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Jon Nussbaum to be named NCA Distinguished Scholar

The Department learned that Professor Jon Nussbaum will be named an NCA Distinguished Scholar at the annual convention in November.

"I am honored to be named a Distinguished Scholar by the National Communication Association. I have been mentored and supported by an extraordinary group of colleagues and graduate students throughout the entirety of my career. Their guidance and inspiration have elevated my "game" and have been the best part of my academic life."

Congratulations to Jon on this tremendous honor!! Click here to read more.


John Gastil pens new op-ed in wake of BREXIT

In the wake of the historic Brexit vote, our own John Gastil has written this new op-ed: Click here!

Kurt Braddock interviewed by Interfaith Voices

Recently, Kurt Braddock did an interview (along with Imam Mohamed Magid) with Interfaith Voices about counter-narratives and radicalization. The show broadcasts on 85 NPR stations.

Here's the link:

Rachel McLaren becomes associate professor in the Dept. of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa

Rachel McLaren, PhD 2008, was recently granted tenure and promotion to the rank of associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa! Rachel’s research seeks to clarify the interplay of communication, cognition, and emotion in response to significant experiences, such as hurtful interactions, within personal relationships. She also examines how relationship and situational characteristics influence people’s ability to process relational messages. In the classroom, Rachel teaches courses on communication and conflict and the dark side of interpersonal communication.  While at Penn State, Rachel completed her MA under the direction of Professor Dennis Gouran, and her PhD was supervised by Professor Denise Solomon.

Congratulations, Rachel! We are Penn State proud!!

Congratulations Jeff Kurr!

Congratulations Jeff Kurr!

Jeffrey A. Kurr has received a grant from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation for research on his book project, When the Fed Speaks. Currently a doctoral student in Communication Arts and Sciences, Jeff hopes to builds on his dissertation about the role of the Federal Reserve in economic policy debates. The project examines the differing rhetorical strategies of influential Fed chairs, including Marriner Eccles, William McChesney Martin Jr., Arthur Burns, Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, and Ben Bernanke. The research grant from the Ford Presidential Foundation will provide Jeff the resources necessary to conduct research on Arthur Burns, who was Fed chair during the Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations. In addition to contributing to public understanding of the changing role of the Fed in economic debates, Jeff hopes to illuminate the challenges involved in engaging the public in debates over complex economic policies.

Jeff acknowledges the support he has received for the project from his advisor, Professor J. Michael Hogan, the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences, the Center for Democratic Deliberation at Penn State, and several other research centers and funding agencies, including the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the University of Utah library, and the Volcker Alliance.

David Dzikowski, Ines Meyer-Hoess, and Amber Walker Jackson promoted to Senior Lecturer

Three of our CAS instructors, David Dzikowski, Ines Meyer-Hoess, and Amber Walker Jackson, have all been promoted to Senior Lecturer.

David Dzikowski teaches public speaking (CAS 100A and CAS 100C) and public address studies (CAS 475).  His research focuses on the history of rhetoric, presidential rhetoric, and the rhetoric of film, radio, television, and music.  These research interests advance and inform his teaching strategies through depth of content and breadth of examples in classroom lectures and activities.

Ines Meyer-Hoess is the lead faculty and organizer of the department's study abroad program in Vienna, Austria. An Austrian native, Ines came to the United States in 1998 to pursue a Master’s Degree in Communication at Boise State University after completing graduate school at the University of Vienna. Ines worked as a political consultant before attending the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C., where she focused on International Politics and International Communication. Ines became a CAS-faculty member in 2006 after teaching Marketing at Penn State's Smeal College of Business. What Ines finds most rewarding is the opportunity to connect with the many dedicated, hard-working Penn State students she works with on campus, online, and abroad.

Amber Walker Jackson teaches a variety of classes in the department, from communication and information technology (CAS 283) to several of the public speaking courses (100A, 100B, 100E) and studies family and relational communication. She is thrilled about the new title and about being able to continuing to teach classes she loves in this wonderful department.

Please join us in congratulating these three on their accomplishments! Bravo!

Dr. Rosa Eberly featured in the Austin American-Statesman

A wonderful editorial by our own Dr. Rosa Eberly was recently featured in the Austin American-Statesman. She speaks to the power of public places and shared memories--a real-world application of what she frequently teaches and discusses with her students here at Penn State.

Read the full article here!…/eberly-consider-an-educ…/nqrkL/

Penn State Speech & Debate Society has impressive showing at state championships


Penn State Speech & Debate Society has impressive showing at state championships


February 25, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Speech & Debate Society made history at the annual Pennsylvania Forensic Association (PFA) Championship Tournament held Feb. 20-21 at Lafayette College.

Seckin Kara, a freshman science pre-major, won the state championship in impromptu speaking. According to PFA records, this is the first championship that Penn State has won in decades at the state tournament. Seckin was also a semifinalist in parliamentary debate and finished third in the after dinner speaking category.

Will Patton, a senior economics major, was a runner-up in persuasive speaking and qualified for the 142nd Interstate Oratorical Association Contest, the nation’s oldest competitive speaking tournament. Will called the achievement a “defining moment as a Penn Stater” despite only joining the team a short year ago. “The society has provided an avenue for me to cultivate my speaking skills,” Will said. "Joining is truly one of the best things that could've ever happened to me.”

Other members of the Speech & Debate Society also enjoyed broad success:

  • Ricardo Rojas, senior electrical engineering major, second overall speaker in parliamentary debate;
  • Collin Warren, senior economics major, runner-up in Informative speaking and finalist in extemporaneous speaking;
  • Neema Esfandi, freshman undeclared, semifinalist in parliamentary debate;
  • and Adrianne Kubiak, freshman information science major, finalist in dramatic interpretation.

The team’s impressive showing represents an important step in its growth. “Penn State used to be very dominant before the team was disbanded in the early 2000s,” said Collin Warren, who is also the society’s president.

Collin thinks this win will “create momentum” the team needs for next month's Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament at the University of Kentucky and into the future.

Jeremy David Johnson, graduate assistant in communication arts and sciences and of the team's coaches, echoed Collin's sentiments. “Our team is very young,” Jeremy said. “Our success at states means we are poised to do big things in the coming years.”

Growing the team will be difficult given its limited funds; but, with more success, its coaches and members are optimistic that they will be able to secure more funding to involve more students.

For more information about the Penn State Speech & Debate Society, contact Jeff Kurr, director of debate, at or visit the society's website.


Camp Rhetoric 2016

Camp Rhetoric 2016, hosted by the Arnold Ebbitt Interdisciplinary Rhetoricians (AEIR) at Penn State, is set to take place on February 19th and 20th. The event brings together rhetoricians of both English and Communication departments from all over the country. Over two days, Camp Rhetoric will feature presentations by leading rhetorical scholars, works-in-progress sessions where graduate students work directly with faculty to workshop their writing, and discussion panel presentations where both students and faculty present on various topics of pedagogical and/or theoretical interest.

You can find the full schedule at AEIR’s website, here: Registration takes place on the day of the conference, and costs $15. Questions? Reach out to AEIR at!

CAS Student Briana Adams to receive Penn State's Jackson Lethbridge Tolerance Award

Briana Adams, a CAS Major, has been selected to receive Penn State's Jackson Lethbridge Tolerance Award.  The purpose of this award is to recognize broad-minded students who openly promote responsible citizenship and civil respect for diversity within the Penn State community, while emphasizing a nature of respectful tolerance for the differences among our constituents. 

 Congratulations, Briana!