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Headshot of Eleanor Novek

Dr. Eleanor M. Novek


Plangere Center 225

Dr. Eleanor M. Novek


Ph.D. in Communication, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

M.A. in Communication, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

M.A. in English, Georgia State University

Research Interests

My current research is focused on the communication strategies and practices of incarcerated individuals; higher education in prison and the pedagogies that sustain it; racial justice issues involving men and women in prison; prison journalism; and methods of teaching nonviolence. My other work has involved community empowerment; racial discrimination; social justice and feminist methodologies; and Quaker spirituality.


Scholarly Articles

Novek, E. (2019).  Making meaning: Reflections on the act of teaching in prison. The Review of Communication, special issue on prison education, 19(1), 55-68.

Novek, E. (2017). Jail pedagogies: Teaching and trust in a maximum-security men’s prison. Dialogues in Social Justice, 2(2), 31-51.

Hartnett, S.J.;
Novek, E.; & Wood, J.K., Eds. (2013). Working
for Justice, A Handbook of Prison Education and Activism.
Champaign, IL:
University of Illinois Press.


Listen to Professor Novek’s episode of the Department of Communication’s Professor Profiles Podcast:

Professional Activities

The Monmouth University Academic Enrichment Program (with Dr. Johanna Foster), an academic partnership between Monmouth University and the New Jersey Department of Corrections. The program brings Monmouth students together with prison inmates for semester-long investigations of important issues related to mass incarceration, providing transformative experiences that engage students in hands-on learning . In 2017 the class presented a campus presentation of its research, “Reversing the flow: Making our prisons more like schools and our schools less like prisons.” The effort is ongoing in 2019-2020.

Editorial Board Member, Atlantic Journal of Communication

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Prison Education and Reentry

Awards and Honors

Literacy Volunteer of the Year Award, New Jersey Department of Corrections, 2015

Nomination, Distinguished Teaching Award, Monmouth University, 2015

Spiritual Communication Division, National Communication Association, third top paper award, 2015

Judith H. Stanley Traveling Fellowship for Teaching in the Humanities, 2011, 2007

George Gerbner Lecture,
Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, 2005

Community Engagement

Board of Directors, Redeem-Her Transitional Program for Women

State coordinator, Alternatives to Violence Project -NJ, 2009-present
As coordinator, I organize and lead nonviolence workshops in prisons, churches, and community centers; recruit, train and maintain a growing organization of volunteer facilitators; compile workshop participation reports for the national organization; and serve as liaison to correctional facilities and community groups.

Nonviolence Training Affiliate, Level I Certification, Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation, University of Rhode Island Institute for Kingian Nonviolence


Frequently Taught Classes