Melissa Rizzo

Melissa Rizzo

Melissa Rizzo

Adjunct Faculty

Melissa Rizzo is an interpersonal and organizational scholar focused on examining identity shifts and relationships maintenance after major life changes, as well as the role of emotion work and supportive communication among community and family members. Melissa was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the College of Wooster for the last two years where she taught Small Group Communication, Interpersonal and Family Communication, and Theories of Communication. She currently teaches in the Ohio Honors Program at Ohio University and the Communication department at the University of Cincinnati Clermont. 

Selected Publications

Rizzo, M. (2022). “I want the piece of paper that is my history, and why the hell can’t I have it?”: Original birth certificates and adoptive identity.  Journal of Family Communication: Family Communication and Adoption Special Edition, 22(3), 271-287.

Blau, N. & Rizzo Weller, M. (2022). The impact of interpersonal expectancies on family experiences during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Ohio Communication Association Journal, 60, (16-26). 

Rizzo, M., Tikkanen, S. A., & Cripe, E. T. (2023). Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorned friend: Reflected anger in academic mother online groups. In S. Trocchio, L. Hanasono, R. Dwyer, J. J. Borchert, & J. Y. Harvie (Eds.), It Takes a Village: Academic Mothers Building Online Communities. Palgrave Macmillan.

Rizzo, M. (2022). “According to science, this is who I am”: Personal genome testing and adoption reunions. In M. R. McGinley, J. K. Burk, & J. S. Ward (Eds.), Communicating with Our Families: Continuity and Interruption. Lexington Books. 

Rizzo, M., Hosek, A. M., & Cherry, J. (2022). Embracing the transition to social media in parent-teen communication. In M. R. McGinley, J. K. Burk, & J. S. Ward (Eds.), Communicating with Our Families: Continuity and Interruption. Lexington Books.

Tikkanen, S. A & Rizzo Weller, M. (2021). Technology and the parent-adolescent relationship. In K. Wright & C. Liberman (Eds.), Casing Mediated Communication. Kendall-Hunt Publishing. 

Rizzo Weller, M. & Hosek, A. (2020). “Birth mothers’ experiences of privacy turbulence in relation to closed adoption information.” Journal of Family Communication, 20, pp. 250-64.

Rizzo Weller, M. (2019). “I guess they’re all real moms then”: Constructing motherhood through language in the adoption community. Adoption Quarterly, 22, 265-83.

Rizzo Weller, M. (2018). Relay for life as a storytelling occasion: Building community in the midst of suffering. Health Communication, 33, 510-12.


B.A. Communication Studies - Ohio University 2012

M.A. Organizational Communication - Ohio University 2013

M.A. Communication Studies - Ohio University 2016

Ph.D. Communication Studies - Ohio University 2019