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Dissertations and Placements

Our PhD graduates go on to careers primarily at colleges or universities as faculty and hold prominent academic positions; others have chosen successful leadership careers in industry. We have a long-standing PhD program that boasts 100% job placement. In the last decade, we have placed graduates in a variety of positions around the globe.

2016

Ashley Clayson
"Distributed Writing: A Study of Tools, Artifacts, and Bodies in the Workplace"
Advisor: Christina Haas
Placement: Postdoctoral researcher, University of West Florida (FL)

Edward Hahn
"Belief and Practice in Composition: Engaging The Rhetorical Problem of Racism"
Advisor: Patrick Bruch
Placement: Visiting Assistant Professor of English, University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire (WI)

Shuwen Li
"Ethos as Dwelling: The Construction of Corporate Ethos in an IPO"
Advisor: Donald Ross
Placement: Lecturer, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MI)

Michael Madson
"Updating globalization: An integrative review and geosemiotic analysis"
Advisor: Christina Haas
Placement: Assistant Professor, Medical University of South Carolina (SC)

Jacqueline Schiappa
"Two 'Actually Existing' Networked Counterpublics: The Rhetorics of the Feminist Blogosphere and Political Black Twitter"
Advisor: Patrick Bruch
Placement: Postdoctoral writing fellowship, Macalester (MN)

J. Thomas Wright
"Darwin, Huxley, and the Nineteenth-Century Rhetoric of Science"
Advisor: Carol Berkenkotter
Placement: Assistant Professor, Medical University of South Carolina (SC)

2015

Abigail Bakke
"A Rhetorical Perspective on Trust in E-Health Websites"
Advisor: Laura Gurak
Placement: Assistant Professor, Minnesota State University, Mankato (MN)

Brian Larson
"Gender/Genre: Gender Differences in Disciplinary Communication"
Advisor: Mary Schuster
Placement: Assistant Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology (GA)

Aaron Little
"Rhetorical Diplomacy and US International Influence: The Path of Democracy in Burma"
Co-Advisors: Ronald Greene & Tun Myint

Laura Pigozzi
"Exploring the Gap Between a Morally Valid and a Legally Adequate Consent: Investigating Latino understanding of an informed consent conference"
Advisor: Ann Hill Duin
Placement: Lecturer, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (MN)

Jenni Alita Swenson
"Understanding Ethical Concerns in the Design, Application, and Documentation of Learning Analytics"
Advisor: Ann Hill Duin
Placement: Dean of Business and Industry, Lake Superior College (MN)

2014

Karin Goettsch
"Understanding Intercultural Communication on Global Virtual Teams: Exploring Challenges of Language, Culture, Technology, and Collaboration"
Advisor: Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch
Placement: Manager, Global Talent Management, The Mosaic Company (MN)

Keith Harms
"Maybe Another Colony: And Yet Another Critique of the Assessment Community"
Advisor: Thomas Reynolds
Placement: Post Doc Research Assistant, University of Arizona (AZ)

Timothy Oleksiak
"Listening Language and Student Interaction in Online Writing Spaces"
Advisor: Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch
Placement: Assistant Professor, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (PA)

2013

Dawn Armfield
"From Traditional to Digital: Understanding Remediation of the Postcard through the Case of PostSecret.com"
Advisor: Laura Gurak
Placement: Assistant Professor, Frostburg State University (MD)

Joseph Bartolotta
"Laboring Literacy: Rhetoric, Language, and Sponsors of Literacy in Worker's Education in the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union, 1914-1939"
Advisor: Thomas Reynolds
Placement: Visiting Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (NM)

Andrew Virtue
"Digital Struggles: Fostering Student Engagement in Online Writing Courses"
Advisor: Laura Gurak
Placement: Assistant Professor, Western Carolina University (NC)

Joshua Welsh
"The Rhetoric of the Patent Wars: How Technology Becomes 'Common Sense'"
Advisor: Mary Schuster
Placement: Assistant Professor, Central Washington University (WA)

Joseph Weinberg
"The Rhetoric of Facebook Icons: General Principles and Examples of How Icons Impact and Form Identity in Social Networking"
Advisor: Donald Ross
Placement: Lecturer, University of Minnesota - Crookston (MN)

2012

Paul Anheier
"Stasis, Change, and Pedagogic Struggle in the Teaching of Technical Writing: A Cultural Study of Houp and Pearsall's Reporting Technical Information"
Bernadette Longo
Placement: Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin - Stout (WI)

Robert Baron
"Pressures on Play: Rhetoric, Virtual Environments, and The Design of Experience in Virtual World Computer Games"
Advisor: John Logie
Placement: Assistant Professor, Austin Peay State University (TN)

David Kmiec
"Displacement and Equilibrium: A Cultural History of Engineering in America Before its Golden Age"
Advisor: Bernadette Longo
Placement: Lecturer, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJ)

Olga Menagarishvili
"Dictionaries of Science as Participants in Scientific Knowledge Economy"
Advisor: Bernadette Longo
Placement: Instructor, Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellows, Georgia Institute of Techology (GA)

Kimberly Thomas-Pollei
"Shaping a Discipline: Science and Medical Education Reform in Britain, 1770-1858"
Advisor: Richard Graff
Placement: Lecturer, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (MN)

Matthew Williams
"Bartleby Goes to College: A Pragmatist Critique of Writing in Schools"
Advisor: Thomas Reynolds
Placement: Faculty, Inver Hills Community College (MN)

2011

Roopa Sukumaran Berzins
"'Stagecoach Island': Persuasive Lessons in Consumption in the Virtual World"
Advisor: Bernadette Longo
Placement: Assistant Academic Advisor, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (MN)

Elizabeth Kalbfleisch
"Beyond the Tradition: British Rhetoric and Modernity, 1756-1783"
Advisor: Robert L. Brown
Placement: Assistant Professor, Southern Connecticut University (CT)

Maggie VanNorman
"Body Burden and Newborn Cord Blood: A Case Study in Material Rhetoric"
Advisor: Mary Schuster
Placement: Sr. Organizational Learning Specialist, Park Nicollet Health Services (MN)

2010

Grace Coggio
"Agency, Socio-Cultural Context, and the Role of the Technical Communicator During IT Adoption: A Case Study in Innovation Diffusion Across Cultures"
Advisor: Bernadette Longo
Placement: Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin - River Falls (WI)

Brenda Hudson
"'Democratizing' Clinical Research? Efficiency and Inclusiveness in an Electronic Primary Care Research Network"
Advisor: Carol Berkenkotter

Matthew Kaplan
"Greening the Gamescape: How Virtual Game Worlds Can Represent Real-World Environmental Values"
Advisor: Dan Philippon
Placement: Assistant Professor, Stephen F. Austin State University (TX)

Merry Rendahl
"Moving First Year Writing Online: Applying Social Cognitive Theory to an Exploration of Student Study Habits and Interactions--Two Case Studies"
Advisor: Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch
Placement: Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota - Duluth (MN)

Chris Scruton
"The Rhetorical Potential of Images in Popular Accounts of Historical Events"
Advisor: Billie Wahlstrom
Placement: Director of Academic Technology for Faculty Education, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (MN)

Erin Wais-Hennen
"A Textual Analysis of the American Journal of Chinese Medicine: From Spirituality to Science"
Advisors: Carol Berkenkotter & Arthur Walzer
Placement: Lindsey Wilson College, KY

Brett Werner
"Pragmatic Ecocriticism and Equipments for Living"
Advisor: Daniel Philippon
Placement: Centre College, KY

Christopher Scott Wyatt
"Online Pedagogy: Designing Writing Coruses for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders"
Advisor: Laura Gurak
Placement: Assistant Professor, Robert Morris University (PA)

2009

Anthony Arrigo
"Imaging the Dam: The Visual Rhetoric of Hoover (Boulder) Dam in Popular and Public Print Media, 1920-1975"
Advisor: Richard Graff
Placement: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Krista Kennedy
"Textual Curators and Writing Machines: Authorial Agency in Encyclopedias, Print to Digital"
Advisors: Laura Gurak and John Logie
Placement: Assistant Professor, Syracuse University (NY)

Gregory Schneider
"Science in the Science Museum: Representing Science for the Public"
Advisor: Arthur Walzer
Placement: Assistant Professor, Kettering University (MI)

2008

Smiljana Antonijevic
"Rhetoric, Culture, and Avatars. A Microethnographic Analysis of Nonverbal Communication in Multiuser, 3D Virtual Environments"
Advisor: Laura Gurak
Placement: Research Fellow, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

T. Kenny Fountain
"'A Matter of Perception': Rhetoric, Embodiment, and Visual Practices of Anatomy Laboratory Education"
Advisor: Mary Schuster
Placement: Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University (OH)

Cristina Hanganu-Bresch
"Faces of Depression: A Study of Antidepressant Advertisements in the American and British Journals of Psychiatry, 1960-2004"
Advisor: Arthur Walzer
Placement: Assistant Professor, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (PA)

Brent Heffron
"The Psychology Novel: Polyphony in William James's Principles of Psychology"
Advisor: Arthur Walzer
Placement: Faculty, Century College (MN)

Salma Monani
"Nature Films and the Challenge of Just Sustainability"
Advisor: Dan Philippon
Placement: Assistant Professor, Gettysburg College (PA)

2007

Paula J. Lentz
"Positioning and Identity in the Small-Story Narratives of RN-to-BSN Students in an Online BSN Management and Leadership Course"
Advisor: Carol Berkenkotter
Placement: Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire (WI)

Jennifer Novak
"Rhetoric, Medicine, and the Impact of Technologies on Subjects and Statements"
Advisor: Mary Schuster
Placement: Assistant Professor, Tarleton State University (TX)

Amy Propen
"The Map, the Mill, and the Memorial: A Rhetorical Study of the Visual and Material"
Advisor: Mary Schuster
Placement: Assistant Professor, York College of Pennsylvania (PA)

Aimee Whiteside
"Exploring Social Presence in Communities of Practice within a Hybrid Learning Environment: A Longitudinal Examination of Two Case Studies within the School Technology Leadership Graduate-Level Certificate Program"
Advisor: Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch
Placement: Assistant Professor, University of Tampa (FL)

2006

Gretchen A. Haas
"Subject to the System: The Rhetorical Constitution of Good Internet Citizenship in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Campaign"
Advisor: Laura Gurak
Placement: Assistant Professor, Minnesota State University, Mankato (MN)

Marianallet Mendez
"Maintaining and Enhancing Political Power via the MAss Media: The Rhetoric of H.R. Chavez, President of Venezuela"
Advisor: Victoria Mikelonis
Placement: Assistant Professor, St. John's University (NY)

Amy M. Patrick
"Apocalyptic or Precautionary? Revisioning Texts in Environmental Literature"
Advisor: Dan Philippon
Placement: Assistant Professor, Western Illinois University (IL)

Clancy Ann Ratliff
"'Where are the Women?' Rhetoric and Gender in Weblog Discourse"
Advisor: Mary Schuster
Placement: Assistant Professor, East Carolina University (NC)

Jessica Lee Reyman
"Rhetoric, Law, and the Regulation of Intellectual Property on Peer-to-Peer Networks: The Case of MGM Studios v. Grokster"
Advisor: Laura Gurak
Placement: Assistant Professor, Northern Illinois University (IL)

Wendy Lee Winn
"Visualizing Science: A Semiotic Analysis of Visual Representations in Ornithology Journals, 1859-2003"
Advisor: Alan Gross
Placement: Assistant Professor, Appalachian State University (NC)

2005

Kelly Christine Ball-Stahl
“Environmental Values in American Popular-Culture Narratives”
Advisor: Dan Philippon
Placement: Associate Director of Sponsored Programs, St. Norbert College (WI)

Helen Rose Constantinides
“A Pragmatics of Power Using Jurgen Habermas' Theory of Communicative Action”
Advisor: Alan Gross
Placement: Freelance technical writer and editor

Constance E. Kampf
“Kumeyaay Online: Dimensions of Rhetoric and Culture in the Kumeyaay Web Presence”
Advisor: Victoria Mikelonis
Placement: Assistant Professor, Aarhus School of Business (Denmark)

2004

Timothy D. Giles
“The Role of Metaphor in the Technical Communication Classroom”
Advisor: Victoria Mikelonis

Kari Kay Kruempel
“Distance Working: A Rhetorical Analysis of Engineering Email Collaboration”
Advisor: Laura Gurak
Placement: Lockheed-Martin

Joan L. Pougiales
“Little Ethiopia: The Colonization of a Multicultural American Workplace”
Advisor: Robert L. Brown, Jr.
Placement: ESL teacher

Matthew W. Segaard
“Creating and Evaluating an Interdisciplinary Writing Program: A Case Study”
Advisor: Earl E.McDowell

2003

Tori Sadler
“Rhetoric, Technology, and the Military: The Death of a ‘TopGun’”
Advisors: Carol Berkenkotter & Mary Lay Schuster
Placement: Assistant Professor, Metro State University (MN)

Doreen Starke-Meyerring
“Re-Visioning Higher Education on the Internet: A Cross-Cultural Rhetorical Study of Higher Education Policy in Germany and in the United States”
Advisors: Ann Hill Duin & Victoria M. Mikelonis
Placement: Assistant Professor, McGill University (Canada)

2002

David E. Beard
“Douglas Walton, Informal Logic, and the Uses of the New Dialectic for the Rhetoric of Inquiry”
Advisor: Arthur Walzer
Placement: Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Amy Lynn Koerber
“U.S. Breastfeeding Education and Promotion 1978-1999: A Feminist Rhetorical Analysis”
Advisor: Mary Schuster
Placement: Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University (TX)

Sam Racine
“Changing (Inter) Faces: A Genre Analysis of Catalogues From Sears, Roebuck to Amazon.com”
Advisor: Laura J. Gurak
Placement: Unisysp

Kirk Richard St. Amant
“Culture, Conflict, and Cyberspace: A Case Study of EU-US Negotiations Over the EU Data Protection Directive and the US Safe Harbor Principles”
Advisor: Laura Gurak
Placement: Assistant Professor, James Madison University (VA)

2001

David W. Norton
“The Strategic Technical Communicator: A Critical Action Inquiry of Information Architecture”
Advisor: Billie Wahlstrom
Placement: Vice President, Yaramoto-Moss (MN)

2000

Ruth J. Cronje
"Communicative Rationality and the Future of Science"
Advisor: Alan Gross
Placement: Assistant PRofessor, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire (WI)

1999

Gail Woodward Lippincott
“Ellen Swallow Richards: Rhetorical Strategies of a Nineteenth-Century Technical Communicator”
Advisor: Mary Schuster
Placement: Assistant Professor, University of North Texas (TX)

1998

Sara J. Newman
“Aristotle and Metaphor: His Theory and Its Practice”
Advisor: Alan Gross
Placement: Assistant Professor, Kent State University (OH)

1997

Andreea Deciu Ritivoi
“The Debate Between Rene Descartes and Pierre de Fermat: A Pragma-dialectical Analysis”
Advisor: Alan Gross
Placement: Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University