Meet Emily Langan

Author of the Instructors Manual


As a student and now as an educator, I have been fascinated with close relationships; Exploring the simplicities and complexities of people and their need to connect with each other in meaningful ways is at the heart of what I do. Though the study of interpersonal and communication theories can seem rather pedestrian at first glance, I believe its ordinariness is the greatest argument for continued study.

Everyone has experiences with other people that have shaped them in profound ways but we also all have mundane, everyday interactions that make up the bulk of our relationships. To me, part of being created in the image of God means that we are designed to live interdependently with others. But, those relationships can be simultaneously joy-giving and challenging.

While my academic home is the field of communication, I feel most comfortable situating myself as a scholar and a teacher of close relationships. At the center of my scholarship is a focus on friendship as a unique and important interpersonal relationship. Throughout the lifecourse, friendships are consistently valued as a relationship but are not static; their value, role, and function alters at different stages of life. I wrote my dissertation on the maintenance of best friendships, an enduring interest since I started graduate school and have a continuing research agenda on the dynamics between friends.

Outside of the realm of interpersonal and relational communication, I’ve taught and researched in nonverbal communication, especially the communication of attraction, persuasion and social influence, and gender. Some of my current mental exercises (aka research endeavors) investigate the differing rules of same- and cross-sex friendships, family stories and identity, and group experience with the transition to college.

Academics are only one facet of my life; I find that my students and my research endeavors benefit from experiences outside the walls of the College. I am a Chicago-native, having been born and raised in the south suburbs. While I love my hometown and make the most of experiences found locally, I also frequently indulge my wanderlust; recent adventures include Italy, France and The Holy Lands.

I am passionately involved with HoneyRock, the Northwoods campus of Wheaton College. After participating in summer camps since about the 3rd grade, HoneyRock is a wonderful convergence of my interests: experiential education, mentoring young adults, and a “place apart” in the outdoors.

I am also a triathlete which means I spend a lot of time decompressing by swimming, biking, and running.

My Curriculum Vitae is available as a PDF document.

I would be happy to meet you by e-mail.


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