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.

RPC Faculty Award Recipients

Abram Anders

Associate Professor [ENGL]

Abram Anders, (Pennsylvania State University, 2009) researches communication and learning design to promote creative collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship, and leadership communication. His work has appeared in journals such as Computers & Education, International Journal of Business Communication, Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, and the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning.

Jenny Aune

Teaching Professor [ENGL]

Jeanine Elise Aune (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015) is the Director of Advanced Communication. She works with colleagues in English and stakeholders across campus to design and continually update curricula for the program’s four courses. Her research examines how the (mis)understanding of science affects scientists’ communication with the general public and how to effectively collaborate with science and engineering colleagues to create relevant communication courses for students in those disciplines. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Natural Resources and Life Science Education, Journal of Microbiology and Biological Education, and WAC Journal. Dr. Aune also collaborated with Dr. Mackiewicz on the 12th edition of the textbook Business and Administrative Communication.

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).

Gloria Betcher

Adjunct Associate Professor [ENGL]

Gloria Betcher (U of Minnesota, 1994) has a research specialty in medieval Cornish drama. Her articles on drama and festive culture in pre-modern Britain have appeared in books, journals, and on the multimedia DVD-Rom The English Parish Church Through the Centuries: Daily Life & Spirituality, Art & Architecture, Literature & Music (2010). She has received departmental, university, and national recognition for teaching and offers courses on festive culture, Arthurian legend, and medieval drama. Currently serving on the editorial board of Early Theatre, she is also a councilwoman for the City of Ames and recently co-authored the book Ames (2014).

Laura Michael Brown

Assistant Professor [ENGL]

Laura Michael Brown, (Penn State, 2017) specializes in rhetorical theory and criticism. Her research, which has appeared in Rhetoric Society Quarterly and Communication Teacher, focuses on public memory theory, rhetorics of race and racism, rhetorics of space and place, and feminist historiography.

Joseph Cheatle

Director of the Writing and Media Center [D S O]

I earned my Ph.D. in English from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and was previously the Associate Director of The Writing Center at Michigan State University. I have previously worked as a graduate student consultant, professional consultant, and administrator in writing centers. I believe writing centers are central to student success and help with GPA, retention, and time to graduation. As the Director, I am interested in turning theory into practice in the Writing and Media Center, drawing on a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to ensure that the best practices are applied to our work.

When not working in the center, I enjoy running, learning to play the violin, and playing with my dog Charlie.

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, food and farming rhetorics, feminist digital pedagogy, and archival research. She is an affiliate faculty member in Women’s and Gender Studies and Sustainable Agriculture. Her research appears in journals such as College English, Rhetoric of Health and MedicinePeithoRhetoric 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) teaches business and technical communication, a graduate and undergraduate course in visual communication, and an undergraduate course in world literature, among other courses.  He has published several articles and book chapters on visual communication as well as authored Humanizing Visual Design: The Rhetoric of Human Forms in Practical Communication (Routledge, 2019), 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). He has served as editor and co-editor of the Journal of Business and Technical Communication.

Anne Kretsinger-Harries

Assistant Professor [ENGL]

Anne Kretsinger-Harries (Penn State, 2016) is Director of Public Speaking (SpCm 212). She 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 and Communication Teacher.

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. In 2018, with Isabelle Thompson, she published the second edition of Talk about Writing: The Tutoring Strategies of Experienced Writing Center Tutors (Routledge). She recently published two more books with Routledge: The Aboutness of Writing Center Talk: A Corpus-Driven and Discourse Analysis (2017) and Writing Center Talk over Time: A Mixed-Method Study (2018). With graduate students Zach Gasior and Colin Payton, she is working on two other studies of writing center interactions: one investigating tutors’ use of “so” and one investigating student writers’ long and very long turns-at-talk. A welding student at DMACC in Ankeny, she is currently working on a book about one-to-one interactions about welding.

Denise Oles-Acevedo

Associate Teaching Professor [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.


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 Emeritus

David R. Russell is professor emeritus of English at Iowa State University, where he taught foundation composition and upper level business and technical writing, history of children’s literature, and in the Ph.D. program in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. His research interests are in writing in the disciplines and professions, international writing instruction, and the phenomenology of writing. His book, Writing in the Academic Disciplines: A Curricular History, now in its second edition, examines the history of United States writing instruction since 1870. He has published over 70 articles and chapters on writing in the disciplines (WiD) and professions, drawing mainly on cultural historical activity theory and rhetorical genre theory, to which he has contributed.

He co-edited Landmark Essays on Writing Across the Curriculum, a special issue of Mind, Culture, and Activity on writing research, Writing and Learning in Cross-National Perspective: Transitions from Secondary to Higher Education, and Writing Selves and Societies. He has given workshops and lectures on WiD, including at more than 50 international meetings, and he has been keynote or featured speaker at more than 50 conferences. He has consulted with numerous institutions on writing curriculum, and for international research projects sponsored by the German, British, French, Chilean, and European Union governments.

For twelve years he edited Journal of Business and Technical Communication, a JCR ranked journal, which during his editorship had more NCTE “best article” awards than any of its competitors, almost one third of all given. He was the first Knight Visiting Scholar in Writing at Cornell University, 1999, a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at Queen Mary University of London, 2005, and a Fulbright Scholar in Portugal, 2012, and external evaluator for the English Department at City University Hong Kong, 2015-2019.

At Iowa State University, he served as co-director of the Advanced Communication undergraduate program and coordinated the internship program for the Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication program. He received Iowa State’s Mid-Career and Career Researcher Awards.

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.

Stacy Tye-Williams

Associate Professor [ENGL]

Stacy Tye-Williams (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2012) 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.

Casey White

Lecturer [ENGL]

Casey White (Iowa State University, 2014) is the Assistant Director of the Advanced Communication program. His dissertation for Iowa State focused on interdisciplinary collaboration in developing a multi-modal writing curriculum. He teaches technical communication, proposal writing, and rhetoric courses.