Complete Story

RSA Nominees for Board of Directors

RSA Nominees for Board of Directors 

Voting in the 2009 RSA election begins on September 15 and concludes at midnight Eastern Time on October 15, 2009.  Voting will be conducted electronically.  You will receive an e-mail message on September 15 with instructions containing a link to the ballot. Please click here to review the requirements for office and voting in our association.

The RSA Nominating Committee is pleased to announce that the RSA Board unanimously accepted its recommendation that Krista Ratcliffe, English, Marquette University, be installed as President-Elect as of January 2010.  The election winners will take office as of January 2010. The Society thanks all for their willingness to serve.

Listed below are the paired candidates for the RSA Board positions.  Click on the candidate's name to read about his or her experience and priorities for RSA. 

Davida Charney and LuMing Mao   
Lawrence Green and Arthur Walzer
Mark McPhail and Lester Olson
Roxanne Mountford and Andreea Deciu Ritivoi
Vanessa Beasley and Cara Finnegan
Trent Kays and Kimberly Thomas-Pollei
Pamela Conners and Erica Delgadillo

To complete the term of Krista Ratcliffe, who becomes President-Elect (2 year term) 

Davida Charney, University of Texas

Currently, I'm a professor of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin enjoying teaching in our new undergraduate rhetoric major; my previous position was in English at Penn State. My administrative experience includes directing first-year composition and serving as associate head/director at both institutions. As a scholar, I have published many articles and chapters on the rhetoric of science, on reading and writing processes, and on research methods. I am now writing a book on the rhetoric of the Hebrew Book of Psalms. I have been a member of RSA for over twenty-five years, long enough to appreciate just how much it has grown and improved since the days of those erratically timed, 8-1/2" x 11", xeroxed, and stapled issues of RSQ with the shiny black (and sometimes pink!) covers. I've served RSA as local site host for the 2004 RSA conference in Austin, as a member of site-selection and nominating committees, as survey director assessing conferences and institutes, and as workshop leader at the second institute in Troy, New York. I would be honored to help lead the RSA as it strives to grow without diminishing its close colleagiality and high standards.

LuMing Mao, Miami University (Ohio)

If elected, I would like to work with other RSA members to build on what has been achieved in recent years and to further promote and advance ethnic and comparative rhetorical study within our organization and beyond. I would also want to help create a broader forum so that scholars around the world would feel more excited to join us and so that we can open up new interdisciplinary areas of research and forge a truly global rhetorical alliance. As for myself, I am a professor of English and director of Asian/Asian American Studies Program at Miami University. I am author of Reading Chinese Fortune Cookie: The Making of Chinese American Rhetoric and co-editor of Representations: Doing Asian American Rhetoric and of Comparative Rhetorical Studies in the New Contact Zone: Chinese Rhetoric Reimagined, a special symposium in the June 2009 issue of College Composition and Communication. One of my current projects is co-editing, with Jody Enders, Robert Hariman, Susan Jarratt, Andrea Lunsford, Thomas Miller, and Jacqueline Jones Royster, The Norton Anthology of Rhetoric and Writing

For the position currently occupied by Janet Atwill (4 year term) 

Lawrence Green, University of Southern California 

My hope for the RSA is to foster more interaction among scholars from America and abroad, to see new projects and perspectives, and to introduce younger scholars to the wealth of opportunities in historical studies.  I have been an active member of RSA for many years and organized seminars on special research topics in rhetoric (Agricola and De Inventione Dialectica in 2004; Aphthonius and Progymnasmata in 2006; locI communes in 2008; and epideictic rhetoric for 2010).  I have organized several international conferences on rhetoric and served as president of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric.  

I teach rhetoric and literature at the University of Southern California, where for many years I directed the graduate program in Rhetoric-Literature-Linguistics, and teach graduate rhetoric seminars for the summer institute at the University of California at Irvine.  My books include John Rainolds's Oxford Lectures on Aristotle's Rhetoric (1986) and the Renaissance Rhetoric Short Title Catalogue (2006, with James Murphy).  I have published over forty articles on the theory and history of rhetoric, presented over eighty papers here and abroad (in Asia, Europe, and Latin America), conducted workshops (including one for the RSA Summer Institute), and held fellowships from the ACLS and NEH.  

Arthur Walzer, University of Minnesota

I am Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Previously I was Professor in Writing Studies and in Rhetoric at Minnesota.  I thus have experience in the two principal disciplinary approaches to the study of rhetoric. If elected, I would work to unify our several disciplinary affiliations around a common identity as rhetoric scholars as I did as Chair of the Alliance of Rhetoric Societies (2007).  My scholarship is in the history of rhetoric, having authored a book on George Campbell and co-edited two collections, Rereading Aristotle's Rhetoric and The Viability of the Rhetorical Tradition. If elected, I would promote historical rhetoric in our scholarship and classrooms.  As former president of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric (2001) and as board member of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric (2005-09), I am positioned to foster cooperation among societies concerned with history. With regard to service to RSA, I was book review editor of RSQ (1991-98), a leader in the seminar at the 2005 Summer Institute, local arrangements chair for the conference in 1992 and local arrangements co-chair for 2010.  I received RSA's Unstinting Service Award (2000) and am Fellow of the Society (2004). 

For the position currently occupied by Barbara Warnick (4 year term)

Mark McPhail
, Southern Methodist University

I am both pleased and honored to be nominated as a member of the Rhetoric Society of America's Board of Directors. I only recently became a member of RSA, but have always been interested in the organization because of its interdisciplinary character and inclusive vision. Over the course of my career I have moved effortlessly between spoken and written rhetorics, always trying to find the connections and common grounds between them. As an organization that has always celebrated and embraced these connections, RSA is an especially attractive intellectual home for me, one in which I would be most willing to serve in any capacity. As a member of the Board of Directors, I

would bring to RSA valuable organizational and administrative experience, but would also contribute to the organization a unique appreciation of the intellectual and cultural diversity that has always characterized rhetorical inquiry and expression. I am humbled by this nomination, and if elected would serve the Rhetoric Society of America with the same integrity, discipline, and compassion that I have invested in all of my teaching, scholarship, and service.

Lester Olson, University of Pittsburgh 

Since my first RSA conference in 1988, I have served on RSA's nomination, dissertation award, and conference submission selection committees.  My recent scholarship was recognized with RSA's book award.  I am a Professor of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh, where I specialize in public address, visual rhetoric, and human rights advocacy.  My books include Emblems of American Community in the Revolutionary Era (1991), Benjamin Franklin's Vision of American Community (2004), and Visual Rhetoric (2007).  My essays concerning Audre Lorde's public advocacy can be found in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Philosophy & Rhetoric, American Voices and Queering Public Address.  My primary objectives for RSA's Board are to continue to enhance the diversity of scholarship across multiple differences (such as departmental home, career stage, and social identities) and to strengthen RSA's role for early career scholars, women, and minorities.  I am glad to learn that future RSA institutes will welcome all of us as seminar participants while giving priority to junior scholars, because of my commitment to life-long learning, which would likewise inform my potential contributions on RSA's board.

For the position currently occupied by Ralph Cintron (4 year term) 

Roxanne Mountford, University of Kentucky

The preface of my recent book, Women's Way of Making It in Rhetoric and Composition (Routledge, 2008), recounts the moment I met my co-authors, Michelle Ballif and Diane Davis, at an RSA reception (our initial conversation-of the job market-eventually led to our research on women's career paths in the field).  I have formed many productive relationships thanks to the RSA, an organization that has been my intellectual home since 1991.  If elected, I would encourage the RSA to help young scholars negotiate the differing research paradigms employed by rhetoricians in English and Communication in order to broaden the audience for their scholarship.  I would also encourage the RSA to find ways to educate the public about the nature of the arguments surrounding issues of national importance.  I have served the RSA as an Editorial Board member of RSQ, chair of the Kneupper Award committee, contributing editor to conference proceedings, and leader of an RSA Summer Institute workshop.  I have also served on the board of the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric.  My community work includes five years on the board of the youth literacy nonprofit VOICES (two as vice-president).  I teach research methods, rhetorical theory and criticism, and community-based writing (for which I won a university teaching award at the University of Arizona), and have chaired 18 dissertations in rhetoric.  Currently, I am Associate Professor and Writing Program Director at the University of Kentucky, leading English and Communication to collaborate on two foundations courses in oral, written, and visual communication.  In addition to Women's Ways, I am author of The Gendered Pulpit: Preaching in American Protestant Spaces, (SIUP, 2003) and numerous articles and book chapters.  Currently, I am studying the historical relationship of English and Communication and the rhetorical performance of evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. 

Andreea Deciu Ritivoi, Carnegie Mellon University 

I am an associate professor of rhetoric and I teach courses in contemporary rhetorical theory, argumentation, narrative theory, and intercultural communication. My publications include several articles, two books (Yesterday's Self: Nostalgia and the Immigrant Identity, Rowman and Littlefield in 2002, and Paul Ricoeur: Tradition and Innovation in Rhetorical Theory, State University of New York Press in 2006), and an edited book (Interpretation and Its Objects: Studies in the Philosophy of Michael Krausz, Rodopi, 2003). I organized and led (along with David Frank) the "Globalization and Rhetoric" workshop at this year's Rhetoric Society of America summer institute at Penn State University. I am on the editorial board of the narrative studies journal Storyworlds. Interdisciplinary work is widely recognized as a worthy aspiration, but I think we need to do more to increase rhetoric's visibility in the humanities and social sciences. If elected to the board, I would like to work with the RSA members to disseminate our research more broadly beyond our own disciplinary boundaries. I would also like to work with RSA on identifying more publishing opportunities for young scholars, and on putting rhetoric on the list of more major university presses. 

For the position currently occupied by Leah Ceccarelli (4 year term) 

Vanessa Beasley, Vanderbilt University

I am an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Vanderbilt University.  I joined RSA at mid-career, and it was love at first sight.  I attended my first RSA conference in Memphis in 2006; I have also served on the RSA Dissertation Award Committee and as leader of the workshop "Rhetoric, Nationalism, and Post-Nationalism" at the 2009 RSA Institute at Penn State.   My research focuses on U.S. political rhetoric.  Author of You, the People: American National Identity in Presidential Rhetoric and editor of Who Belongs in America? Presidents, Rhetoric, and Immigration, I am Series Editor for Texas A&M University Press' Series in Presidential Rhetoric.  In addition, I am the Book Review Editor for Rhetoric & Public Affairs and serve on multiple editorial boards.   At Vanderbilt, I direct the College of Arts and Science's Program for Career Development, which offers confidential mentoring and related opportunities for professional advancement to junior faculty.

As a member of the RSA Board, my priorities would be (1) to support the ongoing development of the Summer Institute, (2) to create more mentoring opportunities for rhetoric scholars at all career stages, and (3) to advance members' interests within the changing landscape of academic publishing. 

Cara Finnegan, University of Illinois

I am Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I am also affiliated with the Center for Writing Studies. I teach courses in rhetorical history/theory/criticism and visual politics. In addition, I recently completed ten years as director of the university's hybrid composition and public speaking course. I am the author of Picturing Poverty: Print Culture and FSA Photographs (2003) and co-editor of Visual Rhetoric: A Reader in Communication and American Culture (2008). A member of RSA since 2000, I have long found RSA to be a welcoming intellectual home; more recently, I have come to view it as a vital professional home as well. The recent introductions of the RSA Institute and the Research Network, for example, embody the society's commitment to junior faculty and graduate students. If elected I would seek to deepen and extend RSA's commitments to younger scholars. Given changing expectations for humanities research, I would also work with fellow board members to help RSA members identify funding and publishing opportunities that will make their work more visible and ensure that rhetorical studies stays at the cutting edge of humanities scholarship. 

For a Student Board Member position (2 year term)

Trent Kays, University of Arkansas at Little Rock 

My connection to the RSA began when I was an undergraduate studying both history and rhetoric. I quickly came to discover the interdisciplinary nature of rhetoric and chose to pursue rhetoric and composition at the graduate-level after I graduated with my undergraduate degrees. As an undergraduate, I discovered the existence of the RSA and joined immediately. I also set up the first student chapter of the RSA, the Rhetoric Society of UALR, in Arkansas and have spearheaded events that cross the many disciplines of study, including our most popular event -"An Evening with John Deering." During this event, we had a well-known cartoonist and visual rhetorician come to campus and discuss rhetoric, satire, and cartooning. The event was well attended by students and faculty from across the university. I enjoy finding new and unique ways in which to apply rhetorical theory to everyday life.

As a student board member, I would continue to promote not only graduate student participation but also undergraduate participation in RSA activities. I would also encourage new student chapter creation in order to provide a solid base for future scholars in the discipline. Furthermore, I would hope to establish a consolidated database of programs with focuses in rhetoric and composition so students wishing to pursue graduate study have a reliable and trustworthy source of information.

Kimberly Thomas-Pollei, University of Minnesota 

Currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Kimberly is completing a graduate program in rhetoric and scientific and technical communication. Kimberly's research focuses on the intersection of rhetoric, law, and science. She is committed to interdisciplinary scholarship and, last year, was awarded a competitive university fellowship in interdisciplinary studies to work with the law school's Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment and the Life Sciences. During the academic year 2008-2009, Kimberly served as a member of the RSA graduate student steering committee, collaborating with her peers to provide recommendations to the RSA board on how to expand national and international involvement of graduate students in RSA. Prior to beginning graduate work at the University of Minnesota, she completed a MA in rhetoric and composition and subsequently worked as an instructor for six years teaching writing and communication courses in both English and communication departments.

For a Student Board Member position (2 year term)

Pamela Conners, University of Wisconsin 

Since joining RSA in 2007, I have participated in both the RSA Summer Institute and the RSA Biennial Conference.  I most recently served as the student member of the steering committee for 2009 RSA Summer Institute.  The positive experiences I have had through my membership with RSA motivates my desire to serve the association in ways that will continue to advance professional development opportunities, particularly for graduate students.  My previous service to RSA and the National Communication Association (NCA) has prepared me for the responsibilities and expectations of board service.   Prior to returning to graduate school, I gained experience with organizational administration through my work as a Director of Operations at NCA, where I regularly participated in meetings of the Executive Committee as well as other governing boards of the association.  These opportunities expanded my understanding of conference planning, editorial and publication processes, and budgeting such that I believe I would offer a unique and informed perspective to the RSA Board.

Erica Delgadillo, University of Colorado 

During the last academic year I had the opportunity to work with fellow RSA graduate students, led by Caroline Gottschalk-Druschke, charged with developing guidelines and recommendations to create more opportunities for graduate students not only in the form of chapter creation and maintenance, but within the association as a whole. This committee, coupled with my experiences during the 2009 summer seminar, demonstrated how much we prosper from interactions fostered by RSA with rhetoricians from varied backgrounds and departments. During my tenure as chair of the CU Boulder Student Chapter, I have worked to sponsor events that not only build camaraderie among the rhetoricians, but also enhance the graduate student experience. I look forward to the new prospects this academic year brings as I continue my involvement with RSA and begin writing my dissertation that brings together my interests in rhetoric, argument, social policy, and the law. I hope to have a chance to work as a member of the Board to bring together the resources of RSA and our individual schools to promote graduate student development and achievement. My goal would be to continue the work of making our organization more responsive and beneficial for rhetoric graduate students regardless of home department or career path.

Printer-Friendly Version