RPC Graduate Faculty Members

The RPC faculty at Iowa State offers an exceptional breadth, with research interests extending to all major areas of rhetorical theory, composition pedagogy, and professional practice. RPC faculty have won numerous awards for outstanding research and teaching, and have founded and continue to edit numerous well-respected publications (including two top journals, one leading textbook and four leading websites) in the field. Several RPC faculty also serve as communication consultants to business, industry, and government.

Jenny Aune

Senior Lecturer [ENGL]

Jeanine Elise Aune (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015) is the Co-Director of Advanced Communication and the Coordinator of the Learning Community English Link program. She teaches in the ISUComm Foundation and Advanced Communication Programs, specializing in the development of collaborative English links for Learning Communities. Her communication research examines how the (mis)understanding of science affects scientists’ communication with the general public, and her literary research examines silence in the Icelandic sagas.

Lesley Bartlett

Assistant Professor [ENGL]

Lesley Erin Bartlett  (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2014) specializes in composition theory and pedagogy, feminist rhetorics, and rhetorical performance. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Teaching/Writing: the Journal of Writing Teacher Educationthe Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (JITP), the Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning (JAEPL), International Journal of ePortfolio(IJeP), and English Leadership Quarterly (ELQ).

Barbara Blakely

Associate Professor [ENGL]

Barbara Blakely (Iowa State University, 1999) has been the writing program administrator of Iowa State University’s Foundation Courses (http://www.engl.iastate.edu/isucomm/) program since 2007, during which time she has overseen the introduction of the campus place-based curriculum and ISUComm ePortfolios. Her scholarship appears in the Journal of Writing Program Administration, Computers and Composition, College Teaching, and Pedagogy, among other journals. She teaches courses in composition theory, pedagogy, and research and co-teaches a writing program administration course.

Laura Brown

Assistant Professor [ENGL]

Laura Michael Brown, (Penn State, 2017) specializes in rhetorical theory and criticism as well as composition studies. Her research, which has appeared in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, focuses on regional rhetorics, public memory, rhetorics of racism, and feminist historiography. Her current project examines how regional identity shapes public memories of the civil rights movement. She teaches courses in writing, rhetorical analysis, and public memory.

Tina Coffelt

Associate Professor [ENGL]

Tina Coffelt, (University of Missouri, 2008) specializes in interpersonal communication in family, friend, romantic, and workplace relationships. Her research in professional settings has been published in Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, and Qualitative Research Reports in Communication. Her research on sexual communication has been published in the Journal of Sex ResearchSex and Marital Therapy, and Communication Yearbook, 38. She serves on the editorial board for Communication Education and Western Journal of Communication. She teaches courses on interpersonal communication and research methods.

Abby Dubisar

Associate Professor [ENGL]

Abby Dubisar (Miami University, Ohio, 2010) specializes in feminist rhetorics, with specific attention to activist rhetorics, peace and justice rhetorics, food and farming rhetorics, feminist digital pedagogy, and archival research. She is an affiliate faculty member in Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research appears in journals such as PeithoRhetoric ReviewCommunity Literacy Journal, Computers and Composition and edited collections such as Food, Feminism, and Rhetoric and Disability and Mothering: Liminal Spaces of Embodied Knowledge. She’s a registered speaker in the Humanities Iowa Speakers Bureau.
Orcid profile

Charlie Kostelnick

Professor [ENGL]

Charlie Kostelnick (U of IL at Urbana—Champaign, 1981) has taught business and technical communication and a graduate and undergraduate course in visual communication in business and technical writing as well as undergraduate courses in world literature, among other courses.  He has published several articles and book chapters on visual communication as well as co-edited Visible Numbers: Essays on the History of Statistical Graphics (Ashgate, 2016) and co-authored Shaping Information: The Rhetoric of Visual Conventions (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003) and Designing Visual Language: Strategies for Professional Communicators (Pearson, second edition, 2011). For three years, he served as editor of the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, and he recently served as its co-editor.

Anne Kretsinger-Harries

Assistant Professor [ENGL]

Anne Kretsinger-Harries (Penn State, 2017) is Director of Public Speaking (SpCm 212), specializes in rhetorical criticism and public address. Her research examines the rhetoric of public controversies at the intersection of commemorative practices and racial politics. Her work, generally, is informed by archival research conducted at locations such as the National Archives, the King Center in Atlanta, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and has been featured in Rhetoric & Public Affairs.

Maggie LaWare

Associate Professor [ENGL]

Maggie LaWare (Northwestern U, 1993) has been a faculty member of the RPC Program and the Program in Speech Communication since 1997. She is also an affiliate of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Leadership Program at ISU

Maggie’s research approaches rhetoric from a civic perspective and the texts she works with include women’s speeches and protest rhetoric, women’s experience of war and which includes peace encampments, ageing women in advertising, and the intersections of public art, public identity, race and culture as well as visual rhetoric and the environment. She has published book chapters and articles in various journals including Women’s Studies in CommunicationAdvocacy and ArgumentationWomen and Language, Basic Course Annualand the NWSA Journal. She is currently working on a book project on commencement speeches by women leaders at women’s colleges over the last four decades titled Speaking to America’s College Women. The book traces the stories and experiences of these accomplished women as well as their perspectives on the women’s movement, leadership, politics, the environment, success and work/life balance.

Jo Mackiewicz

Professor [ENGL]

Jo Mackiewicz (Georgetown University, 2001) uses discourse analysis and corpus-driven analysis to investigate evaluative texts such as writing tutor–student conferences and online reviews of technical products. She is a past editor of IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication and the ATTW Book Series in Technical and Professional Communication. In 2015, with Isabelle Thompson, she published Talk about Writing: The Tutoring Strategies of Experienced Writing Center Tutors (Routledge). Her next book, The Aboutness of Writing Center Talk: A Corpus-Driven and Discourse Analysis(Routledge) will be published in 2017. She is currently working on another book on writing center discourse, tentatively titled Writing Talk across Time.

Denise Oles-Acevedo

Senior Lecturer [ENGL]

Denise Oles-Acevedo (Wayne State University) is currently working on a series of articles that look at the importance of fashion in politics. One essay is about Madeleine Albright’s brooches, which she used as a way to communicate diplomatic messages. A second essay focuses on the double-standards faced by Nancy Pelosi inspiring inquiries into a female politician’s ability to balance duty to country and duty to family, as well as critiques of her fashion preferences, including her hairstyle and clothing choices. Her areas of research are rhetorical criticism, image repair, crisis rhetoric/scandal discourse, gendered/feminist rhetorics, contemporary female political communication, popular culture, and critical/cultural studies.


Prashant Rajan

Assistant Professor [ENGL]

Prashant Rajan (Purdue University, 2012) investigates the design and use of technology in low-income, low-literacy environments. His research interests include informal entrepreneurship and innovation in the Global South, and development and sustainability rhetorics. His work has appeared in Information Technologies and International Development, Academy of Management Proceedings, and Studies in Symbolic Interaction.

Dave Roberts

Associate Professor Emer [ENGL]

Dave “Coach” Roberts (Arizona State, 1979, Associate Professor Emeritus), joined the English department faculty in 1982. During the ensuing 35 years, he taught 23 different courses, ranging from freshman English to graduate seminars. In 2001, Dave was honored with the Louis B. Thompson Award for outstanding teaching. With Charles Kostelnick, Dave is co-author of Designing Visual Language, a textbook for upper-division visual rhetoric classes. In administration, Dave served for 13 years as associate department chair, proving that there is always a thin line between dedication and stupidity. The Coach retired in May 2018 and currently holds Associate Professor Emeritus status.

Craig Rood

Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Program in Speech Communication

Craig Rood (Penn State, 2015) is a rhetorical critic, theorist, and educator who studies and seeks to improve the character and quality of public discourse. His essays have been published in Rhetoric & Public AffairsRhetoric Review, and Rhetoric Society Quarterly. He is currently working on a book manuscript that examines public discourse in the aftermath of mass shootings, particularly divisive debates about guns.

David Russell

Professor [ENGL]

David Russell (U of Oklahoma, 1981) has published widely on writing across the curriculum (WAC), online pedagogy, international writing instruction, and cultural-historical activity theories of genre. He is the author of Writing in the Academic Disciplines: A Curricular History and numerous articles. He co-edited Landmark Essays on Writing across the CurriculumWriting and Learning in Cross-National Perspective, and two collections on genre and activity theory. He also edits the Journal of Business and Technical Communication.

Geoff Sauer

Associate Professor [ENGL]

Geoffrey Sauer (Carnegie Mellon, 1998)  researches and teaches rhetorical theory; new media studies; web design; content management; technical communication; the history of publishing; cultural studies/critical theory; usability, user-centered and user experience design. He is the founding director of the ISU Studio for New Media and for the past twenty-five years has directed the open-access digital humanities publisher EServer.org.


Amy Slagell

Associate Dean [LAS]

Amy Slagell (U of Wisconsin, 1992) is an Associate Dean in the LAS College. Her research explores contemporary public speaking pedagogy and 19th century public address with a particular focus on the impact of cultural and institutional structures that constrain the visibility and rhetorical choices of women as public speakers. She served as the director of public speaking program when she came to ISU in 1996. From 2006-2013 Amy led the Speech Communication Program in the Department of English.

Michelle Tremmel

Senior Lecturer [ENGL]

Michelle Tremmel (Michigan State U, 2003) has research interests in composition theory and pedagogy and genre theory.  Particularly, she has been studying the school genre of the five-paragraph theme and is the author of the following articles on this topic: “Laying Our Burden Down” (2015) in the Journal of Teaching Writing; “What to Make of the Five-Paragraph Theme” (2011) in Teaching English in the Two-Year College; and Forget Formulas (forthcoming 2017) in Composition Studies.  In addition, she is interested in motivation for writing, shaping ideas in writing, and multigenre/ multi-modal discourse.

Stacy Tye-Williams

Assistant Professor [ENGL]

Stacy Tye-Williams (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2002) specializes in communication studies. Her research focuses on how people narratively construct meaning in and about organizations. She examines dark and bright side processes in organization life ranging from workplace bullying to the power of collective storytelling to bring about positive change. Her ultimate focus is how people use communication to organize and create positive outcomes in their organizations and the communities in which they are embedded along with the ways we fail to do so. Along with several book chapters, she has published articles in Management Communication Quarterly, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Women and Language, Western Journal of Communication, Communication Studies, and the Ohio Communication Journal.