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Graduate Student and Alumni News

We hope you enjoy reading about the many things our current graduate students and graduate student alumni are accomplishing in their careers as communication scholars. If you are a current student or an alum of our graduate program, we'd love to hear your news. Follow this link to a form that will collect your news story -- then look for it on this page in the near future!

News Submission Form

Jessica 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, Jessica Kurr was presented with the Top Student Paper Award from The American Society for the History of Rhetoric for her paper "Skotison: The Dark Rhetorical Style of Fedspeak." Way to go, Jessica!

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

Our own J. Michael Hogan and Jessica 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

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!   

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!