What I do
Professor of Communication Studies, Director of Debate, Affiliate Faculty in Conflict Resolution.
Collaboration, Debate, Rhetoric
I joined the department of Communication Studies in 1993. I received my Ph.D in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University–Carbondale. My research interests are community collaboration, political argumentation, freedom of speech, affect theory and academic debate.
- Ph.D., Speech Communication, Southern Illinois University, 1995
- American Forensics Assocation
- International Society for the Study of Argumentation
- National Communication Assocaiation
My research is focused on two areas: collaboration and political argumentation. In terms of collaboration, I design and evaluate collaborative processes used in community settings, often in the areas of public health and education. My research focuses on the dimensions of high-quality processes, including inclusion, equity, transparency and authenticity. I have developed instruments to assess the quality of collaborative processes and examine how process quality influences programatic outcomes. In terms of political argumentation, I have written extensively on evolving standards of political reasonableness and how they have historically and currently shape political decision-making, with past work focusing on economic regulation, national security policy and the law. A second area of research in political argumentation addresses the nature of political conviction––how it is formed, how it animates public controversy and how it motivates political extremism.
Areas of Research