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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!

Robin Kramer selected to present at the 2016 Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium

Robin Kramer, Senior Lecturer in Communication Arts and Sciences, submitted a proposal to present a session at the 2016 Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium regarding her use of podcasting to provide student feedback. “My students have responded in an incredibly positive way to this form of feedback, so I'm excited to share more about it,” she said.

The event will be on March 19th. The title of her presentation will be "Speaking Through the Stack Efficiently and Painlessly: Grading via Podcasts."

You can find more information and register for the symposium here:

Dr. Brad Vivian and Dr. Michele Kennerly win Center for Humanities and Information Faculty Fellowships for 2016-17

Dr.’s Vivian and Kennerly have both won a Center for Humanities and Information Faculty Fellowship for 2016-17.

Dr. Vivian will be working on a book project that examines how idioms of witnessing have infused the public discourse of ordinary citizens, politicians, and civic institutions in recent decades, thus comprising a vital mode of influence in contemporary public culture. Dr. Kennerly will be working on her book project about how and when editorial polish functions as public argument in texts from classical Athens, Hellenistic Alexandria, and late Republican and early imperial Rome.

 Two PSU grad students have also won! Cory Geraths will be working on his dissertation about Manifestations and Mutations of Mary Magdalene, and David Maxson will be working on his dissertation about the Memoryscape of New Orleans.  

The CAS department congratulates these four on this outstanding achievement!

Kurt Braddock's research on Developing Counter-Terrorism Narratives featured in New York Magazine

Recently, CAS lecturer Kurt Braddock briefed the Pentagon on research on methods for Developing Counter-Terrorism Narratives, and now his work has been featured in an article by New York Magazine.

Read the article here!

Dr. Rachel Smith is part of a research team that has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study malaria prevention

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- In collaboration with partners in Europe and Africa, researchers at Penn State have received a five-year, $10.2-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to investigate a new method for preventing the transmission of malaria. The method involves limiting mosquito access to houses by blocking openings and installing "eave tubes" that contain a unique type of insecticide-laced mosquito netting developed by Dutch partner In2Care that kills the insects as they attempt to enter.

Read the whole story here!

Kurt Braddock Briefs Pentagon

Dr. Kurt Braddock, Ph.D. 2012, provided a briefing to the Pentagon covering his research on methods for Developing Counter-Terrorism Narratives.

“I have recently started a line of research in which I want to develop practical, actionable, theory-based guidelines for use in the field to counter violent extremism”, Braddock said. “The first paper that I wrote in this research agenda relates to the production and distribution of counter-narratives to reduce support for terrorism. It was recently accepted for publication in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism An online version of the document was posted online on November 9th, and within a few days, my co-author (Dr. John Horgan) heard from Dept. of Defense personnel about the possibility of briefing them on the paper. Given that it is my line of research and I am first author on the work, I was tapped to do a teleconference to brief individuals from all over the Department of Defense on the paper, and to respond to questions related to counter-narratives and how they might be used against groups like ISIS.”

“…the content of the paper that I presented relates to (a) how to analyze terrorist narratives to recognize and understand that ideas that underpin them, (b) how to incorporate themes into counter-narratives that challenge the themes in the terrorist narratives, and (c) how to distribute those counter-narratives to populations at risk for radicalization to counter violent extremism within those populations.”

CAS Student Marshall James Hutchison Accepted to Penn State Law

Our Spring 2015 Student Marshall James Hutchison has been accepted to Penn State Law on a $60,000 scholarship. He will also be a candidate for their joint MBA program. Way to go, James!

Jeff Kurr receives Top Student Paper Award from The American Society for the History of Rhetoric

At the National Communication Association's annual convention in Las Vegas this November, Jeff Kurr was presented with the Top Student Paper Award from The American Society for the History of Rhetoric for his paper "Skotison: The Dark Rhetorical Style of Fedspeak." Way to go, Jeff!

Dr. Rosa Eberly appears on KCRW's and PRI's "To The Point" to discuss public violence

On Wednesday our own Dr. Rosa Eberly was on KCRW's and PRI's "To The Point" with, among others, John Nichols of The Nation. The topic was public violence. It was poignant and sadly very timely, as during show's airing the news of the San Bernardino shootings broke.

You can listen to a recording of the show here:

CAS Fighting the Threat of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

CAS students, advisees, and professors steered a seminar on the leading threat to public health that was attended by over 250 students and over 50 local providers on Nov 17th. The seminar covered the latest social, biological, and clinical science on the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. Over 2 million infections occur a year in the United States, causing thousands of deaths. The photograph shows two PSU undergraduate students, Kaitlin Shartle and Lydia Glick, with Dr.

Rachel Levine, the physician general of Pennsylvania. CAS faculty, such as Smith and MacGeorge, and their students are conducting health communication research to guide interventions to address this leading threat to public health. Kaitlin and Lydia have been involved in this research, interned with the Department of Health, and conducted evidence-based workshops on the topic in the community, such as the event at Bennett childcare center (

Undergraduate students interested in getting involved in health communication research related to antibiotic resistance should contact Dr. Rachel Smith (

CAS Student Carrie Rein founds non-profit organization DreamTeen: Bringing Childhood Dreams to Foster Teens

For years Penn State student Carrie Rein had been pondering a single idea. “It is honestly impossible for me to pinpoint how I came up with the idea of DreamTeen,” she said, but she knew that somehow, one day, she would take foster children to Disney World.

Foster children are often subjected to many forms of neglect and abuse in foster care, severely affecting their mental health and
development, and lessening their chances of growing into a successful adult. “I decided it was time to start a nonprofit. During this time, I was in Bryan Blankfield's CAS100 [public speaking] class. Our last speech involved discussing a problem and a solution. Before writing my speech, I told Bryan I was in the process of starting a nonprofit, and asked if I could take advantage of this last speech to practice speaking about it in front of an audience. Using everything we learned in CAS100 about writing an effective speech, I wrote my first of many speeches to spread the word about my nonprofit.”

Carrie founded DreamTeen in June 2014, and received 501c(3) status a month later. Today, she is partnered with Children’s Aid and Family Services, hoping to raise enough money to bring some of their Professional Parent Homes (staffed homes serving adolescents in foster care between the ages of 13-18) on an all-expense-paid vacation to Disney World through the program DreamOrlando. “We strive to become a life-long family to these foster youth and support them through the transition process and all other life events,” Carrie said. “I am still using the effective communication skills I learned in CAS100 to form partnerships with other businesses, speak in front of other organizations, and speaking on camera. Aside from the direct skills I learned in CAS100, the indirect confidence I gained during that semester continually helps me fight through any nervousness I feel before presenting my nonprofit in front of my peers and other crowds.”

Carrie also started the DreamTeen club at Penn State, getting other students involved in supporting foster youth. They are planning the first annual DreamTeen event in April 2016. If you would like to get involved with the DreamTeen Club or the nonprofit contact Carrie at

The Department of Communication Arts and Sciences applauds Carrie for her amazing and inspiring work!

LJ Shen and Jim Dillard selected for 2015 Distinguished Article Award

Professors LJ Shen and Jim Dillard have been selected for the 2015 Distinguished Article Award conferred by the National Communication Association’s Communication and Social Cognition Division.  Division Chair Matt McGlone said that their article in Review of Communication Research titled “Threat, fear, and persuasion: Review and critique of questions about functional form” was selected from “an unusually large set of nominees this year, all reporting exemplary scholarship.” Professors Shen and Dillard will receive their award November 21st in Las Vegas at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association.

Jeremy Engels appears on the radio program “A Public Affair” out of Madison, Wisconsin to discuss his new book “The Politics of Resentment”

From WORT 89.9 FM out of Madison, Wisconsin:

Pledge Edition: Rhetoric and violence in “Politics of Resentment”

To continue this week with our fall pledge drive, Karma Chavez talks with Jeremy Engels, author “The Politics of Resentment.” His new book looks at the relationship between rhetoric and violence by examining events in U.S. history.

Jeremy Engels is an Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at Penn State University. His research investigates the rhetorical foundations of democratic practices, and their beauty, ugliness, and perplexity.

Recent Publication by J. Michael Hogan and Jeffrey A. Kurr

Our own J. Michael Hogan and Jeffrey A. Kurr recently published a white paper on "The Future of the Basic Course in Communication." The white paper summarizes the findings of a special double session held last spring at the 106th Annual Easter Communication Association Convention, "Deliberation: Philadelphia." The Center for Democratic Deliberation (CDD) was invited by the First Vice President of ECA, Kanan Sawyer, to facilitate the event featuring more than thirty communication scholars and teachers.

The White Paper is available at

Stephen Browne wins the National Communication Association's Distinguished Scholar Award!

Stephen Browne, Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at Penn State, has won the NCA Distinguished Scholar Award!

The NCA Distinguished Scholar Award was created in 1991 to recognize and reward NCA members for a lifetime of scholarly achievement in the study of human communication. Recipients are selected to showcase the communication profession. The award is supported by the Mark L. Knapp Distinguished Scholar Fund. Since 1992, those recognized as NCA Distinguished Scholars nominate and elect members to join this select group.


"I am of course gratified by the award," Browne said, "but it is really testimony to the superb scholars and departmental support I have benefited from throughout my career at Penn State."

Congratulations Stephen!

CAS featured in AlumnInsider


CAS is featured in a recent story in the AlumnInsider – a newsletter for members of the Penn State Alumni Association. The story highlights how the Department has played a critical role in education at Penn State for years, and how we continue to push contemporary conversations about civic engagement.


Here's the link!,0,w

New tenure-track job open in diversity, U.S. politics, and political communication

The Department of Communication Arts & Sciences, in collaboration with African American Studies and Political Science, seeks an assistant or associate professor who will be appointed as tenure-track faculty. To advance the missions of these departments and the interdisciplinary mission of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy [link to], applicants should demonstrate scholarly and teaching excellence at the intersection of diversity, U.S. politics, and political communication, broadly construed. To learn more about this job, click here.

Lindsey Aloia to receive the Sandra Petronio Dissertation Excellence Award!

We would like to congratulate Lindsey Aloia on winning the Sandra Petronio Dissertation Excellence Award conferred by the Family Communication Division of the National Communication Association. She will receive her award at the Family Communication Division Business meeting in Las Vegas in November. “I am honored to receive the prestigious Sandra Petronio Dissertation Excellence Award”, she said. “Thank you Dr. Denise Haunani Solomon for your consistent care and guidance that contributed to the successful completion of this project.  Receipt of this award affirms the importance of understanding the causes and consequences of verbal aggression in interpersonal associations.” Way to go Lindsey!   

New staff member Jason Traverse has long CAS history

Jason Traverse joined the staff supporting CAS, along with Philosophy, Applied Linguistics, and related centers/institutes.

What some may not have known was Jason's history as both a CAS major and a winner of the CAS/NYT public speaking contest. Thanks to the archives, we have unearthed that winning speech, and if you want to curse the high cost of bad drivers to society, or if you just want to see Jason shine, watch the full video here:

Mark Kohler unearthed this and shared it with Jason, who says that this contest "was the event that actually made me switch majors and become a CAS major instead. So, this is the very thing that began my CAS journey almost a decade ago, which has lead me to where I am now."

Dr. Mike Hogan to become Sparks Professor in Fall 2015

Starting in Fall 2015, Dr. Mike Hogan will be an Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Rhetoric in the College of the Liberal Arts. The Sparks and other named professorships in the College recognize full professors who are leaders in their fields and have an exceptional record of publication, grants, awards, and citations. Among Dr. Hogan's many achievements are securing a National Endowment for Humanities Challenge Grant for the Center for Democratic Deliberation. That grant alone helped establish an endowment for that center that will sustain it into the future.

For more on named professorships in the College, see

CAS Coauthors Kennerly and Geraths publish article for National Communication Assoc.

Our very own Michele Kennerly and Cory Geraths have just published an article "Pinvention: Updating the Commonplace Book for the Digital Age" in Communication Teacher, a quarterly publication from the National Communication Association. We congratulate them on this achievement and their fine work!

You can read more from Michele and Cory's article here on the National Communication Association's website!


Historically, commonplace books served as tools for rhetorical inspiration, invention, and collaboration. Full of assorted notes, scrapbooked images, and countless other artifacts, such volumes allowed rhetors to assimilate social knowledge, assemble arguments, and achieve copiousness in the service of their own rhetorical situations. We advocate a return to and re-vision of the commonplace book. The social networking platform Pinterest can function as a digital space for displaying the results of invention, and we detail how—by creating various boards and “pinning” different newspaper articles, images, videos, and other artifacts—students can construct digital commonplace books that are collaborative and generative.

Jessica Bargar Kuperavage wins the National Communication Association’s dissertation award!

Our own Jessica Bargar Kuperavage has won the NCA’s dissertation award this year! Titled "From Private Tragedy to Public Health: Public Health and the Rhetorics of Responsibility", Jessica’s dissertation was chosen from a record sixty dissertations submitted for this year’s contest. “My dissertation examined the ways Progressive Era reformers collected and spread information about preventive health measures and made their case for a deeper governmental commitment for the health of its people”,  Jessica said. “I explored this development from the perspective of a series of health campaigns and reforms that addressed infant and maternal mortality - reforms that set the political and rhetorical precedents for modern health and social welfare interventions.” Jeremy Engles was her adviser, along with Penn State faculty members J. Michael Hogan, Rachel A. Smith, and Susan Squire. “At the moment, I'm a mix of stunned and delighted. My dissertation felt risky while I was writing it, because I reached across the aisle into social scientific scholarship, so getting this stamp of approval from the field at large feels really great.” Way to go, Jessica!

CAS community members Parrot, Gouran, and Krieger receive awards

Three of our own have recently been recipients of distinguished awards for their great work. Janice Krieger has been awarded a University of Florida Foundation Professorship in recognition of her amazing record of scholarly contributions. Dennis Gouran has received the 2015 National Communication Association/American Forensic Association Conference on Argumentation Senior Scholar Award for his contributions to the study of argumentation. Roxanne Parrott has been named a Brashers Distinguished Mentor--The Dale E. Brashers Distinguished Mentor Award recognizes significant contributions to the field of health communication through mentorship of and advocacy for the discipline and its members. Kudos to all three!

Smith, MacGeorge and colleagues awarded PSU Pathway to Partnerships funding for novel research!

Communication Arts & Sciences' Rachel Smith and Erina MacGeorge, along with colleagues at Hershey Medical School and PA's Department of Health were awarded first stage funding through the PSU Pathway to Partnerships (P3) program. This funding will support their new research in the pediatric care context, focused on parent acceptance of “watchful waiting” (versus immediate antibiotic use) for children's ear infections, and childcare staffs' vaccination behavior. P3 funding runs in three stages: $5000 to develop a collaborative team, $75,000 to generate preliminary data, and then $300,000 for large proposal planning. The P3 funds will support and strengthen this innovative work on antibiotic stewardship and vaccine preventable childhood illness, helping to improve health in Pennsylvania and preparing the team to apply for R01 grants through the NICHD.

PSU Speech and Debate Society defeats Pitt, shines in tournaments

The Penn State Speech and Debate Society has enjoyed great success of late, defeating the University of Pittsburgh in the Centennial Debate—an event marking the 100th anniversary of the first debate between the two universities.

They also recently competed in the Lafayette Debates tournament in Washington D.C., and the Madison Cup in Harrisonburg, VA. They made it all the way to the Sweet 16 of the Lafayette Debates tournament before losing to the top seed, and took ninth place at the Madison Cup.

We applaud the Speech and Debate Society for continuing the tradition of debate competition at Penn State!

You can read more about their victory in the Centennial Debate over Pitt here:

You can read more about their efforts at the Lafayette Debates tournament and the Madison Cup here:

CAS major Briana Adams strives to bring awareness to injustice

CAS major and Schreyer Scholar Briana Adams is lauded in a Penn State News article today for her passion and activism. We are proud to call her one of our own! You can read the full article here: