The words strategy innovation, vision creativity, support, and solution surrounding a lightbulb

In addition to being outstanding teachers, our faculty are active scholars who consistently publish books and articles, present at conferences, and engage in public projects that further our mission. The faculty has expertise in a wide range of areas, including conflict resolution and domestic violence, urban sustainability and food cultures, public argumentation and political debate, personal identity and media analysis, and similar themes related to communication and society.

Name Title Field of Research/Work Recent Professional Development
Donovan Conley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

  • Rhetoric and Public Culture
  • Materiality and Aesthetics
  • Food and Citizenship
  • Hartnett, S., Keranen, L., & Conley, D. Imagining China: Rhetorics of Nationalism in an Age of Globalization (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2017).
  • Donovan Conley, “M/Orality.” Forum on “Rhetorics and Foodways,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies (Spring 2015). Eds. Amy Young, Donovan Conley, & Justin Eckstein.
  • Keranen, L., Dodge, P., & Conley, D. “Modernizing Traditions on the Roof of the World: Displaying ‘Liberation’ vs. ‘Occupation’ in Three Tibet Museums,” Journal of Curatorial Studies 4:1 (2015), 79-106.
Emma Frances Bloomfield, Ph.D. Assistant Professor
  • Environmental Communication
  • Scientific Controversies
  • Rhetoric, Identity, and Dialogue
  • Bloomfield, E. F., & VanderHaagen, S. C. (2022). Where women scientists belong: Placing feminist memory in biography collections for children. Women's Studies in Communication.
  • Bloomfield, E. F. (2021). Transcorporeal identification and strategic essentialism in eco-horror: mother!'s ecofeminist rhetorical strategies. Environmental Communication, 15(3), 339-365.
  • Bloomfield, E. F. (2019). Communication Strategies for Engaging Climate Skeptics: Religion and the Environment. New York, NY: Routledge Series on Advances in Climate Change Research.
Michael Lane Bruner, Ph.D.


  • Policy Argumentation
  • Public Persuasion
  • Rhetorical Studies
  • Aesthetics and Politics
  • Why Must You Say These Things Out Loud? (Los Angeles, CA: Rose of Sharon Press, 2021)
  • Hard to Say in A Way That Might Be Heard (Los Angeles, CA: Rose of Sharon Press, 2021).
  • Rhetorical Unconsciousness and Political Psychoanalysis (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2019). 
  • “The Cynical Manipulation of Universities as Public Forums in the Age of Trump,” Communication Law Review 18:1 (August 2018), pp. 29-41.
  • “Recuperating the Real: New Materialism, Object Oriented Ontology, and Lacanian Ontical Cartography,” Philosophy & Rhetoric 51 (Summer 2018), pp. 151-75. Caleb Cates, M. Lane Bruner and Joseph Moss. 
Natalie Pennington, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Communication Technology
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods
Rebecca Rice, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

  • Organizational Communication
  • Inter-organizational Collaboration
  • High Reliability Organizations
  • Security
  • Natural Hazards
  • Bean, H. & Rice, R. M. (2019). Organizational communication and security. B. C. Taylor and H. Bean (Eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Communication and Security. Routledge.
  • Rice, R. M. (2018). When Hierarchy becomes Collaborative: Collaboration as Sensemaking Frame in High Reliability Organizing. Corporate Communications, 23(4), 599–613.
  • Rice, R. M. (2018). Negotiating the Professional in Media Representation: The Carnivalesque and Privatized Security Work. TAMARA: Journal for Critical Organizational Inquiry, 16(1–2), 25–36.
Tara Emmers-Sommer, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education

  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Relational Communication
  • Health Communication
  • Media
  • Sexual Communication
  • Sex and Gender
  • Quantitative Methods
Tara McManus, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

  • Family and Interpersonal Communication
  • Uncertainty
  • Stress and Coping
  • Disclosure
  • Social support

  • Quantitative Methods