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Professor of Communication Studies, Vanderbilt University

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 2011-2014, I served as Sr. Associate Dean of Faculty in the College of Arts and Science. I was Interim Dean of the College in AY 2014-2015, then served as Associate Provost for Digital Learning for 4 years. I am now back in the Department of Communication Studies.

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. Research on public discussions of gender ambiguity led to the creation of a course entitled “The Rhetoric of Gender Trouble," and, in turn, a course on soccer and politics led to a more recent book (Soccer's Neoliberal Pitch).


  • –present
    Professor of Communication Studies, Vanderbilt Divinity School


  • 1992 
    University of Iowa, PhD, Communication Studies