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Mark Hlavacik

I am an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of North Texas. Currently, I am working to publish my first book project, entitled: Assigning Blame: The Rhetoric of Education Policy. At UNT, I have written and disseminated a national survey of collegiate debate programs in cooperation with several of my new colleagues. I will be presenting the preliminary results of that project at the first ever Speech and Debate as Civic Education conference at Penn State in March 2015. This fall 2015, Rhetoric & Public Affairs will publish an article I co-authored with Joseph Rhodes while at Penn State entitled, Imagining Moral Presidential Speech: Barack Obama's Niebuhrian Nobel. Lately, I have taken an interest in the phenomenon of curriculum controversies and am currently preparing an essay exploring rhetoric surrounding Jerome Bruner's controversial curriculum Man: A Course of Study. Right now, I am teaching my very first graduate seminar, COMM 5640: Rhetorical Studies in Ancient Greece, Ancient Greece in Rhetorical Studies. Aside from our professional lives, my fiancé Rachel and I are enjoying all of the independent coffee and music in our new hometown Denton, Texas

For me, Penn States was pretty much exactly the right place to be for graduate school. Penn State hosts an impressive community of scholars interested in rhetoric and civic education stretching across its Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, English Department, and School of Education. In each of those places, I was given, frankly, more opportunities for professional growth and activity than I was ultimately able to take advantage of during seven years I spent as an MA student, PhD student, and postdoctoral fellow in State College. In retrospect, I am particularly proud to see the Penn State Speech and Debate Society I helped to found continue to grow with the support of CAS and the College of the Liberal Arts. I am also very appreciative of the CAS faculty's rare combination of leading scholarship, support for graduate education, and thoughtful graduate pedagogy. I got to train with some of the nation's best rhetoric and communication scholars, I got funded to travel to the nation's best communication and rhetoric conferences, and all the while I was utterly free to choose the direction of my scholarship. Graduate does not get a whole lot better than that. I graduated in the Spring of 2014.