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.


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 [C B E]

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.


Fatemeh Dehghanian

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Fatemeh Dehghanian is a Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Professional Communication at Iowa State University and a graduate teaching assistant in English Department.

Before coming to U.S, she has been teaching English for almost 5 years to different age groups while getting her B.A and M.A in English Literature and Language. Her research interest includes feminist rhetoric, women's' studies, environmental studies, eco-feminism, media and popular culture.

Outside of school, she enjoys nature, arts of any sort especially digital or acrylic painting, and lovely animals!


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.


Ryan Everett

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

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

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 [YOUTH]

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.


Pam Katwal

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Pam is a PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program. 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.


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, identity, memory, and liminality. She teaches seven courses within the English department, including public speaking, rhetorical analysis, and technical and business communication. She has presented at a number of prestigious conferences, including ATTW, ABC, CSCA, and NeMLA.


Paul Kimumwe

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Paul is a media trainer and researcher with over 15 years’ experience in communication, journalism and media development. His professional interests include media policy and regulation, freedom of expression, and digital rights. He is the author of Media Regulation and Practice in Uganda: A Journalists Handbook, and Djibouti: Media and the Law. He holds a master’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and a Bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Makerere University, Uganda.


Krista Klocke

Graduate Assistant [SVPP]

Krista Klocke is a PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. 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 is passionate about teaching, mentoring, pedagogy, course design, and online learning design. She loves designing effective learning experiences and developing innovative strategies to improve teaching and learning. She has taught SP CM 212, SP CM 312, SP CM 216, and an Honors seminar on the rhetoric of campaign ads. Her research interests include U.S. public address, the rhetoric of place (with a focus on the Midwest), visual rhetoric, and rhetorical theory.


Linda Kramer

Program Specialist I [LAS]

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

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

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

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.


Colin Payton

Graduate Student [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 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

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.


Hannah Sorenson

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Hannah Sorenson is a first year PhD student in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program at Iowa State University. She is a Fall 2022 recipient of the Freda Huncke Teaching Fellowship in the ISU English Department. Before attending Iowa State, Hannah received her MFA degree in Creative Writing from National University. She has taught at various colleges and universities, helping students enhance their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.

When she is not busy studying or helping students, Hannah loves to read, and to explore the outdoors with her dog, Luna. You can find her running, kayaking, hiking, cross country skiing, and more. She is always looking for new book recommendations to add to her never-ending reading list.

Overall, she's very excited to be part of the ISU and Ames community as she continues to expand her knowledge and skill set in the RPC PhD program.


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 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.




Current MA Students


Jessica Trad

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

Jessica Trad is a second-year MA student in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication and a 2022 recipient of the Freda Huncke Teaching Fellowship. Jessica currently serves as the President of Phorum, a group that evaluates, organizes, implements, and develops services for graduate students in Rhetoric and Professional Communication.

Her current academic research centers on the role of 1960s music in cultivating and influencing cultural publics. Jessica received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in Writing from the Honors Program at Hastings College.


Amanda Winters

Graduate Assistant [ENGL]

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.