You are here: Home / News & Events / News


Former CDD Fellow Wins National Award

Former CDD Fellow Wins National Award

Jessica is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at Wabash College and has recently published in the Journal of Medical Humanities and the Southern Communication Journal.

Jessica Kuperavage, 2012-2013 Center for Democratic Deliberation Fellow, has won the 2015 Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. The National Communication Association awards this prize to the authors of the best dissertations in the field of Communication each year.

Jessica’s dissertation, “From Private Tragedy to Public Health: Public Health and the Rhetorics of Responsibility,” considers how matters of health, which were once seen as private concerns, became public issues during the Progressive Era. Through analysis of archival documents and engagement with biopolitical theory, Jessica argues that the development of public health rhetoric hinged on appeals to responsibility—citizens, for example, became responsible for public health as they were instructed that one’s personal health had a direct connection to the health of the nation.

Jessica credits her time as a CDD Fellow with helping her to refine the key arguments of her dissertation. In particular, Jessica cites the 2012-2013 CDD Fellow writing group, led by Cheryl Glenn and made up of her co-fellows Jason Maxwell and Sarah RudeWalker, as key to the development of her project. Jessica will be presented with her award at the National Communication Association’s Annual Convention in Las Vegas this November.

CDD Deliberates About the Basic Course at ECA

CDD Deliberates About the Basic Course at ECA

CDD Director J. Michael Hogan leads the ECA forum on the basic course

The CDD was invited to organize and staff a special spotlight session at the 106th Annual Eastern Communication Association Convention in Philadelphia on April 24. Entitled “The Future of the Basic Course: A Deliberative Forum,” this special session attracted a large and diverse group of participants who engaged both in small group deliberations and, subsequently, a town hall debate over a series of questions about the purposes and character of introductory courses in communication studies.  The CDD designed the event, framed the questions to be discussed, and supplied a half dozen trained facilitators and recorders (CDD-affiliated faculty and grad students) for the small group discussions. The project will culminate in a “White Paper” that will be distributed via the websites of both the ECA and the CDD, as well as other venues.

CDD and Ripon College Create Emerging Scholar Apprenticeship Program

The Center for Democratic Deliberation and the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences at Penn State have partnered with the Department of Communication at Ripon College to form the Emerging Scholar Apprenticeship Program. Ripon’s Communication Department recently won the 2014 NCA Rex Mix Program of Excellence Award for undergraduate education, and a number of Ripon alumni have studied at Penn State in recent years. The Emerging Scholar Apprenticeship Program was created to give graduate students at Penn State the opportunity to visit Ripon College for two days, participating in the academic life of the department and getting a feel for what it might be like to work and teach at a small private liberal arts program.

On March 24-26, Brad Serber, a Ph.D. candidate in Communication Arts & Sciences, traveled to Ripon College in Wisconsin as the first representative of the program. He met with faculty and administrators to discuss teaching in a liberal arts environment, delivered a guest lecture for an undergraduate class, and presented at the department's colloquium. Mr. Serber’s colloquium lecture, titled “Between Safety and Insecurity: The Preventative Paradox of School Shootings,” examined the ironic divisions between national eulogies and government agency documents on school shootings. Mr. Serber describes the program as a win-win situation for everyone involved: the undergraduates received an insider’s perspective on graduate school, the faculty were able to share their experiences and advice and to showcase the strengths of their program, and he saw this visit as a great opportunity to prepare for the job market and beyond.