Carol J. Bruess portrait

Carol J. Bruess

B.A., St. Norbert College
M.A., Ph.D., Ohio University
OEC 125A
(651) 962-5829
Mail 5011
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105

Scholarship and service:
Passionate about the study of family and couple ritual and construction of a family co-culture through language and ritual, Professor Bruess is committed to understanding – and helping others learn and practice – the communication patterns of happy and healthy relationships. Co-author of the book Contemporary Issues in Interpersonal Communication (with Mark P. Orbe, Roxbury Publishing, 2005), she has also written contemporary self-help/inspirational books based on her research of couples and adult friendship: What Happy Couples Do, What Happy Parents Do, What Happy Women Do (each with Anna Kudak, former St. Thomas student), published by Fairview Press. To find more information about the books and her work, visit:

Professor Bruess has presented her work at dozens of national, regional, and international conferences, and has published in national and international journals and professional books. Her research is internationally known, as is her commentary about issues of relationships and communication in the popular media. She has been quoted and interviewed in a variety of national media outlets, including PBS, CBS, The Chronicle of Higher Education, American Health, and is a regular expert in Cosmopolitan Magazine. She has been heard on nearly four-dozen radio programs, including Oprah Radio, and is a regular blog contributor not only at St. Thomas (The Scroll) but also in her own popular blog featuring tips and research about healthy relationships and communication for couples.

A member of the faculty at St. Thomas for 13 years, Professor Bruess also is director of the St. Thomas Family Studies program.

Summer 2014 Courses

Summer 2014 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2014 Courses

Fall 2014 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
COJO 220 - 01 Interpersonal Communication M - W - F 1055 - 1200 MCH 231
CRN: 42413 4 Credit Hours Theory and practice of interpersonal communication, including how self-concept, language, nonverbal communication, and relationships effect and are affected by communication. Common problems in interpersonal communication, options for managing these problems, and ethical issues in interpersonal communication are examined. Students apply theory and concepts through class exercises, simulations and individual projects.
COJO 472 - 01 Family Communication M - W - - 1335 - 1510 SCB 205
CRN: 41100 4 Credit Hours Examination of communication dynamics within the family system. Patterns of interaction, message exchange, developmental stages, and satisfaction and stability will be explored in light of today's ever-changing family structure. Focus will include traditional (nuclear) and non- traditional family types. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or permission of instructor
FAST 297 - 01 Introduction to Family Studies M - W - F 0935 - 1040 MCH 231
CRN: 42506 Credit Hours The subject matter of these courses will vary from year to year, but will not duplicate existing courses. Descriptions of these courses are available in the Searchable Class Schedule on Murphy Online, View Searchable Class Schedule
FAST 478 - 01 Experiential Learning - - - - - -
CRN: 41563 4 Credit Hours

J-Term 2015 Courses

J-Term 2015 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location