Leslie Jarmon

Author Biography

Leslie Jarmon (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) was a Faculty Development Specialist and Senior Lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin with the Division for Instructional Innovation and Assessment. Dr. Jarmon was Principal Investigator for the UT System’s statewide extension of operations into Second Life, a first-in-the-world initiative that includes 16 academic, medical, and health science university campuses, and thousands of students and faculty. She designed and taught graduate level courses at UT-Austin from 1998 to 2009 with the Office of Graduate Studies. She is perhaps best known for creating the world's first multimedia digital dissertation to be accepted entirely on CD-ROM in 1996. We are saddened to report that Dr. Jarmon passed away in November 2009, between the time when this article was accepted and when it was published.


For public meetings in general, and for the North Omaha Development Project Meeting in particular, a Conversation Analysis (CA) approach asks how participants in public meetings involved in decision-making communicate and display their trust and mistrust of one another. From a CA perspective, while it is important to examine ways to cultivate greater trust in the public arena, research is also warranted that looks closely at people’s observable talk and behavior to better understand how the qualities of trust and mistrust are enacted by participants and how others orient to those displays. Power differences are critical, and whether the organizers are controlling the agenda or whether the attendees are attempting to influence the meeting’s procedural mechanisms, these are behaviors that must in the end be performed as the proceedings unfold. Displays of observable behavior are subject to empirical analysis and are the focus of what a CA approach can contribute to the study of public meetings.