Assistant Professor of Rhetorical Studies
Department of English and Program in Speech
453 Ross Hall
Fall 2017 office hours: TR 12:45-2:45
Eng 250H—Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Communication
SpCm 312—Business and Professional Speaking
Eng/SpCm 350—Rhetorical Traditions: Histories and Theories of Rhetoric
SpCm 412—Rhetorical Criticism
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, Communication Arts & Sciences (Rhetorical Studies), 2015
M.A., North Dakota State University, English (Rhetoric and Composition), 2011
B.A., North Dakota State University, Philosophy/Humanities, 2008
I was reluctant to go to college, but soon developed a love of learning. It was in my first-year writing and public speaking courses that I began to understand what it meant to think critically and to communicate effectively. I learned that there was a classical art of “rhetoric,” and I began to recognize how it operated everywhere around us—ranging from speeches by civic leaders to something as mundane as deciding what to wear in the morning.
In the classroom, then, I have high hopes that education should be transformative. Class is a success when a student notices something subtle in an advertisement, identifies a strategy that they can use to communicate more effectively, or asks a question that makes us think.
As a scholar, I study how people communicate about divisive public issues, such as gun violence and mental illness. I am interested in questions like: How do people communicate about controversial or divisive public issues? How might they do so more productively? And how can rhetorical scholars help to improve the quality of public debate and deliberation?
In short, I am a rhetorical critic, theorist, and educator whose work is guided by Wayne Booth’s claim that “the quality of our lives, moment by moment, depends upon the quality of our rhetoric.”
“Rhetorical Closure.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly (2017): Forthcoming.
“The Gap between Rhetorical Education and Civic Discourse.” The Review of Communication 16.2-3 (2016): 135-150.
(with J. Michael Hogan) “Rhetorical Studies and the Gun Control Debate: A Public Policy Perspective.” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 18.2 (2015): 359-371.
“‘Understanding’ Again: Listening with Kenneth Burke and Wayne Booth.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 44.5 (2014): 449-469.
“‘Moves’ Toward Rhetorical Civility.” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture 14.3 (2014): 393-413.
“Rhetorics of Civility: Theory, Pedagogy, and Practice in Speaking and Writing Textbooks.” Rhetoric Review 32.3 (2013): 331-48.
“Barack Obama’s 2009 University of Notre Dame Commencement.” Voices of Democracy 7 (2012): 60-75. http://voicesofdemocracy.umd.edu/vod-journal/vod-journal-volume-7/
Link to CV