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.
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.
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 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 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!
Haley Greer is a Ph.D. student in the Rhetoric & Professional Communication Program at Iowa State University and a Graduate Teaching Assistant and 2023 recipient of the Freda Huncke Teaching Fellowship in the English Department. With a passion for writing and rhetoric she wants to continue evolving her pedagogy to best serve her students and strive for equity and inclusion within the classroom. Prior to ISU, Haley taught high school English in New York where she worked with students enrolled in the College Advantage Program affiliated with St. John’s University. She received her Bachelor’s degrees in English and Sociology from Colgate University and an English Master’s degree from South Dakota State University while competing as a division I women’s basketball student-athlete.
Elham Khamoushi is a PhD student of rhetoric and professional communication at ISU. She earned her BA and MA degrees in English Literature, laying solid groundwork for her current academic pursuits. In part of her research, she examined the Through the Woods (2014) graphic novel as a multi-modal mode of literacy, decoding trauma and the unspeakable truth of women's characters via the analysis of verbal and visual interdependence. Her research interests are centered on the intersection of cultural studies, trauma narratives, feminism, women's studies, and gender rhetoric, specifically gender barriers in women’s entrepreneurship in developing countries. Navigating between teaching and researching, she hopes to trigger a change via rhetoric in women's plight and empower them to resist prevailing socio-cultural manipulations that hinder their progress within the global arena. Outside of academia, she enjoys books, poems, music, illustration, creative writing, photography, traveling, meditation, and yoga.
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.
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.
Kristen Neumann is a PhD student in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. She graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University with a BA in Secondary English and Communication Education. Since then, she has taught in several Minnesota high schools and is excited to continue in her passion for English and Communication Education. Her research interests include Writing Center practices and the teaching of writing, the overlap between education and technical writing, and instructional design. Kristen enjoys spending time outside camping, hiking, and canoeing, specifically in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota. She is also a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur wannabe.
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.
Current MA Students
Rachel Holmes is a Masters student in Rhetoric, Composition, & Professional Communication at Iowa State University. She holds a Bachelor's degree in English from ISU with an emphasis in Rhetoric and a minor in Technical Communications, having graduated in 2013. Since then, she's served as an accomplished content professional in the technology space at start-ups and global organizations. She returns to her alma mater 10 years later to continue her studies and research in written, verbal, and design communications while continuing to work full-time. In her (limited) free time, Rachel enjoys reading fantasy books, playing board games, hiking, and listening to live music.
Caitlin Moran is a Masters student in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication at Iowa State University. They earned their Bachelors of Arts in English from Dominican University in River Forest, IL with a concentration in Creative Writing. After graduation, Caitlin worked as a Career Advisor at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA. Their areas of interest are feminist rhetoric and queer studies. Outside of academia, Caitlin enjoys playing hockey, reading, and writing. Their poetry and fiction has been published by Mount Island Literary Magazine and the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park.
Megan Pezley is a Master's student in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication and a graduate teaching assistant for the English Department. She graduated from Iowa State with her Bachelor of Science in technical and speech communication with minors in computer science and learning technology. Throughout her undergrad, she worked as a teaching assistant for the computer science department and completed six internships, five for John Deere and one for Dawn Foods, all in various technical and professional communication roles. Her interests include user experience, multimedia, website development, human computer interaction, and rhetoric. Outside of classes, she enjoys baking, reading, completing DIY projects, and hanging out with her friends. She is a huge Disney fan and appreciates the impact rhetoric has on the movies' storytelling.
Makenzie Van Maanen
Makenzie Van Maanen is a Master's student in the Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication program at Iowa State University. After recently finishing her undergraduate degrees in 2023 from Iowa State University, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication. Makenzie is also a 2023 recipient of the Freda Huncke Teaching Fellowship. Her current research interests include rhetorical museology, editing, and technical writing, although she finds all modes of written and visual communication interesting. In her free time, Makenzie enjoys spending time outside, working out, reading and writing fiction of all kinds, and drinking coffee!