Academic Hall 213A
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 3225
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Varies by semester; available by appointment.

I hold a Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Philosophy of Communication from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. I earned each of my degrees at a different university which gave me the opportunity to study with a wide variety of professors in distinct departments and parts of the U.S.

My research and publications focus on the rhetoric of social movements, particularly civil rights and women’s movements in the U.S., parenting, and the implications of women in leadership roles in academia. I have been teaching in a college/university setting for nearly 30 years, and during that time, I have had the opportunity to teach in community colleges, public state institutions in Texas, Illinois, Louisiana, and Missouri, as associate faculty for Bar Ilan University in Israel, and in summer programs at Yale and Northwestern University.

I have published articles in outlets such as Peace Studies Journal, Qualitative Inquiry, Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, Women and Language, and Journal of Education and Culture Studies that range in focus from feminist ontology to leadership challenges. In addition, I co-edited two books with Dr. Sean Patrick O’Rourke, Like Wildfire: The Rhetoric of the Civil Rights Sit-Ins (University of South Carolina Press, 2020) and On Fire: Five Civil Rights Sit-Ins and the Rhetoric of Protest (University of South Carolina Press, 2021), which includes my essay “A New Orleans Sit-In: Exploring the Narrative Power of Images."

I have also been an invited lecturer on several occasions, twice as part of a “Pink Bag Series” where I presented “Rethinking Political Correctness: Development, Implementation, and (Re)Articulation” and “Self-Awareness, Perception, and Communication Practices: Exploring Privilege and Intersectionality,” as well as at Sewanee: University of the South, where I presented “Rhetorical Images from Civil Rights, Women’s Liberation, and Peace: Exploring the Visual Intersections of Social Movements,” and here at SEMO where I presented “Rhetoric and Social Protest.” I am also an active member of the Southern States Communication Association.

In addition to my work as a professor, scholar, and chairperson, I have been an advocate working in the communities where I live to bring awareness to, and continue the fight to end, violence against women and children since 1991. From "Take Back the Night" marches to candlelight vigils in memoriam of the women killed by their intimate partner to giving lectures to participating in large informational campaigns, I have devoted a significant part of my time and energy to this problem.

I am also a mom, wife, sister, and aunt who loves spending time with family, music of all kinds, baking, and anything on or near water.

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

William Butler Yeats

What area do you teach?

Communication Studies, Modern Languages


Ph. D., Rhetoric and Philosophy of Communication
Department of Speech Communication
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

M.A., Communication: Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
Department of Communication Studies
Texas State University, San Marcos

B. A., Speech Communication: Public Address
Department of Speech Communication
Southeast Missouri State University

Professional Organizations

  • Southern States Communication Association
  • National Communication Association

Best Advice for Students

A degree is more than a piece of paper. Take advantage of the opportunity to discover new interests and find passions. Your education is something no one can ever take away from you...make the time you have at university count.