Dr. Kurt Braddock is an assistant teaching professor of communication arts and sciences and homeland security. His research centers on the persuasive tactics employed by terrorist groups to radicalize and recruit fighters, as well as how persuasion strategies can be used for counter-radicalization. He teaches Violence and Threats; Radicalization, Counter-Radicalization, and De-radicalization; Disaster Communication; and Effective Speech: Group Communication.
Kristin Mathe Coletta studies the rhetorical dynamics and techniques that bring certain social policies into being. Her research focuses on social movements of homeless and working-class individuals. She approaches these movements by looking at the perspectives of participants, leaders within movements, and policy makers. Her dissertation considered to what extent democratic practices can extend into the workplace without undermining the stability of government. She considered historical moments in which the rights of public workers to organize, strike, and/or bargain collectively were called into question.
Dr. Lyn Freymiller is particularly interested in studying media portrayals of underrepresented or socially stigmatized populations, both in terms of the portrayals themselves and the cultural impacts of such representation. His research involves rhetorical analysis of texts (most notably television programs) and qualitative research methods such as interviewing. Dr. Freymiller has presented his research at professional conventions across the country and is also represented in publications. He has received formal recognition on several occasions for teaching excellence and his contributions to the education of undergraduates at Penn State.
Dr. Amanda Goodwin is a communication scientist with expertise in the area of interpersonal communication. She teaches courses on interpersonal communication (CAS 203), human communication (CAS 101), conflict resolution (CAS 404), effective speech (CAS 100A, CAS 100B, CAS 100A for engineers), small group communication (CAS 100B, CAS 250), and organizational communication (CAS 352).
Dr. Christopher Kroft studies the communication experiences of adults with mood disorders. He is particularly interested in how adults with bipolar spectrum disorder communicate during euthymic mood states. His research also investigates the ways in which students with cognitive disabilities approach higher education courses in communication. He has previously worked within the Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, and he volunteers his time with Consumer Satisfaction Services of Harrisburg, an organization that studies relapse among patients receiving mental health treatment.
Dr. Matthew Lamb conducts research at the intersections of urban communication, architectural theory and criticism, performance studies, cultural studies, and philosophies centering on the production of space. Primarily, his research focuses on architecture's place in communication processes, which produce understandings of how to use and efforts to control and frame interpretations of the moving body in city space. Dr. Lamb’s work has been featured in Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, Communication and Sport, and others. He is also a regular attendee and active participant with the Urban Communication Foundation.
Dr. Erina MacGeorge is a social scientist specializing in interpersonal and health communication. Her research examines social support and social influence, with a particular focus on advice. Her work includes the development of Advice Response Theory, which explains advice outcomes for recipients as a function of message, adviser, situation, and recipient characteristics. Recent research examines advice between doctors and parents about childhood antibiotic use, breast cancer patients making surgical decisions with input from their social network, and college student friends coping with everyday problems.
Ines Meyer-Hoess is the lead faculty and organizer of the department's study abroad program in Vienna, Austria. She worked as a political consultant before attending the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C., where she focused on international politics and international communication. What she finds most rewarding is the opportunity to connect with the many dedicated, hardworking Penn State students she teaches online, on campus, and abroad.
Dr. Marcy Milhomme's pedagogy is largely informed by an epistemological underpinning of sociological factors that powerfully shape and affect civil discourse. In the classroom, students are encouraged to contextualize communication based on the probable needs of one's audience, appropriate problem-solving strategies, identification of policy instruments, and the ethics of deliberative speaking. She integrates classical rhetorical strategies, such as Aristotle's Appeals, historically significant rhetorical events, and contemporary phenomena like that found in "hashtag activism." Her passion for teaching relies upon high levels of student engagement and student growth as consumers and technicians of the rhetorical situation.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Mills' teaching interests center on making her classroom a welcoming and productive space for students, reaching them across the globe through the Penn State World Campus, and raising their sense of civic duty, both during the semester and beyond it. She also serves as an affiliate member on the Penn State President's Commission for LGBT Equity.
Dr. Peter Miraldi has been teaching communication, conflict management (e.g., CAS 404), and presentation skills (e.g., CAS 100) for more than 15 years at colleges and universities. Dr. Miraldi has taught several courses and workshops on public speaking, group communication, mediation, and technical presentation. In addition, he has served as a judge for several public speaking competitions, including the Speak for Peace: MLK Oratorical Contest and the New York Times’ Civic Engagement Public Speaking Contest. He serves as the lead speaker consultant for TEDxPSU.
Dr. Robert Richards studies legal and political communication and information. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, he conducts research on ordinary citizens' legal communication, legal information intermediaries such as lawyers and legal journalists, and legal information systems. He also studies deliberative democratic theory. His dissertation concerns how legal information about ballot initiatives is communicated to voters.
Dr. Denise Solomon is a communication scientist with expertise in the area of interpersonal communication. Her research focuses on communication experiences in personal relationships, such as support and conflict, which enhance or erode well-being. Dr. Solomon developed the relational turbulence model, which describes how transitions in romantic relationships promote relationship qualities that polarize cognitive, emotional, and communicative reactions to both ordinary and extraordinary experiences. The relational turbulence model has been used to gain insight into how people experience breast cancer survivorship, cope with infertility, and navigate post-deployment military family life.
Dr. Ellen Taricani’s scholarly explorations include a capacious range of topics related to learning and communication integration. Many of the publications relate to topics ranging from connected life online to cognitive mapping and to learning design, as well as social media applications and influence. She is interested in finding ways to capture structural knowledge and making connections both online and face-to-face.
Dr. Tara Traeder has been studying and practicing health communication for more than a decade. Her research has predominantly focused on cancer communication, with specific focus on disparities in cancer prevention rates and breast cancer communication with nurse navigators. She is a supporting author on two publications in the Journal of Health Communication and Health Communication, both of which consider genetic determinism in single-gene disorders. Future research endeavors will consider the use of technology as a tool for discharge planning in hospitalized heart disease patients, with a focus on reducing readmission rates.
Dr. Amber Walker Jackson studies family and relational communication, focusing primarily on parent-child communication. She often teaches courses in public speaking (CAS 100), communication and technology (CAS283), and communication and conflict (CAS 404). She is a recipient of the Cynthia Finch Award for Teaching Excellence. In addition to teaching and scholarship, Dr. Jackson is involved in the oversight of Penn State World Campus courses and degree programs for the department.
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