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Graduate Faculty

Get to know our graduate program faculty. 

Linda Aldoory

Aldoory 2021

Linda Aldoory (Ph.D., Syracuse) was endowed chair and director of the Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy and associate professor in behavioral & community health at the School of Public Health from 2011 to 2015. Her research focuses on health communication, specifically, public health campaigns and message design and their effects on underserved health populations.

Professor, Public Relations & Strategic Communication; Associate Dean for Research & Programming, College of Arts & Humanities

Lindsey Anderson

L Anderson

Lindsey Anderson (Ph.D., Purdue) broadly studies the intersections of communication, age and emotion. In particular, she is an interpretive scholar who focuses her work on communication assessments and communication education coupled with organizational processes related to employee age and workplace emotion (e.g., career socialization, training and mentoring).

Associate Professor, Public Relations & Strategic Communication

Dale Hample

Headshot of former associate professor Dale Hample.

Dale Hample is an American argumentation and rhetorical scholar and a former associate professor at the University of Maryland . He has published many peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and written one book and edited another. After receiving a PhD at the University of Illinois in 1975, he taught at Western Illinois University until 2007, when he took a teaching position at Maryland. Some of his major accomplishments include developing measures for the ways in which people edit arguments (cognitive editorial standards), discussing how people produce argumentative discourse (inventional capacity), and how they view arguments (argument frames and taking conflict personally).

Former Associate Professor, Communication Science & Social Cognition

Nick Joyce


Nick Joyce (Ph.D., Arizona) is interested in the communicative and psychological processes underlying intercultural relationships. One major area of his research examines how and why intercultural narratives and other forms of intergroup communication can be used to foster empathy, change perceptions and improve attitudes toward other cultures and groups.

Assistant Professor, Communication Science & Social Cognition

Kathleen Kendall


Kathleen Kendall's (Ph.D., Indiana) research focuses on political campaign communication. She has received awards for her teaching and scholarship from the Eastern Communication Association and was a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University in 1997. She regularly gives her analysis of political communication events in media interviews.

Research Professor, Rhetoric & Political Culture


Sahar Khamis

Sahar Khamis

Sahar Khamis (Ph.D., Manchester) is an expert on Arab and Muslim media and the former Head of the Mass Communication and Information Science Department at Qatar University. She is a former Mellon Islamic Studies Initiative visiting professor at the University of Chicago.

Associate Professor, Public Relations & Strategic Communication

Jiyoun Kim

Jiyeon Kim

Jiyoun Kim (Ph.D., Wisconsin) is a communication science researcher who has been concerned with the dynamics of public engagement in emerging interactive media with a special emphasis on contested issues. Her personal interest in risk, health and science communication was spurred by her research experiences in the societal implications of nanotechnology group in the NSF-funded Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC). Currently, she is interested in how social media influences public attitudes, interest and engagement toward controversial issues. Kim's research has been presented at several conferences and appeared in numerous academic journals including Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Risk Analysis, Energy Policy, and Journal of Nanoparticle Research.

Assistant Professor, Communication Science & Social Cognition

Sun Young Lee


Sun Young Lee’s (Ph.D., North Carolina) research focuses mainly on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and crisis/risk communication. In particular, she investigates visual strategies in various contexts, including CSR and international crises; how co-creational strategies for CSR activities can generate social value; how publics process CSR messages; and the effects of CSR strategies before or after a crisis.

Assistant Professor, Public Relations & Strategic Communication

Brooke Liu


Brooke Liu's (Ph.D., North Carolina) research investigates how effective risk and crisis communication can optimally prepare the public to respond to and recover from disasters. In recent years, her research has focused on the potentially unique roles that governments’ social and mobile media can play in building community resilience.

Professor, Public Relations & Strategic Communication

Kristy Maddux


Kristy Maddux (Ph.D., Georgia) is a rhetorical critic who studies popular discourses of citizenship, especially as they intersect with discourses of gender and religion. Some of her work, including her first book, concerns contemporary discourses of citizenship.

Associate Professor, Rhetoric & Political Culture

Kang Namkoong


Kang Namkoong’s (Ph.D., Wisconsin) research focuses on the interrelationships between emerging media and health communication, with areas of focus including web- and mobile-based eHealth system effects, cancer communications, health promotion, occupational health and safety and nutrition education. His research program consists of two interrelated lines of inquiry that concern treatment-oriented health interventions and prevention-oriented health campaigns. The former concern the effect of interactive communication technologies on patients’ physical and psychological health benefits. The latter concern the potential of ICTs in addressing health outcome disparities among underserved populations.

Associate Professor, Communication Science & Social Cognition

Xiaoli Nan


Xiaoli Nan’s (Ph.D., Minnesota) research is focused on health and risk communication, particularly the role of persuasive messages and traditional and emerging media in shaping health risk perceptions, attitudes and behaviors. She is director of the University of Maryland's Center for Health and Risk Communication. She is an affiliate faculty member of the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center Population Science Program.

Professor, Communication Science & Social Cognition

Shawn J. Parry-Giles


Shawn J. Parry-Giles (Ph.D., Indiana) teaches and studies rhetoric and politics. Her research has appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Rhetoric & Public Affairs and elsewhere. She is the director of the University of Maryland's Center for Political Communication and Civic Leadership. She is also co-editor of the journal: Voices of Democracy, a project that was initially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Professor & Chair, Rhetoric & Political Culture

Trevor Parry-Giles


Trevor Parry-Giles (Ph.D., Indiana) studies rhetoric and political culture and legal rhetoric. Current research projects include exploring the role of image and character in U.S. political discourse and political judgment and examining the Cold War rhetorics of geopolitical change and anxiety in contemporary popular culture. A former editor of Communication Quarterly, Parry-Giles is also the recipient of the NCA Diamond Anniversary Book Award and the Kohrs-Campbell Prize in Rhetorical Criticism. He is a distinguished research fellow and a distinguished teaching fellow of the Eastern Communication Association and in 2019, Parry-Giles received the University of Maryland's Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award.

Professor, Rhetoric & Political Culture

Damien Smith Pfister


Damien Smith Pfister (Ph.D., Pittsburgh) is a rhetorical critic and theorist who examines the confluence of digitally networked media, rhetorical practice, public deliberation and visual culture. His interest in how nascent genres of communication provide new opportunities for citizens to affect public deliberation is reflected in Networked Rhetorics, Networked Media: Attention and Deliberation in the Early Blogosphere (Penn State UP, 2014). Pfister is the co-editor, with Michele Kennerly of Pennsylvania State University, of Ancient Rhetorics + Digital Networks (U of Alabama Press, 2017), a volume that looks to ancient figures, texts and sensibilities to illuminate communication phenomena in digital networks.

Associate Professor, Rhetoric & Political Culture

Anita Atwell Seate


Anita Atwell Seate (Ph.D., Arizona) is a social scientist that researches in the area of intergroup/intercultural communication. Specifically, her research is animated by questions about how people’s identity as members of various social groups impacts communication processes. She studies a variety of social groups including identities based on race, ethnicity, age, gender and sexual orientation, with an emphasis placed on racial and ethnic groups.

Associate Professor, Communication Science & Social Cognition

Erich Sommerfeldt


Erich Sommerfeldt (Ph.D., Oklahoma) specializes in public relations, with research emphasis in activist group communication, civil society and development communication, social capital and social network analysis. He is a two-time winner of the PRIDE Best Article of the Year Award from the Public Relations Division of the National Communication Association.

Associate Professor, Public Relations & Strategic Communication

Catherine Knight Steele


Catherine Knight Steele (Ph.D., Illinois-Chicago) is a scholar of race, gender and media with specific focus on African American culture and discourse in traditional and new media. Her research has appeared in the Howard Journal of Communications and the book Intersectional Internet (S.U. Noble and B. Tynes Eds.) Her doctoral dissertation, “Digital Barbershops,” focused heavily on the black blogosphere and the politics of online counterpublics. She is currently working on a monograph about digital black feminism and new media technologies.

Assistant Professor, Rhetoric & Political Culture

Elizabeth L. Toth


Elizabeth L. Toth (Ph.D., Purdue) joined the Department of Communication of the University of Maryland in Fall 2004. Toth has co-authored Women and Public Relations: How Gender Influences PracticeThe Velvet Ghetto: The Increasing Numbers of Women in Public RelationsBeyond the Velvet Ghetto and the PRSA Glass Ceiling studies. She edited The Future of Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management: Challenges for the Next Generation.

Professor, Public Relations & Strategic Communication

Leah Waks


Leah Waks (Ph.D., Michigan) teaches communication theory, persuasion and group dynamics. She is an expert in leadership training, mediation and conflict management. Her main research interest is in the interplay of cognitions, attitudes and emotions in conflict creation and conflict management, in organizations and in groups.

Professional Track Faculty, Communication Science & Social Cognition

Andrew Wolvin


Andrew Wolvin's (Ph.D., Purdue) research interests center on issues dealing with listening behavior, communication education and communication management. Wolvin is also the Director of COMM107: Oral Communication: Principles and Practice. This course is a multi-section hybrid basic course on the communication process, intrapersonal communication (including listening), interpersonal communication and public communication.

Professor, Communication Education

Carly S. Woods

Profile Photo of Carly Woods

Carly S. Woods (Ph.D., Pittsburgh) researches and teaches about argumentation, social change and the rhetoric of diverse voices. Her work focuses on how deliberation and debate can be used to negotiate identity, power and social difference. She draws from feminist, cultural and rhetorical theory to explore histories of public address and argument, with an eye toward how they might inform contemporary discourse. Her publications appear in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Argumentation and Advocacy, Women’s Studies in Communication, KB Journal and elsewhere.

Associate Professor, Rhetoric & Political Culture