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Former and Current Students on the Job Market


Dr. Lauren R. Camacci

Ph.D., Penn State University, Fall 2017
M.A., Penn State University, Spring 2014

Rhetorical Criticism; Critical Masculinities; Popular Culture Studies; Presidential Rhetoric

Lauren Camacci is a rhetorical critic and critical masculinities scholar with a particular interest in popular culture and the U.S. presidency. Her research interrogates how hegemonic masculinity is reflected in and shapes the U.S. presidency and U.S. popular culture; her work often studies at the intersections of the two. Dr. Camacci's dissertation examined the presidential rhetoric of Richard Nixon through three case studies, contending that one ought to consider Nixon's rhetoric as metonymic of mainstream white masculinity of his time and as responsible for creating a vocabulary for maintaining white, male dominance in a rapidly changing U.S. socio-political context. Dr. Camacci is also a rigorous and regular contributor to the growing interdisciplinary field of Harry Potter Studies, where most recently her work was published in Inside the World of Harry Potter (2018).

Dr. Camacci is also an active teacher and participates in service to the field. She has taught over twenty sections of public speaking and helped revamp the "Persuasion and Propaganda" course, having now taught the class three times. She has served as the President of the CAS Department’s Graduate Student Forum, and as a reviewer for the Public Address, and Feminist & Women's Studies, and Critical & Cultural Studies Divisions of the National Communication Association. Dr. Camacci also served as Dr. Michele Kennerly's 2015-2016 Assistant Director of the Basic Course. During her tenure as Assistant Director, she facilitated and improved the Semi-Annual Public Speaking Contest, increasing its publicity, working with ITS to create a webpage for the Contest, and moving the Contest to a larger venue, in addition to creating a “transition” packet for future Assistants.

Dr. Jeremy David Johnson

Ph.D., Penn State University, Spring 2018
M.A., Penn State University, Summer 2014

Digital Rhetoric; Rhetorical Theory & Criticism; Argumentation;
Rhetoric of Science & Technology

Jeremy David Johnson is a digital rhetorician whose research focuses on algorithms and networked civic engagement. Employing a mixture of textual criticism, rhetorical ethnography, and ecological tracing, he theorizes movement and change in networked rhetorics. His in-progress manuscript Algorithmic Architects investigates the role of algorithms in shaping networked rhetorics. Working from ancient Greek rhetoric—in the development of the term kosmos—to information theory and rhetorical conceptions of agency, the project contends that algorithms are world-makers, crafting networked spaces based on the desires and biases of human programmers and users. His work has appeared in the journal Argumentation & Advocacy as well as the edited volumes Ancient Rhetorics and Digital Networks and Theorizing Digital Rhetoric, with chapters forthcoming in Networking Argumentation and Information: Keywords. Jeremy’s research has been supported by the Penn State University Graduate Fellowship (2012-2013), Center for Democratic Deliberation Dissertation Fellowship (2016-2017), and Center for Humanities and Information Predoctoral Fellowship (2017-2018).

In the classroom, Jeremy has taught each of Penn State’s varieties of Public Speaking (including online sections), as well as Persuasion & Propaganda and Argumentation. Jeremy has administered or coached the Speech & Debate Society in various capacities over the past seven years. He has held a variety of service positions, including as the graduate representative on Penn State’s faculty committee, and has reviewed for the Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric and the Critical/Cultural Studies division of the National Communication Association. Jeremy has been honored with CAS’s Carroll C. Arnold Award for Scholarly Excellence, the CDD’s Nancy and Joseph Birkle Student Engagement Award, and the Michael Calvin McGee Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award from the 2017 Alta Argumentation Conference.

Xi Tian

Ph.D., Penn State University, anticipated Spring 2019
M.S., Texas Christian University, Spring 2015
B.A., University of Missouri, Columbia, Spring 2013

Interpersonal Communication; Supportive Communication; Psychological and Physical Well-being

Xi Tian is a communication scientist specializing in interpersonal communication. Her research examines social support and well-being in the face of non-normative stressors, such as bereavement. Her recent work considers communication factors and social resources that promote resilience in different health contexts, including coping with miscarriage and managing the progression of a genetic disease (Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency). Her dissertation explores the role of narrative supportive communication in reducing resistance to social support and facilitating coping with the death of a parent. She uses an experimental design to manipulate narrative and person-centered messages in two studies; one is an online, between subjects experiment, and the other one is a laboratory interaction study. Her work has appeared in Communication Studies, Journal of Language and Social Psychology, and Death Studies.

In addition to her research, Ms. Tian has an active teaching and service profile. She has taught Effective Speech, Communication Theory, Communication Research Methods, Interpersonal Communication, and a Senior-level course on Family Communication and Research. She has served as the Community Relations Chair for the CAS Department's Graduate Student Forum, as the Communication Research Lab Coordinator for the CAS Department, and as a reviewer for the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and Communication Quarterly.

Dr. Keren Wang

Ph.D., Penn State University, Summer 2018
Master of International Affairs, Penn State University, Spring 2013

Rhetorical Theory and Criticism; Political and Legal Communication; Transnational Human Rights Discourse

Keren Wang is a rhetorical theorist and political communication scholar. His published academic works cover topics such as transnational rhetorics, social change, rhetorics of law, human rights discourse, and citizenship practices. His research addresses the question of how collective memories shape contemporary discourses of unity and division at both local and global levels. More information about his research and work can be found at his personal website: