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 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, “The ‘Shocking Story’ of Emmett Till and the Politics of Public Confession.” The Quarterly Journal of Speech, 94 (May 2008): 156-178.
In 1955, journalist William Bradford Huie interviewed Emmett Till’s killers and published their confession in Look magazine. Entitled "The Shocking Story of Approved Murder in Mississippi," Huie’s tale dominated the remembrance of Emmett Till for nearly fifty years. I argue that we can understand the power of the “Shocking Story” to control the memory of Till’s murder with recourse to a historically specific form of confession—the expressive confession—the distinctive power of which is a capacity to naturalize historical events and thereby constitute a master narrative in which events happen inevitably and further rhetorical intervention seems unnecessary. So understood, the “Shocking Story” is not just one more recounting of Till’s untimely death, it is also a treatise about the role of speech in the violence of the Mississippi Delta.
Dave Tell, "Augustinian Political Theory and Religious Discourse in Public Life." Journal of Communication and Religion, 30 (November 2007) 213-235.
This essay argues that Augustine found in Christianity the resources for a pluralist politics—a politics that refused to read history in divine terms or people according to transcendent categories. Unlike so many contemporary iterations of pluralist politics, Augustine’s pluralism is grounded in the ambiguity of the public rather than the neutrality of the public. I argue that this distinction is central, and marks an important contribution to the current debate over the place of religious discourse in public life. KEYWORDS: Augustine, political theory, The City of God, religious discourse.
- Dave Tell, “Beyond Mnemotechnics: Confession and Memory in Augustine.” Philosophy & Rhetoric, 39(2006): 233-53.
- David Tell, “Burke’s Encounter with Ransom: Rhetoric and Epistemology in ‘Four Master Tropes.’” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 34 (2004): 33-54.
Don Waisanen, Ph.D. (City University of New York)
Don Waisanen teaches in the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College, City University New York. He earned his Ph.D. and was a Walter Fisher Scholar at the USC Annenberg School for Communication. Don was also a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs, and has worked in radio and television. His other experiences include speechwriting, political campaign coordination, and teaching speech and debate. His research interests are in rhetoric and public affairs (the public sphere and civil society), deliberative democracy in the information age, political satire and parody, religious controversies, and communication education.
He is currently working on a book about political conversion narratives in the last half century of American public discourse, and has some new articles coming out in various journals and edited volumes on why Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are better for democracy than much mainstream news.
Don is a frequent contributor to Thick Culture, a scholarly blog formed by a group of professors. When not writing and teaching, he enjoys acting and performing improv.
Don earned his M.A. degrees at Pepperdine University and the University of Southern California, and his two Bachelor's Degrees in communication studies and political science from Westmont College.
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).
Media 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 communication, 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)
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 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.