CURRENT ACA LEADERSHIP
DR. SARAH STONE WATT - PRESIDENT
Dr. Sarah Stone Watt is Divisional Dean and Associate Professor of Communication at Pepperdine University. She served as Director of Forensics at Pepperdine from 2007-2017. She earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Women’s Studies from The Pennsylvania State University and an M.A. in Communication and Journalism from the University of Wyoming. Her teaching and research interests include persuasion, argumentation, leadership, and the rhetoric surrounding race and gender in public controversy.
Dr. Amy Koerber - Vice President
Dr. Amy Koerber is Professor in Communication Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty Success & Inclusion in the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University. Prior to this appointment, from 2014-17 Dr. Koerber served as Director of the Technical Communication & Rhetoric program in the English department at Texas Tech. Since receiving the Ph.D. at University of Minnesota in 2002, Dr. Koerber's research agenda has centered around the question of how experts make effective arguments, particularly in the context of health, science, and medicine. Her most recent book, "From Hysteria to Hormones: A Rhetorical History," was published by Penn State University Press in April 2018. Her previous book, "Breast or Bottle: Contemporary Controversies in Infant-Feeding Policy and Practice," was published by University of South Carolina Press in 2013, and was awarded the NCTE Award for Best Book in Scientific or Technical Communication. In addition to scholarly publishing, Dr. Koerber has also been involved in multiple collaborative grant-seeking efforts and is always looking for additional opportunities to bring her expertise and experience as a qualitative communication researcher to partnerships with colleagues across the disciplines.
DR. JANIE M. HARDEN FRitZ - journal editor
Dr. Fritz is professor and director of the B. A. and M.A. programs in the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies. She teaches courses at the undergraduate, M.A., and Ph.D. level. Dr. Fritz's research focuses on communicative practices that constitute, sever, and restore the ties that bind individuals to the institutions of which they are a part. She is the author of Professional Civility: Communicative Virtue at Work , coeditor (with Dr. S. Alyssa Groom) of Communication Ethics and Crisis: Negotiating Differences in Public and Private Spheres , coeditor (with Dr. Becky L. Omdahl) of Problematic Relationships in the Workplace (and Problematic Relationships in the Workplace, Volume 2), and co-author (with Dr. Ronald C. Arnett and Leeanne Bell) of Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue and Difference. Her most recent work focuses on the intersection of professional civility and leadership practices.
Dr. Fritz is editor-in-chief of Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, Listening/Journal of Communication Ethics, Religion, and Culture and editor of Qualitative Research Reports in Communication. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Communication and Religion, Review of Communication, Communication Quarterly, and Speaker and Gavel and serves as a guest reviewer for multiple journals.
DR. JEANNE M. PERSUIT - Treasurer
Jeanne M. Persuit, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Dr. Persuit teaches courses in integrated marketing communication and directs the graduate online M.A. Integrated Marketing Communication program at UNCW. Her research interests are the rhetoric and philosophy of integrated marketing communication and communication ethics. Before returning to Duquesne University for her Ph.D., Dr. Persuit worked in integrated marketing communication in the consulting engineering field and was a marketing communications manager for a Fortune 500 manufacturing company. She is co-advisor, with Dr. Bill Bolduc, of Pier601 Creative, the COM Studies Department's student-run IMC firm. She also plans the biennial IMC Conference at UNCW.
DR. HELEN M. STERK - IMMEDIATE Past president
Dr. Helen Sterk (Ph.D. University of Iowa) is Professor and Head of the Department of Communication at Western Kentucky University. Her research focuses on the intersections of rhetoric, culture, religion and gender. Dr. Sterk’s collaborative interests include teaching across disciplines, coaching people internationally in presentation skills, and sharing her expertise with various colleges and universities. Dr. Sterk is First Vice-President of the Association for Communication Administration, and an active member of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender, and the National Communication Association. A productive researcher, Dr. Sterk's recent books include:Mothers and Daughters: Complicated Connections Across Cultures (co-edited with Alice Deakins and Rebecca Lockridge) and Gender, Culture and Physicality: Paradoxes and Taboos (co-authored with Annelies Knoppers).
Dr. Jay Brower - Director
Jay Brower (Ph.D.) is Department Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Communication & Media Arts. In addition to serving as Chair since 2017, he has served in a broad range of institutional governance roles, including as an elected representative of the State legislature-created Faculty Advisory Board to Connecticut State Colleges and University Board of Regents. Dr. Brower’s current research interests are focused on the institutional work of department chairs in higher education, including the integration critical theory in higher education leadership, dual-role face negotiation (leader/peer), conflict management in academic settings, and the formations of institutional thinking.
pAST aCA LEADERSHIP
DR. SHAWN D. LONG - Past President
Dr. Shawn D. Long is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He served as Department Chair (July 2010-July 2015) of the Department of Communication Studies and Director of the Communication Graduate Program (2007-2010) at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Long is a Full Professor of Communication. He also holds an appointment as Full Professor in Organizational Science. He received a Master of Public Administration at Tennessee State University and his PhD from the University of Kentucky.
His teaching and research interests include organizational communication, organizational dialogue, virtual work, diversity communication, virtual-team assimilation and socialization, health communication and qualitative methods associated with the study of organizational culture and symbolism.
dr. Christopher lynch - Past treasurer
Christopher Lynch received a Ph.D. from Temple University in 1994 in rhetoric. He holds three master's degrees from St. John's University and Princeton Theological School. He authored Selling Catholicism: Bishop Sheen (1998) and the Power of Television (1998) that won NCA's Religious Communication Association's book award in 1999. He has published in the areas of visual communication and rhetoric, communication and popular culture, pedagogy and religious rhetoric. He is former national president of the Association for Communication Administration and currently on the editorial board of that association's journal. He has published extensively in the Department Chair by Jossey Bass Publishers. He also served as president of the New Jersey Communication Association. Dr. Lynch teaches courses in persuasion, theory, interpretive research methods, communication and culture, communication and conflict resolution, critical research methods, and motivational presentation skills.
Dr. Melissa Miller Chastain - past president
Dr. Melissa Miller Chastain is Associate Dean of the College of Social Sciences & Humanities and is Chair of the School of Communication at Spalding University. Her education includes a Ph.D. in Communication, Duquesne University; M.A. in English Literature & Theory, Duquesne University; and B.A. in English Literature from Westminster College. Dr. Chastain has been at Spalding since 2004, teaching undergraduate courses such as Public Speaking, Communication Theory, Leadership, and Senior Capstone as well as graduate classes such as Decision-Making, Change Acceleration in Organizations and Capstone Projects. Publications include “Learning Outcomes and the Importance of Stakeholder Feedback,” Communication Education and "Communication Ethics: Edith Stein," An Encyclopedia of Communication Ethics.
Dr. Alfred G. Mueller II - past president
Dr. Mueller currently teaches at Neumann University and has taught undergraduate courses in the university classroom for twenty years. This classically trained rhetorician is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar, having served as a Fulbright Scholar in Armenia and as a member of a Ford Foundation bridging project studying the relationship between Russia and the Caucasus. Prior to coming to Neumann, he served as Program Coordinator of Letters, Arts, and Sciences at the Mont Alto campus of Penn State University and as Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Mount St. Mary’s University.
Dr. TOM Endres - past president
Dr. Mueller Past ACA President Dr. Thomas Endres (PhD, University of Minnesota) is the Director/Chair, School of Communication and Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Northern Colorado. He has served in this role since 2003. Prior to that, he was Professor and Chair of Communication, Division Director of Fine Arts & Humanities at the University of St. Thomas. He has served as an external reviewer for higher education programs including Concordia College, Normandale Community College, and Minnesota State University – Mankato and has been a consultant for civic organizations and businesses including Honeywell, 3M, and Medtronic. Dr. Endres’ research areas of interest include popular culture, rhetorical communities, leadership, group and organizational dynamics, family/intercultural/nonverbal communication, pedagogy, ethics, technology, and online learning. He received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rocky Mountain Communication Association and the 2013 Administrator of the Year Award from the NCA National States Advisory Council.