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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.


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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: