Current Students

Current PhD Students

Amanda Arp


Amanda Arp is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program of the English Department. Her current primary focus is on developing improved pedagogical approaches through research on metacognition, composition and Team-Based Learning. At present, Amanda is examining a connection between speech and writing by comparing metacognitive reflection in speech to metacognitive reflection in composition through analyzing metacognitive reflections of students from a speech course at Iowa State. Additionally, she is furthering research on Team-Based Learning by examining transcripts and surveys from students in teams from a speech course at Iowa State. During her time as a PhD student and as a Presidential Scholar, Amanda also plans to pursue additional research interests in narrative, visual rhetoric, gaming theory, fat studies and creativity. Amanda’s experiences as a student, a writing coach, a writer and a speech teacher inspire her to research, present, and publish on these topics and will continue to fuel her growth as a scholar and educator.

Patti Brown

Graduate Student [ENGL]

Patti Brown is PhD candidate in the RPC program. She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s in social work (BSW, MSW) from the University of Iowa. She earned a Master of Science in Journalism and Mass Communication from ISU’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Her dissertation work addresses presidential rhetoric about poverty and poverty policy from the time of the Great Depression through the Great Recession. She expects to finish by Spring 2019. She has also just completed a revision of a textbook chapter on how the media cover the immigration story for the fourth edition of Race/Gender/Class/Media: Considering Diversity Across Audiences, Content, and Producers, edited by Rebecca Ann Lind, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, the University of Illinois at Chicago. Patti will be presenting material about her chapter along with a panel of other contributors to the textbook at the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) conference in Las Vegas, in 2019. Patti sits on the Iowa State Board of Health. She has consulted on several political campaigns for the 2018 mid-term elections and will be doing debate prep for a congressional candidate during the next few weeks.

Sam Cosgrove

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Samantha Cosgrove is a student receiving her PhD in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication and co-majoring Human-Computer Interaction. She received her MA in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of South Florida in 2016. Her current research interests are risk communication, visual rhetoric, and navigating digital spaces. She plans on staying in academia after graduation, ideally securing a tenure track position at an R1 university. She has 3 years of experience teaching English composition courses and hopes to teach Technical Communication courses in the future.

She is originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina, but moved around a bit since starting graduate school. She came to Ames from Tampa, Florida so if you are also from a warm weathered state, you can reminisce with her about warm winters and flip flops. Topics she can advise on: renting apartments off-campus, CyRide, restaurants and bars, sorting out the course DPS, and getting in your transfer credits.

Thomas Cox

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Thomas Cox is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program. He earned a BA in English with a concentration in creative writing from North Carolina State University and an MA in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition from East Carolina University. He has been a primary and secondary school teacher and a university writing center director. He has taught English composition, writing center theory and practice, and southern literature. His research interest include digital identity formation, critical theory, and cultural rhetoric.

Esther Crompton

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Esther Crompton is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program. She earned her BA in English and minor in Biology at Coastal Carolina University where she also received her MA in Writing. Her research interests include the rhetoric of science and discourse communities.

Allison Durazzi

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Allison Durazzi is a PhD student in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. She is a graduate teaching assistant in Speech Communication, and a Freda Huncke Teaching Fellow. Before resuming her academic career, Allison worked in legal aid policy, nonprofit administration, and digital marketing.

Allison holds a BA from Antioch University Seattle, where she focused on the iterative nature of personal narrative and social justice. She is also an alumna of Seattle Central Community College and the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts.

In addition to studying for her PhD, Allison is perfecting her recipe for homemade ice cream.

Phillip B. Gallagher

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Philip B. Gallagher is a Rhetoric and Professional Communication PhD student specializing in Document Design Theory and Pedagogy, New Media Learning, and Applied Communications research. He earned his M.A. in English with an emphasis in Composition, Rhetoric, and Professional Writing (2012), and his B.A. in English with a focus on Creative Writing (2009) from Eastern Illinois University. He also earned an A.A. in English (2007) from Lake Land College. Mr. Gallagher’s current research interests include: rhetorical design theory and process in business & technical communication, knowledge management in virtual communities, the development of New Media pedagogy, embodied cognition and phenomenological writing studies, and the rhetoric of diversity and inclusion in Higher Education.

Zachary Gasior

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Zach Gasior is a PhD candidate in the RPC program. Before coming to Iowa State, he received his JD from Michigan State University College of Law (2010) and MA from the University of Toledo (2015), and taught Freshman Composition and Introduction to Paralegal Studies at Baton Rouge Community College in Louisiana. His first children's book "The Tale of Turtle" is currently in print and available on Amazon. In his PhD, Zach will pursue interests in pedagogy, looking at how to make the composition classroom more accessible to students, and the many forms that may take. Currently, he is working to investigate the role that cooperative conversation can have on understanding the elements needed for achieving multi-modal academic literacies. Thanks to his Miller Graduate Scholarship award, Zach is able to look more closely at development of these literacies over time, and how students are best able to acquire them early on in their academic careers.

Dale Grauman

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Dale Grauman is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program at Iowa State. He studies writing and the teaching of writing. A while back, he speculated that his students would value their compulsory writing classes more if their assignments gave them more opportunities to explore how they would use writing in their college majors or in their future careers. Now he’s working on a research project to test that assumption. He is also developing a project in which he would collaborate with professors in other disciplines to assess the transfer of writing knowledge from first-year composition into other university writing contexts.

Derek Hanson

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Derek Hanson is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program. He earned his BA in English Literature from Grand View University in Des Moines, IA and his MA in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication from Iowa State University. Derek’s research interests include user experience, content management, document design, and teaching with technology. He teaches both Foundation and Advanced Communication courses for the English department and is a member of the ISUComm Online Learning Team where he helps design, develop, maintain, and support the department’s Learning Management System and ePortfolio platforms.

In addition to his academic work, Derek enjoys his job as the Director of Communication for his church, building woodworking projects, and enjoying central Iowa with his family.


Austin Harrington

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Austin Harrington is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program. He received his MFA in Nonfiction Creative Writing from Lesley University in Boston. His thesis for his Master’s program focused on a range of struggles being faced by working class and impoverished communities in the Midwest. Following graduation from Lesley, he spent three years working as a political journalist in Iowa where he was able to cover local and national politics, including the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Since entering Iowa State’s RPC PhD program his research has remained focused on issues impacting working class and impoverished communities. He also teaches Speech Communications 212 within the English department.

Daniel Henke

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Daniel Henke is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program. Before coming to Iowa State University, he spent the last two years teaching English literature, composition, and English as a second language at the University of Wisconsin, Richland. In addition to his teaching duties, he was also the director of the writing center, known as the Woodman Learning Center. Daniel obtained a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point and an MA in English literature and textual interpretation from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. Daniel is deeply interested in existential Absurdism and Albert Camus. Daniel’s research interest are vast, but he enjoys connecting Camus’ writing with multiple theoretical approaches to better understand Camus’ intricate and complicated writings. He is also interested in writing center theory and practice, Marxism, psychoanalytical theory, postcolonialism, and compositional studies. Daniel actively tries to publish his work and is featured in multiple scholarly journals and has presented his findings at conferences across the nation.

Laura Jackman

Graduate Student [ENGL]

Laura Jackman is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program. Her main interests are in pedagogy (curriculum development, online teaching) and rhetorical approaches to health-related topics. Laura enjoys teaching a range of courses such as composition, business communication, technical communication, and biological communication. Her academic degrees include: B.A. Iowa State University—Speech Communication; B.S.N. Upper Iowa University—Nursing; M.A. Iowa State University—Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication.

As both a registered nurse and a communication scholar, Laura hopes to blend her interests together into interdisciplinary practice. Current areas of research interests include pregnancy rhetoric.

Carrie-Ann Johnson

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Carrie-Ann Johnson is currently a third year PhD student in Rhetoric and Professional Communication at Iowa State University where she works as a graduate instructor in the English department. She has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Business Marketing and a Master of Science in American Studies. She has taught both face-to-face and online writing courses at Utah State University and Iowa State University. Her research interests include organizational communication, ludic theory, women’s and gender studies, human computer interaction, and social justice. Her research makes explicit connections between rhetoric and concerns of social justice (e.g., queer theory, gender equity, contact zones, women’s networks, etc).

Mariah Kemp

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Mariah Kemp graduated with a Master’s in RCPC from Iowa State and a Bachelor’s in Rhetoric and Writing from The University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests are narrative, identity, digital humanities, visual rhetoric, and criminal trial rhetoric. She received a Freda Huncke Graduate Teaching Fellowship for the 2017-2018 school year, and has taught both Foundational English courses as well as Public Speaking. Outside of the university, she enjoys road trips, visiting antique shops for home decor, and fountain pens. Her home is the Southwest, where the dry heat envelopes you and crackles against your skin, and the lightning strikes purple and plasma white. She misses that the most since moving to Ames.

Krista Klocke

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Krista Klocke is currently a PhD student in Rhetoric and Professional Communication at Iowa State University with a teaching assistantship in the Public Speaking Program, teaching sections of the SpCm212 course. She earned her BA in Speech Communication and Communication Studies with a Minor in Psychology and a Certificate in Leadership Studies from Iowa State University.

Krista loves teaching and mentoring college students in public speaking, communication theory, leadership development, and other areas related to rhetoric and communication. She is passionate about supporting students in their academic journeys. Her research interests include women’s political communication (specifically, women’s campaign ads for U.S. Senate), U.S. public address, rhetorical theory, and the classical rhetorical tradition.

Lauren Malone

Graduate Assistant-Research [ENGL]

Lauren Malone is a military brat who started life in Texas, and ended up in Iowa. She is a fourth year PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. She graduated from Central College with a BA in English, and from London Metropolitan University with an M. in Professional Writing. Her current academic interests include justice-centered curriculum design, rhetoric and literature, business communication, digital rhetoric, game studies, and Black American rhetoric.

Philippe Meister

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Philippe Meister earned a Master of Arts in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication at Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) in 2017 with a thesis titled “Cloud Composition Technologies in Multimodal Composition Program Documents.” While at ISU as a master’s student, he contributed to the Department of English as an instructor in the ISUComm program, the Department of Agronomy as a web content specialist in the Plant Breeding E-Learning in Africa program, and the Department of Political Science as a research assistant to a project funded by the National Science Foundation.

Philippe will pursue a PhD in the Department of English with co-majors in Rhetoric and Professional Communication (RPC) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). In his co-major program, he will study the history, theory, and practice of the two disciplines. In his scholarship, he plans to study the interaction between university information and communication technologies (ICTs) with university multimodal composition programs. Specifically, he wants to understand how university ICT infrastructures influence multimodal composition programs.


Colin Payton

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Colin Payton is a first year PhD student in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. True to the protean nature of the classical rhetoricians he studies, Colin’s educational background is an amalgam of history, philosophy, poetry, evolutionary biology, composition studies, creative writing, cognitive science, and literature theory. As a teacher, Colin embraces the performative nature of public speaking and brings music performance and theater studies into his public speaking classroom (SpCm 212). Heavily influenced by Cicero, Longinus, Voltaire, and Vico, Colin is studying how academics – especially rhetoricians and scientists – can re-engage and re-inspire the public sphere: too many excellent ideas are too poorly communicated.

Angela Richard

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Angela Richard is a PhD student in Rhetorical and Professional Communication. Her current research interests include organizational communication, leadership, and diversity and inclusion. She enjoys teaching business communication and basic composition courses as well as tutoring in the ISU Writing and Media Center. She also spent two year as the writing tutor for ISU’s TRIO Student Support Services Program.

Prior to ISU, Angela earned her MA in English from University of Central Missouri in 2013. She worked in the business world for about ten years after earning her MBA from Simmons School of Management in Boston in 2000. Prior to business school, she served six years in the U. S. Navy as a surface warfare officer. Angela earned her Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University in 1993. She is originally from Warrensburg, Missouri.

Outside of academics, Angela loves museums, art fairs, concerts, photography, and fantasy football.

Jordan Smith

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Jordan Smith is a PhD student at Iowa State University co-majoring in Rhetoric and Professional Communication (RPC) and Applied Linguistics and Technology (ALT). He holds a BA in English language from Brigham Young University and an MPC (master of professional communication) from Weber State University. His research interests lie primarily in the area of English Language Studies, focusing specifically on using corpus linguistic methods to study issues related to English standardization, variation, and grammar. Outside of school, Jordan enjoys running and fitness, trying to keep up with what people are saying about popular music, and spending time with his wife and three young daughters.

George Standifer

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

George Standifer is a graduate student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program. Before arriving at ISU, he taught at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He has a M.A. in Rhetoric and Writing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a B.A. in History from Emory University. His research interests include visual rhetoric, rhetoric of sports, technical communication, scientific communication, medical communication, visual communication, visual literacy, and poetics.

Joshua Taylor

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Joshua Taylor is a first year RPC PhD student originally from Columbus, Ohio. He moved here from North Carolina after completing his M.A. at Western Carolina University in Technical and Professional Writing. Josh has been teaching and working in academia for two years. He’s currently teaching ENGL 150 and 250 and plans on teaching more advanced communication classes moving forward.

His research interests include (but are not limited to) political, electronic, and organizational rhetoric. In particular, he is looking at the cultural and social implications of knowledge formation in digital spaces.

Carlos Toledo-Parada

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Carlos Toledo-Parada is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program at Iowa State University.

Bremen Vance

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Bremen Vance is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program. His research interests are driven by the empowering nature of language study and include digital multimodal writing, technical writing, and writing program administration. Bremen is currently the Assistant Director of ISUComm Foundation Courses and a member of the ISUComm Online Learning Team. He has taught a variety of courses including Rhetorical Web Design and Technical Communication. Before arriving at ISU, he taught at Metropolitan State University of Denver, the University of Northern Colorado, and Disney English in Nanjing China. He received his M.A. in English from the University of Northern Colorado and his B.A. in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. When not on campus, Bremen enjoys spending time with his wife and son, playing video games, and attempting to keep up with popular culture.



Deb Young

Graduate Student [ENGL]

Deb Young is a first-year PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program. Deb earned a BA in Public Relations from Drake University. After working in public relations and nonprofit management for a number of years, she returned to school and earned an MA in English from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). She is currently an adjunct instructor in the Department of Languages and Literatures at UNI teaching composition and integrated communication. Deb’s research interests include pedagogy and the use of service learning in composition and professional communication courses.

Current MA Students

Emily Boyd

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Emily Boyd is a first year MA student studying Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Technical Communication here at Iowa State in 2017. Emily is currently a graduate teaching assistant for Speech Communication 212 and 216. When she’s not on campus, you can find Emily hanging out with her dog or trying to keep her cat from burning down her apartment.

Brittany Eide

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [D S O]

Brittany Eide is a second year MA student in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication. She earned a BA in English with a specialization in Creative Writing from the University of South Dakota in 2015. Currently, her research interests include rhetoric and narrative medicine, particularly how subjects such as madness, illness, and death are used rhetorically in relation to other subjects such as crime and the environment and how these narratives exist across media. In addition, she is interested in how writing acts as a form of therapy and communication for illness.

Tiffany Eide

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Tiffany Eide is a master’s student in the Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication program, and is obtaining a co-major in English Literature. Before attending Iowa State University, she received her Bachelor of Arts in: Media & Journalism: Strategic Communication, English, and History. She then spent two years working in the television and news industry as a creative services producer.

Currently, Tiffany is an instructor for the SpCm 212: Fundamentals of Public Speaking course. She also works as a Communications Consultant for Iowa State’s Writing and Media Center. A worshiper of multiple masks, her areas of interest spread out across academic disciplines—settling mainly in areas such as social advocacy, advertising, film theory, absurdist literature, rhetorical theory, Victorianism, visual communication, digital media, and the historical contexts of war and propaganda.

Danielle Giles

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Danielle Giles is a first year MA student in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication. She graduated from Iowa State University with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication, spring of 2017. She is currently a graduate teaching assistant for Speech Communication 212. As apart of her GA position, she also serves as an apprentice within English 314. She has the amazing opportunity to get hands-on experience helping within an advanced communication classroom. She is
currently researching crisis communication within the business realm, focusing on corporate apologies.

Scott Kovach

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Scott Kovach, as an undergraduate in Political Science at Iowa State University, was awarded the National Science Foundation’s Scholarship for Service in Information Assurance. After graduating in 2003, he has served in a variety of careers: information security consulting, tech support, quality assurance engineering, food service, construction, grocery, and retail—although not necessarily in that order. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication at Iowa State University. His research interests integrate his background in Information Assurance with Visual Rhetoric and Rhetorical Theory.


Michael Pounders

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Michael Pounders is a first year M.A. student in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communications. I graduated from UW-Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2017 with a degree in Secondary English Education. After teaching high school and middle school English, I came to Iowa State to earn my Master’s Degree. My passion is teaching and my career plan is to be a first-year composition professor. I currently am a graduate teaching assistant for Speech Communication 212. Part of my GA position is to serve as an apprentice where I have the opportunity to learn about and work in the field of technical communication. I am also currently researching the technical communication of how ballet instruction has evolved to include NFL players.