Department of Communication
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Doctoral Alumni

2014

Tracy Manning SchafferDr. Tracy Manning Schaffer
Advisor: Dr. Amanda Young
Dissertation: The Experience of The Addiction-Affected Family: A Communication Based Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis

 

 

 

Melissa Thompson headshotDr. Melissa Thompson
Advisor: Dr. Amanda Young
Dissertation: Barriers to Communicating About HPV Vaccination: A Case Study of Parents and Healthcare Providers in a Rural, Religious Community
Current Position: Communication Across the Curriculum, Louisiana State University

Melissa Thompson’s graduate work is focused in health communication. Her professional experience is in marketing and communications, event coordinating, and undergraduate teaching.  Research interests include: female and adolescent health communication, health literacy, patient- and family-centered care, patient and provider relationships, and vaccine compliance in pediatric medicine.  Her dissertation examines the communication barriers and strategies between parents and pediatric providers about HPV vaccine compliance in a rural, Southern community.  She is currently working for Communication across the Curriculum (CxC), a division of Academic Affairs at Louisiana State University.  As the first program of its kind in the nation, CxC works with LSU faculty to train, guide and recognize students who demonstrate exceptional communication skills across four communication modes: written, spoken, visual presentation and technological.  She is also on the team that plans and executes the annual TEDxLSU event in Baton Rouge.  In her free time, Thompson enjoys attending LSU football and baseball games, photography, cycling, teaching spin classes, reading anything written by Richard K. Massie, and volunteering for her sorority, Delta Gamma, and the Junior League of Baton Rouge.  For more information,visit my online portfolio

Jonathan Woodall headshotDr. Jonathan Woodall
Advisor: Dr. Sandra Sarkela
Dissertation: The Post-Termination Rhetoric of the American Restoration Movement
Current Position: Lead Minister, GracePointe Church of Christ

Jonathan holds degrees from Rochester College in Rochester, MI and Harding School of Theology in Memphis, TN. He has an interest in the rhetoric of social movements, particularly grass roots religious movements.  His research explores rhetoric at an intersection that brings together biblical hermeneutics, the human condition, and powerful voices of leadership.  Jonathan serves as a minister in Memphis, and has taught Oral Communication and Critical Themes of the Old Testament at the University of Memphis.

2013

Dr. Melody Lehn
Advisor: Dr. Antonio de Velasco
Dissertation: "Talking It Over" with Hillary: Domestic and Global Advocacy, 1995-2000
Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina-Extended Campus

Dr. Pat Loebs
Advisor: Dr. Sandra Sarkela
Dissertation: An Appeal to the World: The Controversial Rhetoric of Samuel Adams
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Grace College (Indiana)

Dr. Claire Rhodes
Advisor: Dr. Craig Stewart
Dissertation: From Slurs to Science, Racism to Revisionism: White Nationalist Rhetors and Legitimation in the Stormfront Community
Current Position: Professor of Communications (Converged), Florida State College at Jacksonville

Dr. Cicely Wilson
Advisor: Dr. Katherine Hendrix
Dissertation: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Communication Apprehension in First Generation College Students at a Four-Year College
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Chicago State University

2012

Dr. Jennifer Jackson
Advisor: Dr. Sandra Sarkela
Dissertation: Cindy Sheehan's Confrontational Iraq War Protests: A Case Study in Contentious Rhetoric.
Current Position: Middle Tennessee State University

Dr. Mittie Carey
Advisor: Dr. Sandra Sarkela
Dissertation: Freedom Faith of Prathea L. Hall: A Hybrid Rhetoric of Protest
Current Position: Western Kentucky University

2011

Dr. Mahmoud Al-Sadi
Advisor: Dr. John Campbell
Dissertation: Al-Jazeera Television: Intifadah on the Air

Dr. Leora Elli
Advisor: Dr. Katherine Hendrix
Dissertation: Exam Room Computers and Patient-Clinician Communication
Current Position: Memphis VA Medical Center

Dr. Morgan Ginther
Advisor: Dr. Sandra Sarkela
Dissertation: From the Closed Society to the Realization of Freedom: The Mississippi Delegation Debate at the 1964 Democratic National Convention
Current Position: Georgia Southern University

Dr. Paul Wangsvick
Advisor: Dr. Sandra Sarkela
Dissertation: The Contested Reputation of Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Reception History of Rhetorical Discourse
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Woosong University

2010

Dr. Tesfa Alexander
Advisor: Dr. Amanda Young
Dissertation: Engaging Rural Community Members as Problem Solvers: Application of Health Communication to Improve the Quality of Health Care in Southwest Uganda
Current Position: Health Communication Specialist, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Dr. Sean T. Connable
Advisor: Dr. Katherine G. Hendrix
Dissertation: Echoing Silence: Fundamentalism, Inerrancy, and the Social Construction of Reality in the Southern Baptist Holy War
Current Position: Full-time Instructor, Department of Leadership and American Studies, Christopher Newport University

Dr. Kimberly Patrice Johnson
Advisor: Dr. Sandra Sarkela
Dissertation: Say “Amen” for the Sistahs: The Rhetoric of Womanist Preaching
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Speech Communication, Tennessee State University

Dr. Shirley Oakley
Advisor: Dr. Sandra Sarkela
Dissertation: Mothers Against Democracy: Hebe de Bonafini’s Rhetorical Strategies of Resistance
Current Position: Academic Chair of Communication, St. Petersburg College

Dr. Tracy Rutledge
Advisors: Dr. Pradeep Sopory and Dr. Sandra Sarkela
Dissertation: A Cognitive Model of College Choice: Examining the decision making-process and influence of visually-verbally redundant message design on college choice
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Communications, University of Tennessee at Martin

Dr. Elizabeth Stephens
Advisor: Dr. Amanda Young
Dissertation: America's P.R.I.D.E: Entertainment Education as a Health Communication Intervention Strategy for Middle-School and High School Students
Current Position: Middle Tennessee State University

2009

Dr. Christopher D. Bond
Advisor: Dr. Amanda Young
Dissertation: Examining Health Risk Perception Through Listening: The Effect of Receiver Apprehension and Tailored Listening Style Preference Messages on Adult Pertussis Vaccination Decisions
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies & Theatre, Missouri Western University and Vice President, International Listening Association

Dr. Kenneth Edward Embry, IV
Advisor: Dr. Pradeep Sopory
Dissertation: Friendship and Components of Intimacy: Role of Relationship Modality and Gender
Current Position: Professor of Communication, Florida College

Dr. Chris Oldenburg
Advisor: Dr. Michael Leff
Dissertation: The Status and Function of Rhetorical Anecdotes in Presidential Debates from 1980-2004: Synecdoche, Identification, and Ethotic Argument
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Illinois College

Dr. Walter T. Viner
Advisor: Dr. John Campbell
Dissertation: Logic of the Heart: Alexander Campbell’s Rhetoric and Hermeneutics on Christian Identity, Slavery, and Church Organization
Current Positions: Adjunct Faculty at Mid-South Christian College at Memphis and Senior Minister at Park Village Christian Church

2008

Dr. Jonathan Camp
Advisor: Dr. Amanda Young
Dissertation: Improving Interorganizational Communication to Raise Standards for Human Subjects Protection in El Salvador: A Focus Group's Study with Research Ethics Committee Members and Parents of Children with Cancer
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Communication, Abilene Christian University

Dr. Matthew M. Doggett
Advisor: Dr. John Campbell
Dissertation: Don Sundquist and Tax Reform: Is Political Prudence an Oxymoron?
Current Position: Instructor, Department of Communication, Bowling Green State University, Ohio

Dr. Jill Greenman
Advisor: Dr. Michael Leff
Dissertation: From  Grief to Hope: A Study of How the New York Times Inspired a Nation to Transcend the Tragedy of 9/11
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Bradley University

Dr. Andre' Johnson
Advisor: Dr. Michael Leff
Dissertation: The Prophetic Oratory of Henry McNeal Turner
Current Position: Dr. James L. Netters Associate Professor of Rhetoric & Religion and African American Studies, Memphis Theological Seminary

The Religious Communication Association selected Dr. Andre E. Johnson's article "The Prophetic Persona of James Cone and the Rhetorical Theology of Black Theology," for its 2011 Religious Communication Article Award. According to the announcement letter, the selection committee felt that Dr. Johnson's work "represented a superior level of scholarship on the interplay of rhetorical and theological discourse."

Dr. Sally Paulson
Advisor: Dr. John Campbell
Dissertation: The Lessons of the School Desegregation Cases: The “Reasonable Basis Test” and the Rhetoric of the Fourteenth Amendment
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Communication Studies and Theatre Arts, Delta State University, Mississippi

Dr. Frank Anthony Thomas
Advisor: Dr. Michael Leff
Dissertation: “I'm Happy Tonight:” Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Discourse of Prophetic Reconciliation
Current Position: Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Academy of Preaching and Celebration, Christian Theological Seminary

Dr. Mark Vail
Advisor: Dr. Michael Leff
Dissertation: Realms of Reception: The Rhetorical Response to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, Dept of English, Speech, and Journalism, Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, GA 

2007

Dr. Ryan Clark
Advisor: Dr. John Campbell
Dissertation: Reading for Intent: Why Authors Matter In Criticism

Dr. Owen Brett Cooper
Advisor: Dr. John Campbell
Dissertation: Exploring the Rhetorical Impact of WDIA
Current Position: Vice President for College Relations, Williams Baptist College

Dr. Bistra Nikiforova
Advisor: Dr. M. Allison Graham
Dissertation: How Many Can We Educate, Medicate, Incarcerate, Celebrate, Compensate? Representations of Ethnic Groups in the Memphis Commercial Appeal (1990-2006)
Current Position: University of New England

Dr. Richard Otto
Advisor: Dr. Katherine Hendrix
Dissertation: A Study of the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game Everquest: Can a Virtual Game World be a Community?
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Media Communication and Technology, East Stroudsburg University

Dr. Jason T. Phillips
Advisor: Dr. John Campbell
Dissertation: Bad Medicine: Extreme Contextualization in Popular Songs and Videos from 1987-2005

2006

Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Zuhayyan
Advisor: Dr. Pradeep Sopory
Dissertation:Construction of Saudi Arabia's Social Reality Before and After September 11, 2001 by US Mainstream Television News Organizations in Relation to US Govt Officials' News Framing
Current Position: Criminal Investigator, Riyadh Police Region, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Dr. Sally Bennett-Bell
Advisor: Dr. John Campbell
Dissertation: Metaphorizing Identity: A Rhetorical/Ethnographic Account of Persuasion, Invention, & the Process of Identity Transformation in Alcoholics Anonymous
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Division of Communication Studies, University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL

Dr. Yulia Tolstikov Mast
Advisor: Dr. Pradeep Sopory
Dissertation: Building Successful Global Organizational Networks: A Model of International Interorganizational Professional Communication
Current Position: Butler University, Indianapolis, IN

Dr. Annette Sandlin McDevitt
Advisor: Dr. Michael Leff
Dissertation: Cultural Variations as Predictors of Cross-Cultural Negotiation Outcomes:  Implications for International Business Communication
Current Position: University of Memphis

2005

Dr. Sean Chaidaroon
Advisor: Dr. Katherine G. Hendrix
Dissertation: The Management of Communication Styles of Thai Mid-level Managers in Multi-national Companies
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, The University of Sydney, Australia

Dr. Lurene Cachola Kelley
Advisor: Dr. Jim Redmond
Dissertation: Negotiating newsworthiness in local television news: A case study of organizational influences in the story selection process
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism, University of Memphis

Dr. William A. Maze
Advisor: Dr. Pradeep Sopory
Dissertation: Factors Influencing Social Support and Stress Among Nurses
Current Position: Middle Tennessee State University

Dr. Flora Wei
Advisor: Dr. Pradeep Sopory and Dr. Katherine Hendrix
Dissertation: The Effects of Competitive and Noncompetitive Educational Mathematics Computer Games on Preschool Children: Gender Differences in Attitude Toward Games, Mathematical Learning, and Recall of Game Playing Experience
Current Position: Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh-Bradford

Dr. Wei recently received the 2014 Chairs' Faculty Teaching Award for excellence in teaching at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. 

2004

Dr. Aliah Fouad Al-Matrouk
Advisor: Dr. Kevin Wright
Dissertation: The Use of the Internet as an Alternative News Source: An Examination of Kuwaiti Traditional Media and the Internet for News Processing

Dr. Electra S. Gilchrist
Advisor: Dr. Katherine G. Hendrix and Dr. Pradeep Sopory
Dissertation: Students' Use of Compliance-Seeking Strategies with Black and White Graduate Teaching Assistants
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Communication Arts, University of Alabama at Huntsville

Dr. Ahlam Muhtaseb
Advisor: Dr. John Campbell
Dissertation: The Internet as an Alternative Source of Information and Alternative Forum of Expression for Arab Americans
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, California State University-San Bernadino

Dr. Renee Robinson
Advisor: Dr. Katherine Hendrix
Dissertation: Public Schools as Interactive Organizations: Developing a Model of Media and Public Relations Strategies for Engaging External Constituencies
Current Position: Associate Professor, Department of Communication, St. Xavier University, Chicago, IL

2003

Dr. Marcia M. Smith
Advisor: Dr. Thomas Darwin
Dissertation: Figures of Speech: The Rhetorical Construction of Pregnancy Identification
Current Position: Associate Director, Donaghey Scholars Program, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

2002

Dr. Christopher A. Blair
Advisor: Dr. John Campbell
Dissertation: To Protect the Children: An Examination of Arguments for the Content Regulation of Mass Media
Current Position: Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Union University

Dr. Linda Finch

Dr. Aparna Bulusu Hebbani
Advisor: Dr. Larry Frey
Dissertation: The Intercultural Hiring Interview: Applying Uncertainty Reduction Theory to the Study of Nonverbal Behavior Between Indian Applicants & US Interviewers
Current Position: The School of Journalism and Communication, The University of Queensland, Australia

2001

Dr. Pat Ferguson
Advisor: Dr. Joann Keyton
Dissertation: Tracking the Communicative Impact of Women in Top Management Teams

Dr. Danna  M. Gibson
Advisor: Dr. Joann Keyton
Dissertation: ADHD and Parental Willingness to Medicate: A Communication Approach
Current Position: Associate Professor & Honors Program Director, Department of Communication, Columbus State University, OH

Dr. Cyd Charise Ropp
Advisor: Dr. John Campbell
Dissertation: The Rhetoric of Childbirth: A Burkean Analysis of Medical Demarcation in the Trial of a California Midwife
Current Position: Full Time Instructor, College of Siskiyous, Weed, CA

2000

Dr. Jerome D. Mahaffey
Advisor: Dr. John Campbell
Dissertation: The Formation of American Community: George Whitefield, Rhetoric, Religion, and Political Thought in The Great Awakening
Current Position: Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Indiana University East

Dr. Marceline Thompson-Hayes
Advisor: Dr. Lynne Webb
Dissertation: Commitment in Close Relationships: The Development of a Theoretical Model
Current Position: Department of Speech Communication, Arkansas State University

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