Meet the Team
Deborah Dunn earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in communication arts and sciences from the University of Southern California. Her BA is in speech and communication with an emphasis on social movements from San Francisco State. She came to Westmont in the Fall of 1997, was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2008, and has led seven summer study abroad programs on conflict, memory, and pilgrimage to Northern Ireland, South Africa, Germany, Israel/Palestine, and the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Her research and teaching focuses on grassroots peacemaking organizations, dialogue, and transforming conflict. She also co-directs the Westmont Center for Dialogue & Deliberation.
Rachel Rains Winslow is Associate Professor of History at Westmont College, Director of Westmont’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and Co-Director of the Westmont Center for Dialogue & Deliberation. She is the author of The Best Possible Immigrants: International Adoption and the American Family (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017). Her current research explores the political culture of bureaucracy in the transnational United States throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Dr. Winslow also served as a fellow with the Kettering Foundation, working on the intersection between historical deliberation and civic participation as a way to engage students in democracy. Her teaching, research, and community work bring together her interest in U.S. social policy, social change practices, and American political culture.
Elizabeth Gardner graduated from Houghton College and earned a master’s degree and doctorate in communication at the University of Maryland, where she was the managing director of the Oral Communication Program for three years before joining the Westmont faculty in fall 2016. In 2017 she received the American Society for the History of Rhetoric’s Outstanding Dissertation Award. Her dissertation research examines the process of social change in an anti-child labor campaign in the early 1900s.
Kayla Petersen is a recent graduate of Westmont, earning a BA in Social Science in May of 2020. As a student, Kayla participated in Westmont Downtown the Fall of her junior year. During her senior year, Kayla participated in WestHUB to develop her Major Honors project: a deliberative approach to discussing abortion in church contexts. As the Program Coordinator for the Westmont Center for Dialogue & Deliberation, Kayla helps cultivate relationships with Executive Partners, and assists Dr. Winslow and Dr. Dunn in the development of course materials.