Monthly Archives: March 2013

Christopher Cummings, PhD!

popBig Ups to the newly-endoctored Christopher Cummings, who successfully defended his dissertation titled Impacts of Communicating Secondary Risks on Risk Reduction Responses: The Case of Nanoparticle-Formulated Sunscreens this week! Christopher’s committee was chaired by David Berube, joined by Jason Swarts, Deanna Dannels, and Andrew Binder. Soon-To-Be-Doctor Cummings will officially receive his degree in the upcoming May commencement ceremony, after which we can only assume he will indulge in some well-deserved (and well-protected) fun in the sun!

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Dana Gierdowski, PhD!

HolodeckRegular classroom got you down? Need advice about how to redesign your teaching space? Feeling stuck behind the podium? Are your students computer-human assemblages who face away from each other and into the icy void of cyberspace? Ask Dr. Dana Gierdowski!

Dana defended her dissertation, titled Geographies of a Writing Space: A Study of a Flexible Composition Classroom, this past Wednesday, and she passed with flying colors. Dana’s committee members were Chris Anson, Bob Beichner (Physics), Deanna Dannels, Vicki Gallagher, and Susan Miller-Cochran (chair). Dr. Gierdowski’s research focuses on how reconfigurations of learning space can also change the writing and learning experience. We wonder–when will the first year writing course invest in a holodeck?

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How to make the most of CCCC 2013

Melissa Ianetta just posted this list for first-time attendees: Cs First Time Tips

1. Either use the online program or sit down with the program book when you get there and figure out what sessions are “must see” for your area of interest.

2. Go out and buy some kind of snack to keep in the room so that you’re not compelled to buy $8 muffins when you want a bite between sessions.

3. Go to the Coalition of Women in the History of Rhetoric and Composition meeting and attend the mentoring sessions.

4. Go to Bedford / St, Martin’s Party and consume as much free food as possible while talking to people you don’t know. Use this as an opportunity to broaden your understanding of the many, many kinds of schools and writing programs that are out there.

5. Wander around the book exhibit and try to figure out what kind of books each publisher specializes in and what books are contiguous to your interests.

6. Go to the business meeting — it’ll give you an idea how this racket works on the national level.

7. Go to the opening session.

8. Do talk to people you don’t know who share your interests (we’re friendly!) but try to resist the urge to opening a conversation by telling Ann Gere / Susan Jarratt / David Bartholomae that they, in fact, are Ann Gere / Susan Jarratt / David Bartholomae. (My grad school peers and I have already handled this announcement, so you can be sure they have this vital information).

9. Drink TONS of water — the talking and hotel air will turn you into a raisin.

10. Have publishers send you books. Avoid the almost-overwhelming desire to request every book you see. Do not try to carry them all home. Save your back and your luggage weight, if possible.

11. Bring a suitcase large enough for any swag you acquire and books you covet to the point of carrying them home.

12. Stop by the Newcomers table and yap with whoever is there. Our job is to help people figure out what’s what, to be friendly faces in the midst of an otherwise busy place, etc. Not that other people aren’t friendly. Maybe I should say we’re charged with being extra-friendly!

13. If possible, have a buddy. You don’t have to stay side by side all the time, but it multiplies the number of people you meet, gives you somebody you know you can find when you want to, somebody to debrief or be excited with.

14. Hang out in the lobby and people watch. You will be amazed at the (friendly!) faces you will put with names.

15. If you have business cards, bring a bunch; if you’re interested in reviewing either textbooks or professional books, introduce yourself to people at the booths, including the scholarly presses. Textbook reviews often are teacher/classroom based; scholarly presses, more on scholarship or a given issue. Be ready to talk about your areas of interest and experience why you’d want to review. But editors are always interested in hearing from people who care about books and media.

16. If you’re in on Wednesday, and are not in already in a workshop, visit the Research Network Forum — lots of graduate students there who are preparing research for publication, or to start a dissertation, meeting journal editors or hearing from others who have done the work. A great event to attend to get a sense of who your contemporaries are and what work is percolating through the field.

17. Go to at least one SIG that interests you.

18. Find a session with a topic that interests you, but that you haven’t read much on.

19. Don’t turn down the chance to have dinner or share a cab with people from other institutions. The more Cs I attend, the more I believe that networking is the most valuable aspect of our merry little gathering.

20. INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO ANYONE. 4Cs people, and WPA-L people in particular, are gracious, humble, and eager to do good in the world. Do not be intimidated by reputations. 99.97% of them do NOT see themselves as too important to talk to you, WHOEVER you are.

21. If you’re a grad student, assume that anyone you meet may be on a search committee interviewing you some day.

22. Water. Seconding Melissa, keep after your hydration, and by a water bottle to go with your power bars. Keep refilling your bottle.

23. Do Humor Night. Okay, okay, so I’m usually part of the CBB, and we gig there. So sue me. You need to see this. It will endear you to this conference and your discipline forever. Thursday, 8-10. Get an early start on the Bedfords party and then come on over.

24. SIGs. You will make more long-term connections in less time than at any other event. Yes, they are late, overlapping dinner and party time. You can do all that later in your career. SIGs will do more than anything else to ensure that you find ways of getting back here.

25. RNF. If you didn’t do it this year, get the info and do it next time. Peer review for scholarship. You can’t beat it. You can’t.

26. Go to the Newcomers’ Breakfast.

27. If you are at a publisher’s party or any other function where you see no one you know, but see someone else standing or sitting alone, go up and start a conversation with her or him. I’ve made some longstanding friends this way–anyone alone at these events (in my experience) is hoping for someone to talk with. I still do this, and I have learned a lot from these conversations.

28. Go to the Newcomers Think Tank for preparing proposals for next year.

29. Be sure to play C’s the Day, the annual conference game.

30. Don’t forget about social medial–tweet/blog/flickr/post to Facebook about what you see/attend/who you meet/etc. You can’t possibly attend every session, so you will want to read highlights of sessions.

31. Review sessions for Kairos. This is a terrific opportunity to get some peer reviewed publications and highlight sessions you attended that others didn’t (those who weren’t able to attend this year will really appreciate descriptive reviews of talks they wanted to go to and couldn’t attend).

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Post CRDM posts: Dr. Dickerson

2013-02-26_10-39-00_141As we’ve mentioned before, we are incredibly proud of the excellent students–now representing the program all over the world–who have come before us in the CRDM program. For the next few weeks,  we’ll be interviewing a handful of recent graduates for thoughts about life, the universe, and everything. We’ve talked with Dr. Kati Fargo Ahern and Dr. Dawn Shepherd, and now we’re interviewing Dr. Jacob Dickerson, a 2012 CRDM graduate.

Can you tell us a bit about where you are now and what you’re doing?

I am an assistant professor at Georgetown College near Lexington, KY. The position is tenure-track. I teach classes mostly in media studies, including one on media history and one on media theory. I have also taught a course in social media and am currently teaching on media and American Identity.

What is the biggest difference between the last year of CRDM and the first year with a job?

For me, the biggest difference has been the opportunity for research. As a student, research was what I spent almost all of my time on. I was writing a dissertation, after all. But at Georgetown I am teaching 4 classes and advising student organizations. This means that I just don’t have the time to conduct research. I don’t really love research, so that’s alright, but it’s been kind of a culture shock to have it become so difficult.

What is one thing you wish you’d known when you were a CRDM student preparing for the job market?

I wish I had known how much work being on the job market would be. I know everyone tells you it’s a lot of work…but that didn’t do justice to the amount of work that I put in. It was only for 2 or 3 months, though, so that was good.

What is one piece of advice you’d give CRDM students in preparation for their first year out?

 Don’t be afraid to embrace the culture of your institution. You may not get a job at your top choice or you may not plan on spending your entire career there. And it’s likely to be a very different environment than CRDM. But that doesn’t mean that isn’t worthwhile. There are challenges at all institutions, but there are always redeeming qualities as well. Maybe your students or your colleagues are particularly good for you. Find those redeeming qualities and you might find a place you want to stay. Be open to the quirks and enjoy the experience for what it is. Don’t go into it already thinking about what’s next.

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Meet the 2012 CRDM Cohort!

As we have for the 2010 and 2011 cohorts, we’d like to officially welcome the 2012 cohort of CRDM students into the program. We’ll be talking a lot about these students for the next four years, so we want to give you a short introduction to each:

Emily Jones

University of North Carolina Wilmington, Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies in 2009 and Master of Arts in Environmental Studies in 2010.

Interested in small town cultural studies to peace communication and dance and music as a form of communication in international cultures (basically I love everyone)

Favorite website/meme:

Elizabeth Pitts

BA and MA in English, Georgetown University

Studies how digital technologies can enhance teaching and learning, and how these technologies are changing our ideas about authority and expertise.
Favorite websites/memes:,

Eli Typhina

B.A. Art and Environmental Studies from the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University

M.A. Communication from Washington State University

Interested in using new media and creative communication methods (i.e. sculpture) to bridge the communicative gap between government agencies and communities concerning environmental issues (with a focus on water issues).

Molly Hartzog Storment
See also @HerzogStorment and

BA in English and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages certification from Mississippi State University, 2009; MA in English, with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition at NC State University, 2012

My research interests are broadly concerned with the rhetoric of science, technology and the environment. While in CRDM I am working with NCSU’s IGERT in Genetic Engineering and Society to study the social effects of transgenic pests, specifically the Aedes mosquito that transmits dengue virus.
Favorite meme: LEEROY JENKINS!
This is my favorite for two reasons: 1. It died before its time. 2. Sometimes it is a necessary (albeit not ideal) approach to getting things done.

Hector Rendon
See also @ValekRendon, and (in Spanish)

BA in Journalism at the National University of Mexico; MA in Digital Media at the Hochschüle für Künste Bremen.

My interests are related to digital journalism, news aesthetics patterns and the construction of reality through news stories. In the CRDM program I am mainly working in the connection between digital journalism consumption and how this affects people’s perception of the surrounding world.

Larissa Carneiro

Previous education: Master’s in Communication (PUC – Brazil)  and Undergrad in Communication and Journalism (FUMEC – Brazil)

Interested in the intersection between Media and Religion.

Alexander Monea

See also his page.


  • MA in Literary & Textual Studies, Bowling Green State University

  • BA in English, Walsh University

Research Interests: Media Studies; Code/Software Studies; History of Technology; Continental Philosophy; Cultural Studies; (Post-)Marxism; Political Theory (Democratic Theory, Public Sphere Theory); Aesthetics (Affect, Phenomenology).

My current projects have been focused on the development of electronic punch-card computers (Hollerith & IBM machines) to collect and process data on complex systems (demographics, psychographics, actuarial tables, ecosystems, etc.).

Favorite Meme: Reverend X – The One Man Show / Spirit of Truth

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Fernanda Duarte, ABD!

Fernanda’s dissertation already has its own logo. Just don’t tell the music group with the same name.

We congratulate Fernanda Duarte for being the most recent CRDMer to successfully earn the prestigious ABD designation. Her committee members, Adriana de Souza e Silva (Chair), Jeremy Packer, David Rieder, and Steve Wiley, were impressed by her dissertation project which is tentatively titled “FRACTAL FLESH: Politics of Mobility in Pervasive Computing.”

If her dissertation is anything like everything else she’s done in the program, it will be stellar. We can’t wait to not have to go anywhere to read it because it’s available online everywhere.*

*See what I did there? Mobility in pervasive compu …. oh never mind.



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Post CRDM posts: Dr. Pepper

Dr. Pepper's officeCan you tell us a bit about where you are now and what you’re doing?

I am now in my second year on the tenure-track as an assistant professor in the Department of Communication, Media, and Theatre at Northeastern Illinois University. I teach graduate and undergraduate courses such as Media and Cultural Studies, Seminar in New Media, Gender and Media, Mass Media and Society, and The Art of Film and Video. I am on the graduate committee in our department, and I served on two university committees: one was a hiring committee and the other was to review our transition from one Learning Management System to another.

What is the biggest difference between the last year of CRDM and the first year with a job?

In my first two years, I helped with curricular development, new course designs, and searches for new hires. It was sometimes such a strange feeling to think that only months before, I was a graduate student. Sometimes you are given very little time to transition from being a student to being faculty, so you have to just jump right in and not feel like an impostor.

What is one thing you wish you’d known when you were a CRDM student preparing for the job market?

The amount of time and effort that a nation-wide job search takes. Cast your net very wide and don’t skip the job postings that only “sort of” relate to your work. There is sometimes a huge difference between what the posting asks for and what the department is really looking for. You might be a great fit for a department even if you don’t think you fit the job posting. One more application can’t hurt!

What is one piece of advice you’d give CRDM students in preparation for their first year out?

Prepare to spend a lot more time on campus. In my case, I spent a lot of time in department meetings, committee meetings, and advising meetings with students in addition to my classes and office hours.

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