You are here: Home / News & Events / News

News & Events Archive

Open House


Open House

FALL 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 3:30 – 5:00 P.M. 102 Burrowes Building (Grucci Room)

  • Introductions
  • Preview of Programming and Initiatives for 2017-18
  • Director’s Message
  • Voices of Democracy Roundtable - “Democratic Dissent”


Stephen H. Browne, Liberal Arts Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences

Ebony Coletu, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies

Abraham Khan, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Communication Arts and Sciences

Jack Selzer, Paterno Family Liberal Arts Professor

*Discussion and Refreshments

Download PDF

Linda M.G. Zerilli Delivers Kenneth Burke Lecture

On March 21st, the Center for Democratic Deliberation hosted the 25th annual Kenneth Burke Lecture. Linda Zerilli, the Charles E. Merriam Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of Chicago, presented "A Democratic Theory of Judgement." In her lecture, Zerilli explored the concept of “reflective judgment” and its implications for contemporary democratic theory and practice.

Us vs. Them Teach-In held in Foster Auditorium

On February 20th, faculty, staff, and students gathered in Foster Auditorium for the teach-in title "Us vs. Them: Racism, Islamophobia and the Politics of Division." The panel of presenters featured Gabeba Baderoon, Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and African Studies and Affiliate Faculty in Comparative Literature, Ebony Coletu, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies and Affiliate Faculty in the Center for Democratic Deliberation, Zachary Morgan, Assistant Professor of Latin American History and African American Studies, and Cynthia Young, Department Head and Associate Professor of African American Studies. Joshua Inwood, Associate Professor of Geography and Senior Research Associate in the Rock Ethics Institute moderated the discussion with questions from the audience.

CDD graduate fellow receives support from Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation

2015-2016 CDD Fellow Jessica A. Kurr has received a grant from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation for research on her book project, When the Fed Speaks. With the help of this grant, Jessica hopes to builds on research she conducted for her dissertation about the role of the Federal Reserve in economic policy debates. The project examines the differing rhetorical strategies of influential Fed chairs, including Marriner Eccles, William McChesney Martin Jr., Arthur Burns, Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, and Ben Bernanke. The research grant from the Ford Presidential Foundation will provide Jessica the resources necessary to conduct research on Arthur Burns, who was Fed chair during the Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations. In addition to contributing to public understanding of the changing role of the Fed in economic debates, Jessica hopes to illuminate the challenges involved in engaging the public in debates over complex economic policies.

Mary E. Stuckey Delivers Kenneth Burke Lecture

Mary E. Stuckey Delivers Kenneth Burke Lecture

Mary Stuckey Presents "The Art of Anger in US Presidential Elections" (Photo: Jarid Waniger)

On March 31st, the Center for Democratic Deliberation hosted the 24th annual Kenneth Burke Lecture. Mary E. Stuckey, Professor of Communication at Georgia State University, presented “The Art of Anger in U.S. Presidential Elections.” In her talk, Stuckey highlighted the way that anger has been used productively—and dangerously—in presidential campaigns; she focused in particular on the campaigns of Franklin Roosevelt, Barry Goldwater, and Donald Trump. Stuckey not only highlighted how anger can inspire confidence in voters because an angry candidate’s passion is obvious, but she also called attention to the vacuum anger can create, wherein voters’ emotions are heightened but there is no policy to support as an alternative to that anger.

Birkle Student Engagement Award Presented

Birkle Student Engagement Award Presented

Barry Bram, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs (left), with Emily McDonald and CDD Director Debra Hawhee. (Photo: Jarid Waniger)

Each year, the Center for Democratic Deliberation awards the Nancy and Joseph Birkle Student Engagement Award, established through the generosity of Gretchen A. Birkle. The award goes to at least two students in the College of Liberal Arts who have made significant contributions to public deliberation.

This year, the CDD awarded three awards. Jessica A. Kurr, Jeremy D. Johnson, and Jordan Todd won the Birkle Award for their work with the Penn State Debate Society. Emily McDonald won the award for her efforts to collaborate with student governments across Pennsylvania during her term as President of the University Park Undergraduate Association. Nathan Larkin won the Birkle Award for his work with Fossil Free PSU.

Read more about the award and this year's winners here.


Rhetoric & Civic Life Hosts Deliberation Nation

Earlier this month, students from Rhetoric & Civic Life (RCL) courses held more than 50 public deliberations on topics ranging from diversity on campus to the funding of presidential campaigns. 

To read more about RCL and Deliberation Nation, check out Penn State News' feature here.

CDD Board Member Rosa Eberly Discusses Political Speech and Violence on PRI’s "To The Point"

CDD Board Member Rosa Eberly Discusses Political Speech and Violence on PRI’s "To The Point"

Rosa Eberly is Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences, Advisory Board Member of the CDD, and Liaison between the CDD and Penn State’s Student Farm Initiative

Rosa Eberly, CDD Advisory Board Member and Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences and English, was a guest this week on KCRW and PRI’s To The Point. During the segment “Political Speech and Violent Action,” host Warren Olney and Eberly discussed how political speech can be a proximate cause to acts of public violence; how pinpointing whose interests are served by a certain political statement can help citizens evaluate that statement’s ethics; and about the responsibility of journalists, politicians, and citizens to speak out against deceit. Click here to listen to the full discussion.

Debra Hawhee named McCourtney Professor of Civic Deliberation

Debra Hawhee named McCourtney Professor of Civic Deliberation

Debra Hawhee is the Director of Penn State’s Center for Democratic Deliberation

Center for Democratic Deliberation Director Debra Hawhee was recently named McCourtney Professor of Civic Deliberation. The McCourtney Professorship is made possible by the philanthropy of Tracy and Ted McCourtney, two longstanding supporters of the liberal arts and Penn State. Click here to read more about the McCourtneys and Hawhee’s new professorship.

Former CDD Fellow & Research Assistant Wins NSF Grant

Former CDD Fellow & Research Assistant Wins NSF Grant

Sara Drury is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Director of the Democracy and Public Discourse Initiative at Wabash University.

Sara A. Mehltretter Drury, 2009-2010 CDD Dissertation Fellow and 2008-2009 CDD Research Assistant, has won a $208,954 National Science Foundation grant. The grant was awarded to Sara, currently Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at Wabash University, and her co-investigator, Laura Wysocki, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Wabash University, for their project “Encouraging Science Communication in the Wabash College Chemistry Department.”

The grant project will address the problem of chemistry majors who are very well trained in communicating with other chemists but who struggle to explain their work to scientists in other fields, other disciplinary communities, and the wider public. The project will incorporate new pedagogical activities across the Wabash chemistry curriculum to give chemistry majors at all stages in their education opportunities to practice effective science communication. One activity, for example, will ask students to translate their work from highly technical language into prose that members of the public can easily understand. In addition to improving the communication skills of chemistry majors, the grant project will weave science communication activities into introductory courses so that non-science majors will leave Wabash as scientifically literate citizens.

Sara cites the conversations and activities that the CDD sponsors as important models for her work. During her time as the CDD Research Assistant, Sara saw first-hand how important public engagement work is for the academy. The CDD, Sara explains, helped her learn how to “talk with” the public about her research as opposed to merely “talking at” people outside academia.