Current Students

Current PhD Students

Ma-aruf Al-hassan

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Ma-aruf Al-hassan is a Ph.D. student in the Rhetoric & Professional Communication Program at Iowa State University and a Graduate Teaching Assistant and 2020 recipient of the Freda Huncke Teaching Fellowship in the English Department. He had his Bachelor’s in University of Ghana, Legon. Prior to ISU, Ma-aruf received his Master’s in Rhetoric & Writing Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso where he was the 2018 recipient of the Natalicio Fellowship award.

Before leaving the shores of Africa for the US, Ma-aruf earned an MPhil., in Communication and Media Studies with special concentration in Rhetoric and Communication skills at the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. He has an immeasurable penchant for building a productive decolonizing approach to knowledge building of which is central to the project of humanities and social science research on the continent of Africa—a project to which he is eager to contribute. Indeed, his exposure to Western/African epistemes pushes him to call for more research that takes into consideration rhetorical-cultural methodologies. His research interests include cultural rhetorics, Culturally Localized User Experience, digital writing, multimodal rhetoric and pedagogies, rhetorical theory, technical & professional communication.

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.

Thomas Cox

Graduate Assistant [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 [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 [ENGL]

Allison Durazzi is a PhD student in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. Her research interests are feminist rhetoric, editing, and technical communication ethics. 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, She is perfecting her recipes for homemade ice cream.

Zachary Gasior

Graduate Assistant [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 Student [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 Student [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 [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 [ENGL]

Daniel Henke is a fifth year PhD candidate in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program. Daniel received their MA in English Literature and Textual Interpretation in 2013. Daniel’s current research interests are critical theory and writing pedagogies and how issues of power, ideology, and hegemony are created and maintained through the use of narrative and writing. Daniel teaches both Foundation and Advanced Communication courses in the English department. Daniel has presented at many professional and flagship conferences such as College Composition and Communication (CCC), National Communication Association (NCA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA), among others. You can find Daniel’s refereed publications that range from Freudian psychoanalysis, rhetorical analysis, and writing pedagogies in multiple editions of the Journal of Camus Studies, as well as the Global Education Review.

Carrie-Ann Johnson

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Carrie Ann Johnson (she/her) is a PhD student in Rhetoric and Professional Communication at Iowa State University. Before attending ISU, Johnson received her Bachelors of Science in Journalism and Public Relations and Master of Science in American Studies from Utah State University. She currently works as a graduate instructor in the English department and the Women in Politics Vertically Intergraded Projects team. She is the editorial assistant for Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly and serves as the Vice President of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate. Her research interests include organizational communication, journalism and mass media, women’s and gender studies, video game rhetoric and ludic theory, human-computer interaction, and social justice.

Mariah Kemp

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Mariah Kemp is an RPC PhD student who graduated with a Master’s in RCPC from Iowa State and a Bachelor’s in Rhetoric & Writing from The University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include narrative, trauma, liminality, identity, and memory. She received a Freda Huncke Graduate Teaching Fellowship for 2017-2018, and has taught Foundational English courses, Business Communication, and Public Speaking. Outside of the university, she enjoys road trips, painting, and cuddling her three pet rats. Her home is the Southwest, where the dry heat envelopes you and crackles against your skin, and the lightning strikes purple and plasma white—but Ames makes a pretty good home for the moment.

Krista Klocke

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Krista Klocke is a PhD student in Rhetoric and Professional Communication with a teaching assistantship in the Public Speaking Program, teaching sections of the SpCm 212 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, and her MA in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication from Iowa State.

Krista loves teaching and mentoring college students in public speaking, rhetorical theory and history, leadership development, and other areas related to rhetoric and communication. She is passionate about supporting students in their academic journeys. Her research interests include U.S. public address, rhetorical theory, and the classical rhetorical tradition.  Currently, she is interested in the rhetorical intersections of time and place.

Linda Kramer

Program Assistant II [ENGL]

Linda Kramer is a first year PhD student.  She will slowly be working her way towards her degree since she also works full-time for the university.  She’s originally from Chicago, Illinois and came to Iowa from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Her main interests are in social media and internet culture.  This includes moderated vs. unmoderated discussions, ideas of anonymity and constructed personas, and the roles and perceptions of race, gender, and sexual orientation in social media.

When not at school she enjoys chocolate, playing video games with her son, chocolate, reading, and chocolate.

Amalie Kwassman

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Amalie Kwassman is a Ph.D. student in the RPC program. She is originally from Brooklyn, New York and a recent graduate of the MFA program at Iowa State University in Creative Writing and Environment. She earned her bachelor's degree from Smith College. Amalie's research interests include feminist rhetoric, cultural rhetoric and the study of identities. Amalie has three years of experience teaching English 250 at Iowa State. Before coming to Iowa State, Amalie taught 6th grade with Teach for America in Brooklyn, New York.  She has also performed her poetry around New York City.

Philippe Meister

Graduate Assistant [IMSE]

Professional experience providing human-centered services in higher education. Skilled in User Experience (research, design, writing, evaluation) as well as Instruction Design and Communication. Recent long-term work includes teaching university communication courses, completing grant-funded research projects, and implementing organizational technology.

As a graduate student at Iowa State Univeristy, I'm affiliated with the program in Human Computer Interaction and the program in Rhetoric and Professional Commmunication.

As a graduate assistant, I'm affilated with the Adaptive Cognitive Systems Laboratory (ACSL) and the Department of English.


Colin Payton

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Hello! I am a third year PhD student in Rhetoric and Professional Communication and a 2017 recipient of the Freda Huncke Teaching Fellowship. My raison d’etre is to inspire collegiate minds through the collaborative work of writing centers, scholarship, and peer-focused classrooms. Forged in the liberal arts, my personal learning philosophy is simple: one should be able to read anything, write anything, and speak on anything. Having this light, I strive to pass it on to others in my classrooms, institutional networks, and my two consecutive years of presenting at the International Writing Center Association’s conference and the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Currently, I teach English 150, but I have taught Speech Comm 212 and TAed for ME/WLC 484/584: Technology, Globalization, and Culture (check them out!). As an instructor, I believe all communication is a performance (Thomas and Turner’s Clear and Simple as the Truth; Vico’s On Humanistic Education) of running order through chaos (The Education of Henry Adams; Amherst’s Theodore Baird); thus, students will experience theatrics and games in my classrooms alongside presentations and writing assignments. When teaching speech, memory studies and delivery styles from classical rhetoric take the fore; when teaching composition, style-as-choice and revision-through-reflection dominate. Importantly, ISU’s focus on science and technology is a thrilling contrast from my liberal arts background, and I ask all my students to consider readers who know a little bit less instead of trying to impress those who know a little bit more.

Tony Quick

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Tony Quick is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program at Iowa State University. His current research focuses on the historic intersection of U.S. electoral politics and domestic racial dynamics. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in African Diaspora Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from North Carolina State University. Outside of academia, he has served in administrative and financial accounting roles for various non-profit organizations, most recently the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine based in Washington, D.C.

Angela Richard

Graduate Student [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.

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 [ENGL]

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

Deb Young

Graduate Student [ENGL]

Deb Young is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program and an adjunct instructor at the University of Northern Iowa where she teaches first-year integrated communication and writing courses. Her research interests include composition pedagogy, service-learning, fan studies, and feminist rhetoric.

Current MA Students

Aaron Cronk

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

holds a BS in Technical Communication from Iowa State University. His research interests include user experience (UX) and website design, visual and graphical communication design, rhetoric, composition, and professional communication.

Aaron served as an electrician and nuclear power plant operator in the U.S. Navy for six years during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. His hard-work and dedication earned him the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and two personal commendations from his commanding officers.

Ryan Everett

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Ryan Everett is a product of Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in 2007 and went onto to Wartburg College, where he earned a BA in Secondary English Education. Since, he has long-term subbed for several years at Hoover and East High Schools and taught middle school English and Lang. Arts at Bergman Academy in Des Moines. He is pursuing an MA in RCPC from Iowa State University in his never-ending pursuit to teach.

Ryan enjoys spending free time with family and friends, listening to music (talk to me), biking, veggie gardening, hammocking, reading, eating, drinking, and the occasional poem. He has found some combination of any number of these things works best.

He is eagerly looking forward to working with all members Cyclone Nation, specifically those with a genuine interest in progressing the human consciousness in an attempt to better the world!

Gillian Mohn

Graduate Assistant-Teaching [ENGL]

Gillian Mohn is pursuing her master’s degree in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication. She graduated from Iowa State University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication and Philosophy. Between her undergraduate and graduate studies, she worked as an editor for an international paint company, editing technical documents, reviewing advertisements, and creating a unique company style guide. Her academic interests include technical writing and editing, visual rhetoric, and accessibility.

Molly Riddell

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Molly Riddell is a first year MA student in the RCPC program. Molly completed her undergraduate work in the Honors College of the University of North Texas where she earned Bachelor's degrees in Spanish and English with a Creative Writing concentration. During undergraduate, Molly served as an Assistant Editor and as a creative contributor to her school's literary magazine. In her graduate work, she hopes to focus on environmental rhetoric in the works of Cormac McCarthy, focusing especially  on depictions of Native American peoples. In her free time, she loves hiking, fishing, and all things outdoors.