with children when working remotely during the pandemic, with increased stress with multiple children.
Everyday Health
December 10, 2021
Research suggests that memes — a popular social media phenomenon among young people — can be beneficial for people living with mental health issues, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on.
December 9, 2021
Tools such as instant messaging and video conferencing allowed people to work from home during the pandemic, but they add to the stress for women with children, according to a UNLV-led study.
The Hawk Eye
November 24, 2021
Mark Twain, "the father of American literature" and former Mississippi River dweller who haunted this region back in the 1800s, is believed to have coined the phrase "never discuss politics and religion in polite company."

Articles Featuring Natalie Pennington

nurse administers shot to woman
Campus News | December 29, 2021

A collection of news stories from 2021 highlighting UNLV’s continuing response to COVID-19 and faculty experts who have helped make sense of the pandemic and its impact to daily life. 

people doing research
Research | December 27, 2021

UNLV researchers made international headlines this year with their discoveries. Here's a roundup of some of our top stories of 2021.

D73827_005 Food Pantry Opening .JPG
Campus News | December 8, 2021

A collection of news stories featuring research and accomplishment at UNLV.

stressed woman works on computer with toddler on lap and slightly older child sitting next to her doing homework
Research | November 19, 2021

Research by UNLV communications expert Natalie Pennington finds that texts, video calls burdened the mental health of working moms during pandemic.