PhD Student Profiles

Christopher Adamczyk: Christopher Adamczyk is a lifelong student of rhetoric whose research is concerned with the rhetoric and philosophy of technology, public memory, and American public discourse.;

Allison Bannister: Practicing cartoonist studying how comics communicate, looking at story construction, visual rhetoric, media studies, and materiality.;

Jacqueline Bowler: A Chicago native, Jacqueline holds a Master's Degree from the University of Illinois - Chicago Department of Communication. Her interests include: new media technology, the music industry and the live music scene; the psychology of media; the analysis of sound design and sound scores in film and documentaries; and approaches to repurposed footage in film and video art. She is also a pianist, synthesist, composer, and producer.

Shannon Briggs: Shannon's research is in creating a cognitive, immersive, multimodal digital system in CISL, using scenario based design to facilitate sensemaking for intelligence analysis.

Jason Coley: Coley's research investigates the intersection of affect and presence in virtual reality technologies and how human beings learn to acclimate in virtual environments.

Justin Dowdall: Justin Andrew Dowdall is a PhD student whose research focuses on media ecology and the arts.

Stephanie Jennings: Contributing to discussions of methodology in the field of game studies, my dissertation reframes the contested concepts of gameplay and the magic circle by performing feminist readings of playthroughs of horror video games. 

Sarah Kennedy: Sarah Kennedy is an animal rights advocate and third-year Ph.D. student focusing on place rhetorics and tourism.

Hayley McCullough: Hayley's research involves using psychological and linguistic methods to quantitatively analyze pop culture, fandom, the internet and fiction.;

Lorelei Wagner: My research focuses on identifying and analyzing the sensory values and sensory hierarchy of multimodal writing centers; with this knowledge, I aim to propose how a multisensory approach to tutoring and tutor education may offer the field new, more holistic approaches to writing center practices.

Recent Dissertation Titles




Britney Summit-Gil

“Making Men: Community Building and Masculinity Online.”


Candice L. Lanius

"Arguments in big social data analysis: uncovering the hidden rhetoric of sociological data science"


Gaines S. Hubbell

“A brief history of topical invention in 20th century United States rhetorical studies"


Laquana Cooke

“Metatuning game construction learning: underrepresented youths’ designing for cultural and social transformations"


Joshua Comer

"Updates: Technologies of Media Change"


Raymond A. Lutzky

“Diversifying STEAM: Culturally-situated drawing for math education with African-American youth"


Matthew Rolph

“This is not a test!: Communication, usability, and gamification in the future of standardized assessment"


Eric Newsom

“Participatory storytelling and the new folklore of the digital age"


Jason Zalinger

“Gmail as story world: How technology shapes your life narrative"


Shira Chess

“License to play: Women, productivity, and video games"


Debbie Rowe

“What feels good in the mouth and sounds right to the ear: An examination of the practice of reading aloud during revision"


Nicholas Hanford

"Moments of Play: Uncovering the Performances of Videogame Play"


Robb Lauzon

“Experiencing Memorial Space in 'a Land of Refuge'"


Marco Fernando Navarro

“Rewriting Sentences: A Study of Teachers' Motivations, Histories, and Identities in the Prison Writing Space"


Eric Walsh

“How to Design for Impact in Games"