Ellen Jean Defossez

Visiting Assistant Professor

What I do

Visiting Teaching Assistant Professor


health communication, Rhetorical theory, Digital Media Studies

Professional Biography

I joined the department of Communication Studies at the University of Denver in 2017. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018, and my M.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012. I research and teach primarily within the fields of health communication, rhetorical theory, and digital media studies.


  • Ph.D., Communication , University of Pittsburgh, 2018
  • MA, Communication , University of Illinois at Chicago, 2012
  • BS, Communication , Ohio University, 2008

Featured Publications

Defossez, E. J. (2016). Between control and constraint: Charting three rhetorics of patient agency. POROI , 12(1).
Defossez, E. J. (Ed.). (2016). Health and personal responsibility in the context of neoliberalism: Cultivating alertness, autonomy, and accountability . International Journal of Communication and Health .


  • Top Paper, National Communication Association, Kenneth Burke Society
  • Andrew W. Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship
  • Graduate Writing Award in Literacy, Pedagogy and Rhetoric , University of Pittsburgh
  • Top Student Paper, National Communication Association, Mass Communication Division