Professor of Communication, Department Chair | Department of Communication
Cedar City, UT, UNITED STATES
Specializing in rhetoric and persuasion in public discourse, communication theory, and critical thinking
B.S. (magna cum laude), Communication Studies
M.A., Speech Communication
Ph.D., Speech Communication
Division of Student Affairs & Career and Professional Development Center, Southern Utah University, 2016
Community Engagement Center, Southern Utah University, 2012
Southern Utah University, 2005
National Communication Association Convention, 2004
Utah Broadcaster’s Association for Producing programs and commercials, 1996
Southern Utah University News online
Professors Kevin Stein and Matthew Barton of the Department of Communication at Southern Utah University published this week a comprehensive analysis of apologies offered by public figures to understand the ways people use language to take or avoid responsibility for harmful behavior, such as infidelity, domestic violence, and deception.view more
St George News online
“My professors challenged me academically, inspired me to explore new fields and helped me build a strong foundation in communication,” Topham said. “Sage Platt, Matt Barton, and Jonathan Holiman were great instigators in helping me get the most out of my experience at SUU.”view more
Iron County Today online
“Anytime we are recognized as a quality program, it validates the talent and efforts of our faculty to deliver a quality educational product,” said Barton. “We are constantly examining our curriculum to respond to industry trends and emerging job categories, and look at the communication skills necessary to message appropriately to specific stakeholders, clients, and customers.”view more
Inside Higher Ed print
"For example, the class recently used Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as a central text. The English professor taught about the novel. An art historian led discussions on Mississippi River art. And Matt Barton, a professor of communications, used the book as a jumping-off point to teach about racial identity and social media..."view more
Desert News Utah print
"While most freshmen don't start their college career by taking 17 credits, university leaders say the integrated coursework, closer working relationships with professors, and the collaboration among students in the group will be enough to help the students bear the heavier-than-normal workload. 'I think as we form that right at the start of college, it gives students an opportunity to learn from one another and to have a support group,' said Matt Barton, professor of communications and director of the university's master's program in professional communications..."view more
Undergraduate College & University Division at the National Communication Association Conference Las Vegas, NV
Rhetoric & Political Communication Division at the Western States Communication Association Conference Spokane, WA
Public Address Division at the National Communication Association Conference Washington, DC
Kevin A. Stein and Matthew H. Barton
The study uses content analytic and grounded theory approaches to analyze 409 cases of public apologia from 351 different incidents in order to develop a typology of mortification-specific strategies. Its purpose is to offer a critique of existing scholarship and its inattention to the specific nuances of mortification. Historically, scholars have limited their conclusions to a discussion of strategy, while ignoring the reality that specific language choices need only appear to be sincere in order to satisfy the rhetor’s goal.view more
Matt Barton and Jonathan Holiman
A digital publication and learning experience.view more
M.H. Barton and K. A. Stein
This study examined the influence of compliance-gaining messages on patients’ intent to comply with physician requests in treating Type II diabetes. Using Barbara O’Keefe’s research on message design logic, physician messages representing O’Keefe’s three paradigms of language use were examined in short semi-structured patient interviews. Questions examined which approach resonated best with patients related to cultivating positive attitudes about compliance with treatment plans. Results show rhetorical messages are most valued because patients feel their humanity and worth as individuals is reinforced while simultaneously being able to treat their medical condition.
K. A. Stein, M. H. Barton and W. P. Paul
University of Missouri communication professor, Melissa Click, dominated the news cycle in the fall of 2015 after she had attempted to expel a student journalist from a safe zone created by other students who were protesting the university administration’s indifference toward racism on campus. A video of the professor calling for “muscle” to remove the student journalist went viral, creating a firestorm of vitriolic attack on Click via her personal Twitter account as well as through the newly created feed #FireMelissaClick.
M.H. Barton and K. A. Stein
This study examines nurses’ experiences with the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS). These responses characterize the communication trials that nurses face with pain diagnosis, pain management, and overall patient care. Interviews with 20 nurses reveal three themes: subjective dissatisfaction, feeling limited, and subjective satisfaction. An analysis of these themes reveals the need for renewed discussion about the way pain is communicated and the challenging expectations nurses must regularly confront. Implications for listening to important, but often quiet, even silent, voices in pain management and clinical practice are discussed.
M.H. Barton and K. A. Stein
To help students: 1) learn to use mobile applications as the basis for speech topic selection; 2) identify new outlets for using technology to acquire information and solve problems; 3) learn to use cloud-based information management tools to identify and organize research; 4) explore public speaking tools that can improve presentation and delivery skills.
K. A. Stein, M. H. Barton, M. Ault and J. R. Briscoe
Inside the first hundred days of Barack Obama's first term as president, he spoke on three different continents in an effort to strengthen diplomatic relations with other nations. In France, Obama declared that America “has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” toward Europe. In Latin America, he said the United States had not “pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors”...view more
M.H. Barton, K. A. Stein and P. D. Turman
This chapter analyzes the charges surrounding Mike Leach’s decision related to one of his players while at Texas Tech University. Strategies are examined and conclusion drawn the public effort to repair his image.
S. H. Taylor and M. Barton
Rhetorical analyses of image restoration and attack have characteristically centered on public figures because their images are the focal point of news conversation for traditional mass media outlets following events of public shame. Through the development of Web 2.0 technologies and microblogging sites like Twitter, publishing power has shifted the conversation about public figures and their
Introduces aspects of human communication that develop and implement presentation of speeches and investigates and executes strategies, principles, and theories, of interpersonal communication.
A study of critical thinking and reasoning skills toward messages delivered and received through various communication formats. The course is designed to aid the student in the ability to define a problem, select pertinent information for the solution of the problem, recognize stated and unstated assumptions, formulate and select relevant hypotheses, and make valid conclusions and inferences.
A study of interpersonal communication variables and situations, designed to aid the student in improving social relationships, increasing self-awareness and in using effective communication to achieve personal goals.
Advanced study of theories and models of persuasion. Stress on the literature of attitude and behavior change.
Theoretical approaches to the study of human communication.
Provides students with a systematic investigation of the creation, dissemination, and impact of significant health messages/definitions. Topics include patient-provider interaction, health narratives, public health campaigns, media coverage/portrayals, social support and the Internet.
Students learn to successfully navigate graduate education, engage in research and professional activities, prepare portfolios, resumes/CVs.
Students learn the fundamentals of various qualitative and rhetorical research methods, with their associated theoretical bases and specific applications. These methods include: 1) Generic, metaphor, narrative, and Burkean criticism; 2) Ethnography and participant observation; 3) Semi-structured interviewing; and 4) Grounded theory. Students have the opportunity to conduct and write up their own qualitative/rhetorical studies from the start (formulating research questions) to finish (interpreting the findings and drawing appropriate conclusions).
Students will strengthen and enhance writing and presentation skills with careful attention to advanced language use required in various professional communication contexts. Students will create training sessions, press releases, digital resumes, website, social media and marketing materials to help organizations manage their public face as well as learn how to establish and maintain their personal professional image in various contexts. Prerequisite: Admission to program or Graduate Director permission
A capstone experience demonstrating the ability to complete a professional thesis in consultation with a graduate committee. Students conceive, research, and produce a thesis in a relevant area of communication.
A capstone experience demonstrating the ability to complete a professional internship or project working in consultation with a graduate committee. Students conceive, research and produce an internship or project in a relevant area of communication.