I received my B.S. in Media/Advertising from Appalachian State University (Boone, NC) in 1985 and worked the following year at a full service marketing firm in Chapel Hill, NC. From 1986-1988, I worked on my Master’s in Speech Communication at the University of Georgia. From 1988-1992, I was at the University of Iowa, where I received my Ph.D. in Communication Studies. After a three year teaching assignment at Drake University in the Dept. of Rhetoric and Communication Studies, I began my current position at Vanderbilt. In Spring 2005, I was promoted to Professor of Communication Studies.
From 2007-July 2011, I served as Sr. Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs in the College of Arts and Science. From August 2011-present, I served as Sr. Associate Dean of Faculty in the College of Arts and Science.
Like the entire faculty of our Department, I work hard to maintain a relationship between my research and teaching interests. For instance, I have published work that focuses on mass media production and consumption and use this background in my Rhetoric of Mass Media course. My current research on public discussions of gender ambiguity led to the creation of a course entitled “The Rhetoric of Gender Trouble.” As a result, I try to encourage students to work, write, and speak on areas that are vital to their lives–past and potential.