• Communication Studies

Heidi Kevoe-Feldman

Associate Professor

As a scholar of language and social interaction, I study social life in situ and examine the most ordinary, routine activities that people do in great detail. Since social actions are meaningful and orderly in their production, my analytic interest centers on talk-in-interaction as central way through which people get things done. At the center of my research lies my curiosity for discovering the procedures that people use to overcome institutional barriers, humanize the service experience, and to seek help without having to explicitly ask. 

The beginning of my research endeavors started with customer service telephone calls from which I’ve published work that includes how customers use response cries for leveraging additional, unsolicited assistance. My interest in ordinary interaction and collaboration with other conversation analysts, have brought about findings that help advance the conversation analytic toolbox in the areas of sequence organization, repair, overall structural organization, and action formation. More recently, my collaboration with a State Police emergency dispatch center produced findings that sparked a policy change for managing a particular call type. My current research projects naturally extend from my work with the 911 emergency call centers. I am now working with a team of researchers on calls whereby professional negotiators and emergency call center dispatchers have to deal with people in crisis, with a specific focus on negotiation with suicidal people.

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  • PhD Communication (Language and Social Interaction), Rutgers University 2009


  • Research Fellowship, Loughborough University October 2017; March 2018
  • Top 4 paper, Language and Social Interaction Division at the National Communication Association Convention, San Diego, CA, 2008.
  • Visiting Scholar, University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Sociology, January-June, 2006
  • Visiting Scholar, University of California, Santa Barbara, Sociology Department, January-June, 2006.

Professional Experience

Courses Taught

  • COMM1231 Principles of Organizational Communication
  • COMM3532 Theories of Conflict and Negotiation
  • COMM4535 Nonverbal Social Interaction
  • COMM4631 Crisis Communication and Image Management
  • Directed Studies

Research/Publications Highlights

• Kevoe-Feldman, H. and C. Blair Sutherland (2018, March/April). The Four Second Rule’s for identifying the Active Silent 911 Caller. Annals of Emergency Dispatch and Response.


• Kevoe-Feldman, H. (forthcoming in 2018) Suppressing Complaints in Customer Service Encounters: An Interactional Approach for Understanding Complaint Management in Service Environments


• Kevoe-Feldman, H. (2016)Why Are You Concerned? A Consideration of Turn Distance and the Organization of the Interrogative Series in Wellness Check Calls to a University Police Department. Discourse Processes, 53(7) 556-580.


• Robinson, J. D., & Kevoe-Feldman, H. (2016). Making arrangements and the accountability of action. In J. D. Robinson (Ed.), Accountability in social interaction. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. (pp 264-293.)


• Kevoe-Feldman, H. (2015). Working the overall structural organization of a call: How customers use third position as leverage for gaining service representatives assistance in dealing with service problems. Language and Communication.  43, 47-57.


• Kevoe-Feldman, H. (2015) What can you do for me?: Customer led communication practices to personalize the service encounter.  Communication Monographs. DOI:10.1080/03637751.2015.1024916


• Kevoe-Feldman, H. (2015). Closing the gap in customer service encounters: Customers’ use of upshot formulations to manage service responses. Pragmatics and Society, 6(1), 67-88.


• Robinson, J.D. & Kevoe-Feldman, H. (2010) Using full repeats to initiate repair on others questions. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 43(3), 232-259.

Professional Affiliations

• National Communication Association


Research Interests

  • 911 Emergency Dispatch
  • Conversation Analysis
  • Conversation Analytic Role Play Method (CARM)
  • Corporate and Organizational Communication
  • Customer Service Training
  • Social Interaction