Meet the Theorist
Sandra Petronio, Ph.D.
Director, Communication Privacy Management Center
Sandra Petronio is a Professor in the Indiana University (IU) Department of Communication Studies and the IU School of Medicine on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI Campus), and is a Senior Affiliate Faculty in the Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics within IU Health. She received her Ph.D. in Communication and her M.A. degree in Social Psychology at the University of Michigan and her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at the State University at Stony Brook. She served as the Founding Director of the IUPUI Center for Translating Research into Practice.
Dr. Petronio's areas of expertise are in interpersonal, health, and family communication. She studies privacy, disclosure, and confidentiality. She developed the evidenced-based "Communication Privacy Management" (CPM) theory.
CPM theory has been used across a number of cultures from, for instance, Kenya, China, Germany, Mexico, and the US, and contexts, such as social media, business, families, relationships, and health. In 2002, she published "Boundaries of Privacy: Dialectics of Disclosure" explicating the CPM theory for which she won the 2003 Gerald R. Miller Book Award from the National Communication Association (NCA) and the 2004 book award from the International Association of Relationship Research (IARR). Her other publications include five co-authored books, one of which focuses on HIV/AIDS disclosure, and numerous referred articles and invited book chapters.
She has been an editor and special issues editor for several communication journals, as well as president of two organizations, IARR and the Western States Communication Association (WSCA). Additionally, Dr. Petronio has been an invited Keynote Speaker at various conferences, including the First Amsterdam Privacy Conference, and a Congressional Briefing on Privacy in Washington D.C.
Dr. Petronio has been recognized for her seminal work. A few examples include: IARR Founding Fellow (2016); WSCA Distinguished Scholar Award (2015); NCA’s Mark L. Knapp Scholar Award in Interpersonal Communication (2013); and NCA's Bernard J. Brommel Lifetime Award for Excellence in Family Communication (2002).