What Makes Our Program Distinctive?
What makes the Iowa State University PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication distinctive?
The Breadth of our Faculty
Our rhetoric faculty is among the most multifaceted anywhere. Our breadth gives students the opportunity to master a diverse range of perspectives on rhetorical issues, as well as the chance to work closely with faculty mentors.
Our faculty focus on a wide range of issues within rhetoric and professional communication, including multi-modal communication pedagogy (Blakely, Russell), science (Goodwin, Wilson), visual rhetoric (Kostelnick, LaWare, Roberts), workplace communication (Sauer), technology (Gossett, Russell, Sauer), the history of rhetoric (Crosby, Russell), and public address (Goodwin, LaWare, Slagell).
Impact on the Profession
The many publications that ISU faculty members have produced and edited are heavily cited in other publications and have earned faculty members over a dozen national awards. The Journal of Business and Technical Communication is published from the ISU department, as are the Technical Communication Library (physically located here and directed here), and the Journal for Business Communication (also edited at Iowa State). The journal Technical Communication Quarterly is edited by an alum of our PhD program.
100% Placement Rate
Among alumni who looked for an academic position, there is a 100% placement rate. Our graduates serve in departments across the country and around the world, and are well-prepared for positions in both academia and industry.
The English Department at ISU is large, with programs in Creative Writing and Environment, Literature, English Education, Teaching English as a Second Language/Applied Linguistics, Communication Studies and Speech Communication. PhD students in RPC have the opportunity to study and work with faculty in a wide range of specialties. The ISU Human-Computer Interaction Initiative as well as major NSF-funded initiatives like Iowa EPSCoR and Symbi have proven excellent sites for study and collaboration among our graduate students, as have the College of Business and the Department of Agronomy.
Digital technologies are an essential part of professional communication. The skill to use them to produce high-quality communication products is not a talent; it is mastered by working in communities that foster such skills. The Rhetoric and Professional Communication programs have access to some of the best computer/technology resources available to any rhetoric program in the world; our technology resources are far superior to those in many other rhetoric programs.
The English Department at ISU has excellent multimedia facilities including state-of-the-art computer classrooms, numerous servers with high-end web application development frameworks for students' use, as well as multimedia suites available for graduate students. Our students work with the ISU Human-Computer Interaction Initiative and the Studio for New Media, as well as with the EServer.
The PhD in RPC is known for a warm collegiality among graduate students and between graduate students and faculty members.