Westmont Alumni in Communication Higher Ed

Dave Tell, Ph.D. (University of Kansas)

"Inspired by Greg Spencer," Dave Tell teaches rhetoric at The University of Kansas. He specializes in postmodern theory and the place of religious discourse in public life. After graduating from Westmont, Dave earned his M.A. and Ph.D. at Penn State.

Dave Tell at the beachTell's current work focuses on the intersections of rhetorical theory and cultural politics. His 2012 book Confessional Crises: Confession and Cultural Politics in Twentieth-Century America (Penn State Press) explains how the genre of confession has shaped (and been shaped by) some of the twentieth century's most intractable issues: sexuality, class, race, violence, religion, and democracy. Dr. Tell teaches undergraduate courses in the history and theory of rhetoric and in American public discourse. At the graduate level, Dr. Tell offers courses in contemporary theory, the latter thought of Michel Foucault (1969-1984), rhetoric and spatial theory, public sphere theory, and public address. His work has been published in a number of national journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Philosophy and Rhetoric, Communication Studies,and Rhetorica.

Dave Tell won the Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award by the National Communication Association in 2007. This was a very good year for Dave, as he also won the Rhetoric Society of America's dissertation award and a top paper award from the Kenneth Burke Society in 2007.

Dave Tell's Web Page

Don Waisanen, Ph.D. (City University of New York)

Don Waisanen is an associate professor in the Baruch College School of Public Affairs, where he teaches courses and workshops in public communication-including executive speech training, campaign and Don Waisanenadvocacy strategies, media analysis, and seminars on leadership, improvisation, and humor. All his research projects seek to understand how communication works to promote or hinder citizens' voices. In particular, his recent publications have focused on the functions of political language, the increasing role of comedy in public culture, and the factors that can best sustain a deliberative democracy.

Before entering academia, Don was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs, and worked in broadcast journalism, as a speechwriter, and on political campaigns. He has conducted communication strategy for various domestic and transnational projects, and serves on the board of the Resilience Advocacy Project, a nonprofit helping youth transition out of poverty. He writes for The Huffington Post, and has long enjoyed and been informed in his professional work by involvement in the performing arts, particularly improvisational comedy. He received a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Southern California.

Laren (Cano) Amaro, Ph.D. (Pepperdine University)

Lauren Amaro is an assistant professor in the Communication Division at Pepperdine University. She teaches courses in relational and health communication, conflict transformation, family communication, communication theory, and research methods. Her research projects address this question: How do families “heal and deal” in the wake of major traumas (such as Lauren Amaroaddiction or illness)? Under this umbrella, Lauren has worked toward developing health communication interventions for family caregivers, children of alcoholics, and parents of children with severe allergies. These intervention projects focus on the role of the sibling relationship and the importance of positive communication practices such as gratitude and communal coping. She currently collaborates with the Central Coast Alzheimer’s Association in creating effective health communication campaigns for Latino/a family caregivers.

Her dissertation, Dyadic Outcomes of Gratitude Exchange between Family Caregivers and their Siblings, won a top dissertation award from the Communication and Aging division of the National Communication Association. Lauren enjoys an active lifestyle with her growing family. She loves hiking, camping, cooking, mentoring students, reading, and movie nights.

Mark Fackler, Ph.D. (Calvin College)

Mark teaches communication ethics at Calvin College. Specializing in development communication in East Africa, he has lectured and traveled throughout North America, Africa, and Europe. After graduating from Westmont, Mark earned his Ph.D. in communication from the University of Illinois, Champaign - Urbana. In addition to his many scholarly and general interest articles, he writes radio dramas and biblical commentaries and officiates baseball. Mark's son is also a Westmont grad in communication.

His new book will come out in 2010: Ethics and Evil in the Public Square (Hampton Press, edited with Robert Fortner).

Fackler TextMedia Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning (co-authors Clifford Christians, Kim B. Rotzoll, Kathy Brittain McKee, Robert Woods) Longman, 8th edition, 2009. This case book includes a strong section on moral theory followed by cases in news, advertising, public relations, and entertainment programming. Recommended readings lead readers into all the relevant literature. This book has been a leader in the field since 1982.

Good News: Social Ethics and the Press (co-authors Clifford Christians and John P. Ferre), Oxford, 1993. The authors contend that Enlightenment individualism has misled communication theorists concerning rights and privilege. We argue for press theory grounded in a view of the human person “being in community”. Issues of justice, agape, and shalom are best understood from a matrix of communitarian thought and theological reflection.

"Christians, Ferre, and Fackler offer an intellectually provocative account of journalism and ethics that will in many ways define the terms of debate for years to come. Good News is good news for anyone interested in an intellectually rich treatment of questions of media ethics and responsibility."--Theodore L. Glasser, Stanford University

Popular Religious Magazines of the United States (co-editor Charles Lippy) Greenwood, 1995. A religious history of the United States told through the stories of popular publications, leading editors, and the movements those publications represented. The book joins the series produced by Greenwood called “History of Newspapers and Magazines in the United States.” Several scholars contributed to this volume.

Douglas L. Kelley, Ph.D. (Arizona State - West)

Douglas Kelley received his Ph.D. in 1988 from the University of Arizona, his M.S. from Arizona State University, and his B.A. from Westmont College. He studies interpersonal communication processes, focusing on marital Communicating Forgiveness by Waldron & Kelley Book Imagecommunication, specifically how couples negotiate privacy and relational
expectations. His 1998 study on The Communication of Forgiveness launched a decades' worth of work with colleague, Vince Waldron, focusing on various forgiveness processes. Douglas enjoys spending time with his wife, Ann, and sons, Jonathan and Daniel. He enjoys kayaking, swimming, and running with his beagle/lab, Allen. He also advises the Young Life club on campus.

Communicating Forgiveness is the first book to take a truly communicative look at the process of forgiveness. Authors Vincent R. Waldron and Douglas L. Kelley provide a synthesis of the literature on forgiveness in relationships. Grounded in real-life forgiveness narratives, this interdisciplinary text (pulling from such related fields as psychology, counseling, family studies, peace studies, conflict management, religious studies, and organizational behavior) offers a hopeful framework for negotiating healthy and just responses to relational disappointments. (From Amazon.Com)

Marriage at Mid Life Book Cover
The middle period of married life-what the authors call the "centerstage" - is often the "make or break" point in a lifelong relationship. Marriage at Midlife provides counselors, mental health professionals, and marriage educators with the tools they need to assist couples who are experiencing the challenges of the post-childrearing years. The authors take a resilience-based approach to help couples preserve and improve long, satisfying relationships.

This book is enriched with the authors' experience with couples who have been married between 20 and 50 years. Each chapter contains an opening narrative about a real-life couple, a section identifying sources of distress, a section outlining the analytical tools needed for each challenge, and questions and exercises for clients. Throughout the book are bulleted lists with quick advice for couples on a range of topics, such as suggested shared activities or tips for managing stress. (From Springer Publishing Company)


Megan Moe, Ph.D. (Lee University)

Megan Moe & HorseMegan Moe teaches communication at Lee University, overseeing the communication discipline (advertising, journalism and communication studies) within the department of Communication and the Arts. She enjoys research and has been awarded two grants to study women who were targets of domestic violence, both physical and emotional. She is currently interviewing Christian women who left emotionally abusive marriages and examining the response of their churches. She sponsors the advertising program at Lee and coaches their advertising team for national student competitions.

After graduating from Westmont, Megan went on to earn her M.A. at UC Davis and her Ph.D. from Penn State. Her dissertation, “Nicaraguan Feminist Dialectical Theatre" involved living in Nicaragua, and her M.A. thesis, “Metaphoric Analysis in Edward Albee’s Plays" was nominated for an award. She reports on her research regularly with 12 presentations at National Communication Association (NCA) Conventions and 7 at Southern States Communication Association (SSCA) Conventions. She is the chair of the Gender Studies Division of SSCA. Before settling in at Lee, Megan worked as a reporter in New Jersey, a market researcher in Delaware, a floor director and camera operator for television in Buffalo, NY, and a public service announcement writer for the PBS station in San Francisco. She loves teaching, she has three children, and she enjoys horses, rugby (she is faculty advisor for the women's rugby team), reading, scuba diving, and drama.

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