Julie Apker

Photo of Julie Apker
Julie Apker
Professor of Communication and Graduate Program Director
(269) 387-3140
217 Sprau Tower, Mail Stop 5318
Mailing address: 
School of Communication
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5318 USA
Office hours: 

In-person student hours: Mondays 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Also, by appointment.
Virtual student hours: By appointment at https://wmich.webex.com/meet/julie.apker 

  • Ph.D., Communication Studies, University of Kansas, 2000
  • M.A., Communication Studies, University of Kansas, 1994
  • B.A., Communication-Public Relations, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 1991
Teaching interests: 
  • Organizational communication
  • Health communication
  • Leadership
  • Business communication
Research interests: 
  • Communication in health organizations
  • Qualitative research methods

Dr. Julie Apker is a professor of communication in the School of Communication at Western Michigan University. She joined the faculty in 2001 and teaches and conducts research in organizational and health communication. Her areas of specialization are:

  • Inter-specialization patient transition communication in medicine.
  • Interdisciplinary communication that improves health team dynamics.
  • Leadership behaviors and practices that enhance organizational culture and change.
  • Development and negotiation of caregiver roles, particularly communicative behaviors that affect bedside care delivery.
  • Supportive communication that helps minimize or prevent job-related stressors and enhances team dynamics.
  • Qualitative research methods.

Apker is the author of the textbook Communication in Health Organizations, published by Polity, Inc. Her research work appears in peer-reviewed publications such as:

  • Annals of Emergency Medicine
  • Academic Emergency Medicine
  • Health Communication
  • Journal of Applied Communication Research
  • Qualitative Health Research

Apker also serves on the editorial board of Health Communication. Over the course of her career, Apker has presented her work at multiple academic conferences in medicine, nursing and communication.

Her scholarship shows an established track record of success, receiving multiple awards and external funding from national and regional organizations. Apker consults with health organizations in the areas of physician leadership, caregiver-patient communication and health team interpersonal communication dynamics.