Professor Pentz teaches Management Communication, with an emphasis on effective public speaking, business writing, and communication strategy. She has particular interests in communication in relation to leadership, diversity, interdisciplinary and cross-cultural communication in groups, corporate social responsibility, teaching the management of others’ writing, and coaching public speaking.
At McIntire, Professor Pentz teaches Communication, Public Speaking, and Corporate Communication in the core undergraduate ICE program. In ICE over the past 15 years, she has taught with both Teams II and VI, and currently serves as the Team Leader for ICE Team 2 (Blocks 3 and 4). Professor Pentz serves as the Communication Coordinator for the M.S. in Accounting Program, for which she also teaches a graduate-level Management Communication course. In her upper-level undergraduate Advanced Business Speaking course, Professor Pentz has for the last decade helped students develop their individual speaking style using techniques from improvisation, drama, and data-driven presenting.
Since 2015, Professor Pentz has served as Co-Director of the Meriwether Lewis Institute Summer Program. She has been an Instructor with the Jefferson Scholars Foundation's Institute for Leadership & Citizenship for over a decade, and has developed workshops and taught short courses for both UVA's Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. She is a member of “Speak Your Mind” and other interest groups centered on communicating research well and the importance of public communication skills for the successful UVA graduate. Professor Pentz is the recipient of an All-University Teaching Award (2010) and McIntire’s Order of Claw & Dagger Faculty Recognition Award (2012). Her research interests include integrating communication into cross-disciplinary curricula, developing communication strategies to empower people to speak more effectively about research, communication pedagogy, and adapting theater strategies as a tool to enhance group dynamics and teach presentation and public-speaking skills. Her graduate work in American literature focused on 19th century constructions of masculinity, specifically male ethical codes of commerce and competence as promulgated through popular literature and theatrical/entertainment culture.