Current PhD Students
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 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 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 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 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 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.
Ryan Everett is a product of Des Moines, Iowa (Go Riders!). He graduated from Wartburg College, earning a BA in Secondary English Education. Since then, he has taught middle and high school language arts in the Des Moines metro. He is now pursuing a PhD in his never-ending pursuit to teach communication and composition skills to future leaders and professionals.
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 of Cyclone Nation, specifically those with a genuine interest in progressing human consciousness in an attempt to better ourselves and the world!
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 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.
Carrie Ann Johnson (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate 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 works for the Catt Center for Women in Politics as the Vertically Intergraded Projects Coordinator and as the Editorial Assistant for Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. Additionally, she serves as the Senate Engagement Officer for the Graduate and Professional Student Senate. Her dissertation research focuses on Whisper Networks and organizational communication. Other research interests include political communication, journalism and mass media, gender studies, queer video game rhetoric, ludic theory, and social justice.
Pam is a first year PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program. She is from Nepal. She is a Fall 2021 recipient of the Freda Huncke Teaching Fellowship in the English Department. She graduated with an MS degree in Communication Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is interested to learn more about the interrelationship between language and communication. Hence, she wants to specialize in rhetoric. Her research interests include rhetorical theory, digital rhetoric, speech act theory, and social identity theory.
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 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 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.
Shaya Kraut is a PhD student in the Rhetoric & Professional Communication program and a Graduate Teaching Assistant. She studied Rhetoric and Writing, Teaching English as a Second Language, and Instructional Technology at St. Cloud State University. She has taught first-year writing and a variety of ESL classes including English for Academic Purposes Reading/Writing. She was also a tutor in the SCSU Writing Center and a teacher/tutor for St. Cloud Adult Basic Education. Her research interests include composition pedagogy, critical literacy, digital humanities, and teaching with technology. In addition to academic work, she loves gardening and spending time in nature.
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.
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.
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 is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program at Iowa State University. His current academic research centers on U.S. presidential rhetoric. 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 academia, he has served in financial accounting and administrative roles for various non-profit organizations, most recently the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine based in Washington, D.C.
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 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 is getting his PhD in Rhetoric. His research interests are ego and perspective-taking development in first-year composition (FYC) as an integral part of the curriculum.
Deb Dimond Young is a PhD candidate in rhetoric and professional communication and teaches first-year integrated communication and writing at the University of Northern Iowa. She received her BA in Public Relations from Drake University and her MA in English from the University of Northern Iowa. Deb’s research interests include composition pedagogy, community-engaged writing, and feminist rhetoric. You can find her recent work in Composition Studies and Reflections. Deb also has a nerdy interest in the pedagogical possibilities of fandom podcasts and an abiding love of really old cookbooks.
Current MA Students
Aaron Cronk is an MA student in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication program and teaching assistant for the English department at Iowa State University. He holds a BS in Technical Communication from Iowa State University. His research interests include user experience (UX) and visual and graphical communication design (particularly as they relate to website design).
Aaron teaches ENGL 150 and an innovation and entrepreneurship themed version of ENGL 250. In these classes, students learn the fundamentals of written, oral, visual, and electronic communication through a lens of an entrepreneurial mindset.
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.
Outside of academia, Aaron enjoys spending time with his family, biking, and playing tabletop roleplaying games. You can find out more about Aaron by visiting his professional website at www.acronk.com.
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 is a second-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. At Iowa State, her research focuses on the suasory power of internet memes, combining political and rhetorical theory to investigate the sociopolitical implications of digital rhetorics. During the 2021 - 2022 school year, Molly will serve as the MA Liaison for Phorum, a group that evaluates, organizes, implements, and develops services that meet graduate students’ professional and academic needs. In her free time, Molly loves hiking, fishing, spending time with her dog, and all things outdoors.
Jessica Trad is pursuing her master’s degree in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication. Jessica completed her undergraduate work in the Honors Program at Hastings College with a concentration in English writing. During undergraduate, she served as the High Plains Student Representative for Sigma Tau Delta and was awarded a fellowship to complete research in Ireland.
Jessica plans to focus on rhetoric’s role in persuading social thought and action in her graduate studies with a goal to obtain her PhD and teach.
Madison Vicchiarelli is an M.A. student in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication. She graduated from Harding University in Spring 2021, where she received her BA in English with a writing minor. During her studies in undergrad, Madison fell in love with Old English literature and obscure Nordic sagas. But that doesn't mean she doesn't like newer media. As soon as the second season of The Witcher comes to Netflix, she plans on ordering as much Chinese take-out as financially possible and binge-watching it until she's eaten all the crab rangoons.
Amanda Winters is pursuing a master’s degree in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication. She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration with a Nonprofit Management concentration and a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with minors in Spanish and Linguistics. She has worked in the nonprofit, government and corporate sectors in marketing, public relations and event planning roles. Winters is most passionate about cause-oriented work and has held and continues to hold many volunteer positions, including board leadership positions, with early childhood, youth development, animal welfare, religious and educational organizations.