Communication Academic News

Carlos Evia, an associate professor in the Department of Communication, co-edited a special issue of Communication Design Quarterly, with Rebekka Andersen.

The issue, 6.3 (2018), deals with the topic of preparing technical communication professionals for today and the future. The journal is a research publication of the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Design of Communication.

LaDale Winling, an associate professor in the Department of History, in collaboration with Robert Nelson and Justin Madron from the University of Richmond, launched an interactive website, “Electing the House of Representatives, 1840–2016.”

Assisting with the project were undergraduate Jennalee Beazley, international studies, Spanish, and economics; L. T. Wilkerson, a master’s student in history; and the following CLAHS alumnae: undergraduate history majors Caitlin Brown, Victoria Fowler, and Rachel Snyder; international relations major Sarah Rouzer; and graduate students Carmen Bolt, Alexandra Dowrey, and Rebecca Williams, who completed a master’s degree in history.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, the Department of History, and the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies helped fund this project with grants for research and data work.

The article “The Syrian Civil War, International Outreach, and a Clash of Worldviews,” first published in The Kenneth Burke Journal 11.2 (2016), n.p., by Jim A. Kuypers, a professor in the Department of Communication, and Peter Bakke, was selected for inclusion in Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition 2017, ed. Kate Vieira, Vincent Portillo, Jason Luther, David Blakesley, and Steve Parks (Anderson, South Carolina: Parlor Press, 2018), pp. 210–40.

The Department of Communication was the recipient of a $100,000 pledge from alumnus Will Stewart to create an endowed scholarship to support students in the department’s sports media and analytics program. Stewart is the founder of, a website devoted to Virginia Tech athletics. Sports Media and Analytics was approved as a degree option in Multimedia Journalism in 2017.

An EcoCAR 3 team from Virginia Tech comprised of Department of Communication majors and College of Engineering students won first-place honors in overall project management, closeout report, execution plan, vehicle handling, 0–60 mph acceleration, emissions, energy consumption, well-to-wheel criteria emissions, and autocross, where drivers test vehicle handling and performance on a closed course; they also placed second in several other events, posting a fourth-place finish overall.

The competition was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors.

The following faculty and staff were recognized at the Virginia Tech Employee Development Certificate Program ceremony for completion of requirements for one or more programs during the 2017–2018 academic year: Administrative Professional Development Program Certificate: Wanda McAlexander, School of Education; Diversity Advocate Certificate: Christy Dillon, School of Education, Dawn Knight-Withers, School of Education, Amanda Villar, Department of Religion and Culture; Diversity Ally Certificate: Dawn Knight-Withers, School of Education, Adrianne Pinkney, School of Education, Amanda Villar, Department of Religion and Culture; Diversity Ambassador Certificate: Sally Shupe, Department of English; and Office Software Skills Certificate: Demetria Harris, Department of Communication.

The college is pleased to announce the following tenure and promotion decisions by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors at its June 6 meeting.

Promoted to associate professor with tenure were: Danna Agmon, History and ASPECT Core Faculty; Amy Azano, School of Education; María del Carmen Caña Jiménez, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Jason Crafton, School of Performing Arts; Erika Grafsky, Human Development and Family Science; Stefanie Hofer, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Eunju Hwang, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management; Benjamin Jantzen, Philosophy; Melanie Kiechle, History; Christine Labuski, Sociology; Philip Olsen, Science, Technology, and Society; Dustin Read, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management; Nadine Sinno, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Trevor Stewart, School of Education; Catherine Ulrich, School of Education; LaDale Winling, History; and Haiyan Zhu, Sociology.

Promoted to the rank of professor in the past academic year were: Janet Abbate, Science, Technology, and Society; April Few-Demo, Human Development and Family Science; Matthew Gabriele, Religion and Culture; James Ivory, Communication; Gerard Lawson, School of Education; Heidi Anne Mesmer, School of Education; Lydia Patton, Philosophy; Tina Savla, Human Development and Family Science; and John Wells, School of Education.

Also recognized with promotion were the following: Joseph Scallorns, English, to senior instructor; Matthew Goodrum, Science, Technology, and Society, to collegiate associate professor; and Peggy Quesenberry, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management, to collegiate assistant professor.

Multimedia Journalism students are eligible to apply for a new merit-based scholarship, the Kathryn Thompson Leckie Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship was established by Communication alumna Carolyn Smith Corsi (1983), who was Leckie’s roommate.

Leckie’s career as an investigative journalist included stints with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and the Frederick (Maryland) News-Post; she died in 2012.

In May 2018, Gretchen Kernbach, a senior Multimedia Journalism major, became the first recipient of the scholarship.