Pete Bsumek is an associate professor in the School of Communication Studies. He is director of the MA program in Communication and Advocacy and coordinator of the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies minor.
Dr. Bsumek earned a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Utah, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Communication from the University of Pittsburgh. His research and teaching focus on rhetoric and the processes of advocacy and decision-making in social change, with a specific emphasis in environmental communication.
He is currently working on a collaborative project investigating public controversies surrounding coal. Prior research focused on the rhetoric of the wilderness movement, processes of debate and deliberation, and greening the public relations curriculum. He is also currently serving on a grant funded research team investigating means for reducing greenhouse gases through low cost energy management and community based social marketing in university residence halls.
Bsumek is the 2014 recipient of the J. Robert Cox Award in Environmental Communication and Civic Engagement, given by the Environmental Communication Division of the National Communication Association. The selection committee described his activities and accomplishments in the realm of civic engagement as "impressive and inspiring." He also received the Christine L. Oravec Research Award, given for the best environmental communication article or book chapter of the year. Bsumek and his co-authors' work was recognized for its “timeliness and sophistication,”and noted for its strong potential to inspire future research.