Dr. Tamara L. Burk

Program Chair

Professor of Communication | John Reeves Professor of Leadership

Bush Science Center | 139

(803) 786-3554


Dr. Burk holds a Ph.D. and Ed.S. from The College of William and Mary and two professional development certificates from Harvard and the Terry College of Business. She is Chair of Communication, the John Reeves Endowed Chair of Leadership, and Director of the Leadership Studies and the PLACE (Philanthropy, Leadership & Community Engagement) Programs. Her scholarly interests include pedagogy, leadership education, communication studies, gender and social justice.

She has published numerous articles and book chapters in outlets such as Communicative Understandings of Women’s Leadership Development: From Ceilings of Glass to Labyrinth Paths, Carolinas Communication Annual, Exploring the Evidence: Reporting the Outcomes of First-Year Seminars, Virginia Journal of Communication, Women and Language, and Women Speak. She co-authored the book Teaching Oral Communication in Grades K-8 and is also the author of the book Instructional Development and Classroom Communication: A Case Study of First-Semester College Students in the Liberal Arts Curriculum. Dr. Burk has received many campus and community awards since she began teaching here in 2003, including the Undergraduate Studies Students’ Choice Award for Teaching Excellence at Columbia College 4 different times.

Awards & Accomplishments

  • Experienced Innovative Educator Award, 2021 | Teaching Innovation Committee
  • Senior Excellence Award, 2020 | Teaching, Scholarship, Service
  • Women of Influence, 2020 | Columbia Regional Business Report, Columbia SC
  • Faculty Excellence Award, 2019 | Teaching, Scholarship, Service
  • Educator of the Year, 2015 | Eau Claire Community Council, Eau Claire, SC
  • TWIN Honoree, 2015 | Palmetto Center for Women, Columbia, SC
  • Undergraduate Studies Students’ Choice Award for Teaching Excellence, 2016, 2014, 2008 & 2006 Columbia College, SC
  • Honors Faculty member of the Year Award, 2013 | Columbia College, SC
  • Spirit of Inclusion Award, 2012


  • Burk, T.L. August 2020. Showcase Your Skills with Virtual Badges. SC Women’s Business Center, online.
  • Burk, T.L. August 2019. Students and Employees Say E-Badges Reflect Career Goals and Lifelong Learning. Greater Columbia Business Monthly, p.17.
  • Burk, T. L., Mallett, K. L. & Gregg Boyles, K. 2015. The Opportunity to Choose Courage,..What Will You Do?, Carolinas CCA Communication Annual, Volume XXXI. Columbia, SC, pp. 77 - 80.
  • Burk, T. L., 2013 - present. The PLACE Fellows Program (Philanthropy, Leadership, & Community Engagement), Grant funded by Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina.
  • Burk, T. L., Laff, N. & Payseur, E. 2011. Cultivating Women Leaders: One Voice at a Time, Chapter 2. Communication Understandings of Women’s Leadership Development: From Ceilings of Glass to Labyrinth Paths. Lexington Books, pp. 37-56.
  • Burk, T. L. & Payseur, E. 2010. Re-Envisioning Lead Scholars: Building a Leadership and Service Cohort. In “Best of Show” Edition, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.
  • Tate, H., Munsell, J., Love, K. & Burk, T. L. 2008. Reinvigorating the Communication Curriculum at Columbia College through Leadership Pedagogy. Carolinas CCA Communication Annual, Volume XXIV. Charlotte, NC, pp. 31-46.
  • Burk, T. L. 2005. Instructional Development and Classroom Communication: A Case Study of First- Semester College Students in the Liberal Arts Curriculum. University Press of America, New York, NY.
  • Burk, T. L. 1998. The College of William and Mary. In B. Barefoot (ed.), Exploring the Evidence: Reporting Outcomes of First-Year Seminars, Vol II. National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, pp. 49 - 50.
  • Burk, T. L. & Moody, K. E. 1998. Working toward an Efficient and Effective Oral Communication Program. Proceedings of the Australian Communication Skills Conference. The University of Melbourne Press, pp. 37 - 44.
  • Burk, T. L. 1998. Women, Bodies, and Food for Thought: A Thematic Analysis of Journal Entries. Virginia Journal of Communication, vol. 11: pp. 33 - 62.
  • Chaney, A. L. & Burk, T. L. 1998. Teaching Oral Communication in Grades K - 8. Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA.
  • Burk, T. L. 1996. Collaborative Group Performance Among Three Generations of Women. Women and Language, vol. XIX, n. 1: pp. 3 - 8.
  • Burk, T. L. 1995. Respect: A Baccalaureate Address. In G. Grice & J. Skinner's, Mastering Public Speaking. Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA, pp. 451 - 455.
  • Burk, T. L. 1994. When Resources are Limited: Using Assessment & Curricular Reform to Develop an Efficient Oral Comm Program. 1994 SCA Assessing College Student Competency in Communication Proceedings, Washington, D.C.
  • Burk, T. L. 1993. A Model for Faculty Development - A Faculty Training & Development Seminar: An Approach to Achieving Oral Communication Competency. Speech Communication Association Publications, Annandale, VA.
  • Burk, T. L. 1991. Family Stories. In K. Foss & S. Foss (eds.), Women Speak. Waveland Press, pp. 90 - 107.

What do you love about working at Columbia College?

Having multiple roles, I get to work with a wide variety of students, and it is a privilege to guide them through transformational learning experiences both on and off campus.