YWCA Awards A&M-Corpus Christi Communication Professor Diana Ivy

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Even at the tender age of 4, it was clear to her family that Diana Ivy had a thing for the stage.

“My mother was at a meeting of the United Methodist Women at our Methodist church in Fort Worth, my hometown, and I got on a stage and sang ‘Old Susanna,’” Ivy said. “That was the beginning of it – I have always loved theatricality, so I did a lot of speech and drama in high school.” 

A self-confessed “ham,” Ivy, as she prefers to be called – not Dr. or Diana but Ivy – has enjoyed a long and fruitful academic career in front of the classroom, on a stage giving presentations and speeches, and publishing papers and books.

However, Ivy, Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, isn’t just a professor and academic who has taught Islanders for more than a quarter century. She is also a mentor, an advocate, a singer, and an entrepreneur. On Thursday, March 5, Ivy will be one of eight local women receiving the YWCA Y Women in Careers award at the Ortiz Center.  

“It's the 40th anniversary of the YWCA giving this award, and it's the hundredth anniversary of women getting the right to vote. Of all the times I could win this award, this was the year, and it is just a blast,” Ivy said. “It’s just the coolest thing that’s happened to me in a long time.”

A nationally and internationally respected academic whose areas of specialization include gender communication and public speaking among others, Ivy regularly presents at the yearly meetings of the National Communication Association (NCA) and the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender.

Additionally, Ivy has written three books, including GenderSpeak, which is used across the nation for communication studies courses. She has also authored multiple publications, including articles and book chapters. In 2015, Ivy conducted a yearlong faculty development leave where she traveled both domestically and internationally to learn about how sexual consent is discussed and responded to on college campuses – leading to another publication.

Along with her accolades, Ivy served for four years as the second director of the Island University’s Women’s Center for Education and Service – a now-closed center founded by the late Dr. Miriam Wagenschein in 1995 to improve the well-being and extend the education of female faculty, staff, and students.

Ivy said she is especially honored to be recognized by the community she has been a part of since her arrival at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in 1994.

“I think of myself as kind of a university person but then I think, ‘Ivy, you’ve done stuff at the Y, you give speeches, you’ve sung in the Corpus Christi Chorale for 15 years, you’re connected to the Arts Center, you’re connected to the Rockport Center for the Arts,’” she said. “So, to see that I have done more things that connect to the community and in service to South Texas and Corpus Christi and not just the University – that was very affirming.”