Dr. Rita Kirk

Academic Vitae


Director. Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility.
January 2, 2011 – present.

 Responsible for advancing the mission of the Center:

to recognize, honor, and model ethical behavior; provide moral reflection on contemporary issues; and celebrate ethics that reflect

SMU's fundamental goals throughout the campus and in the Greater Dallas community.
Key Accomplishments in 2011:

Fundraising team added $248,000 to support the program in 2011
Sponsored 6 student summer public service internships across the world
Coordinated a week-long memorial campus-wide event to remember 9/11
Sponsored four major public seminars
Sponsored the Common Reading website for incoming students
Served on SMU curriculum committee that approved ethics courses for the new curriculum
Sponsored faculty research and teaching grants
Raised the public visibility of the Center through social media campaigns

Professor. Communication Studies. Southern Methodist University.

Named as Associate of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at SMU. 2012. 

Awarded the M Award by the SMU Student Body. 2011.
Named an SMU Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor 2003-2006.
Awarded Meadows Distinguished Teaching Professor, 2001.

·2007-2008: research analyst for CNN for the 2008 Presidential primary and general election debates; Dial test research was considered ground-breaking for national coverage; team that won the Peabody Award in Journalism for election coverage.
· Spring, 1996: studied British World War II propaganda at Wolfson College, Cambridge.

Active researcher: 3 books and numerous articles.
Conduct dial test focus groups for CNN’s 2008 Presidential Election coverage
Currently serve as the Director of the SMU-in-London International Program and the Washington, D.C. Political Experience Program.
Named as Associate of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies.
Member of the Bush Presidential Library committee at SMU from 2001-2010.

-       Appointed Chair of the Provost’s committee on the Bush Oral History Project, 2010-2012.
Professional responsibilities include teaching (courses in Research Methods, Public Opinion & Public Policy, Persuasion, and Media & Politics), maintaining an active research agenda, and performing service to the university and community.

Appointed in 1991, tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 1995, promoted to Full Professor in 2000.

Chair (2002-2007). Division of Corporate Communication & Public Affairs. Southern Methodist University.

Responsibilities include Administration and Budgeting for the Division, hiring and oversight of faculty, mentoring of tenure-track faculty, fundraising, chairing the Professional Advisory Board, serving on the Dean’s Administrative Council, developing and implementing the Division’s strategic plan, maintaining an active research agenda, teaching one course each semester, and enriching the academic life of our students. Implemented the Division’s Annual Report to demonstrate accountability of plan-to-goals. Controlled a budget of just over $700,000. Raised additional funds for two endowed programs, two scholarship funds, and additional research funding for faculty.

Faculty member. (1991-2002). Associate Director (1996-1998). Center for Communication Arts. Southern Methodist University. Dallas, Texas.

Associate Director responsibilities included handling administrative issues for the five degree programs in the Center (Corporate Communication & Public Affairs, Advertising, Journalism, Television/Radio, and Cinema), chairing curriculum committee, leading a self-study program for the Center, reviewing the progress of tenure-track candidates, recruiting outstanding high school seniors, serving on the Dean’s administrative council, and assisting the Center Director on projects as assigned. Assisted in developing the successful proposal that resulted in the five programs becoming autonomous academic units.

Program Chair in the Center for Communication Arts (1995-1996). Corporate Communications &Public Affairs. Southern Methodist University. Dallas, Texas.

Responsibilities included directing the academic program (three full-time faculty, seven part-time faculty, and 136 majors), overseeing the professional advisory board, and hosting the annual Career Fair (with over 100 organizations participating).

Assistant Professor (1986-1991). Department of Communication, University of Alabama-Huntsville. Huntsville, Alabama.

Responsibilities included teaching (courses in Rhetorical Communication, Persuasion, Communication Theory, Political Communication, and Organizational Communication), developing an active research agenda, and maintaining professional contact with the community.

Instructor and Assistant Dean of Fine Arts
. (1980-1984). Department of Communication, Stephen F. Austin State University. Nacogdoches, Texas.

Position obtained prior to Ph.D. Instructed courses (Argumentation, Persuasion, Basic Speech, and Organizational Communication), responsible for grant development in communication (community grants of over $100,000 developed for yearly arts fair).

Instructor. (1979-1980). Department of Communication, Kearney State College. Kearney, Nebraska.

Secondary School Teacher. Rogers High School. Rogers, Arkansas. (1977- 1979).


Undergraduate: Courses include: Research Methods, Media & Politics, Campaigns, Persuasion, Public Opinion & Public Affairs, Management, Principles of Strategic Communication, Ethics, and Free Speech & First Amendment.

Graduate: Courses include: Communication Theory, Persuasion, and Political Communication.

Research Focus: Political Communication (in-depth research in mediated campaign messages, public persuasion, and public policy).

EDUCATION Doctor of Philosophy
in Communication, 1986, University of Missouri. Columbia,

Missouri. Cognate: Journalism

Awards: Arts & Sciences Graduate Fellow, Teaching Assistant, 4.0/4.0 Dissertation: “An Abductive View of American Civil Religion: An Analysis of the

Political Rhetoric of the 1984 Presidential Campaign.”

Master of Arts in Communication, 1978. University of Arkansas. Fayetteville, AR. Thesis: “Barbara Jordan: The Rise of the Black Woman Politician.” Awards: Teaching Assistant, 4.0/4.0.

B.S.E. in Speech/Minor in Political Science, 1975. University of Arkansas. Fayetteville, AR.



- Slayden, David and Rita Kirk Whillock, Eds. (1999). Soundbite Culture: The Death of Discourse in a Wired World. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk and David Slayden, Eds. (1995). Hate Speech. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1991). Political Empiricism: Communication Strategies in State and Regional Elections. New York: Praeger.

Articles & Refereed Book Chapters

- Kirk, R. & D. Schill. (2011). The Digital Agora: CNN’s Experiment with Dial Tests and Measuring the Impact of the 2008 Presidential Debates. American Behavioral Scientist. 55, 325-347.

- Schill, D., & Kirk, R. (2010). CNN’s Dial Testing of the Presidential Debates: Parameters of Discussion in Tech Driven Politics. In L. L. Kaid & J. Hendricks (Eds.) Techno-Politics and Presidential Campaigning: New Technologies, New Voices, New Voters. Lexington Books.

- Kirk, R. (2009). Research Methods in Communication. Public Speaking: The ACA Open Knowledge Guide. Available online: http://www.textcommons.org.

- Schill, Dan and Rita Kirk. (2009). Applied Dial Testing: Using Real Time Response to Improve Media Coverage of Debates (pp. 155-174). In Herausgegeben von jurger Falter, Jurgen Maier, Katja Neller and Harald Schoen, (Eds.), Real-Time Response Measurement in the Social Sciences. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

- Kirk, Rita. (2008). Developing Quality Research Skills. In Tyrone Adams, (Ed.), Communication Basics. Online publication of the American Communication Association.

- Goldzwig, Steven R., Karrin Vasby Anderson, Frederick Antczak, Thomas W. Benson, & Rita Kirk. (2006). The Ethical Responsibilities of Presidential Rhetoric. In The Prospect of Presidential Rhetoric, James A. Aune and Martin J. Medhurst, (Eds.). College Station: Texas A&M University Press.

- Lawson-Borders, Gracie and Rita Kirk. (December 2005). Blogs in Campaign Communication. American Behavioral Scientist, 49, 1-12

Whillock, Rita Kirk & David Whillock. (2002). Digital Democracy 2000. In R.E. Denton, Jr. (Ed.), pp. 167-182. The 2000 Presidential Campaign. Westport, CT: Praeger.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (2000). Age of Reason: The Electronic Frontier Confronts the Aims of Political Persuasion. In A. Albarran & D. Goff, (Eds.). Understanding the Web: Social, Political, and Economic Dimensions of the Internet. Iowa State University Press.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (2000). Ethical Considerations of Civil Discourse: The Implications of the Rise of "Hate Speech." In R.E. Denton (Ed.). Political Communication Ethics. New York: Praeger.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (2000). A Consultant's Angle: Comments on Politics and Politicians. American Communication Journal.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1999). Giant Sucking Sounds: Politics as Illusion. In D. Slayden and R. K. Whillock (Eds.). Soundbite Culture: The Death of Discourse in a Wired World. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1998). Digital Democracy: The ‟96 Campaign On-line. In R.E. Denton (Ed.). The 1996 Presidential Campaign: A Communication Perspective. (pp. 179-198). New York: Praeger.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1997). Cyber Politics: The Online Strategies of ‘96. American Behavioral Scientist, 40, 1208-1225.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1996). The Compromising Clinton: Images of Failure, a Record of Success. In R.E. Denton and R. Holloway (Eds.),
The Clinton Presidency: Images, Issues and Communication Strategies. (pp. 123-138). New York: Praeger.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1995). The Politics of Hate. In R. Whillock and D. Slayden (Eds.), Hate Speech. (pp. 28-54). Newbury Park: Sage.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1994). Easy Access to Sloppy Truths: An Analysis of the ‟92 Presidential Media Campaign (pp. 292-314). In S. Smith (Ed.), Bill
Clinton on Stump, State and Stage: The Rhetorical Road to the White House. Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1994). The Subversion of Argument: Lessons from the Demagogic Rhetoric of David Duke. Political Communication, 11, 217-231. (Lead Article).

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1994). Dream Believers: The Unifying Visions and Competing Values of Adherents of American Civil Religion. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 24, 375-388.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1993). Winning Their Hearts and Minds: Strategies for Victory in American Political Campaigns. World Communication Journal, 22, 62-67.

- Fitzpatrick, Kathy and Rita Kirk Whillock. (1993). Assessing the Impact of Globalization on US Public Relations. Public Relations Quarterly, 19, 315-325.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1992). Ideology and Implications of Media Use. In J.K. Muir (Ed.) C-SPAN in the Communications Classroom: Theory and Applications (pp. 11-20). Annandale, VA: SCA Publications.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1989). Political Empiricism: The Role of a Political Consultant in One Mayoral Race. Southern Communication Journal, 60, 55-72.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1988). The Practice of Theory: A Controversy in Current Debate. The Forensic, 73, 5-15.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk and David E. Whillock. (1987). Debunking an American Myth: A Case Analysis. Journal of Communication Studies, 6, 5-9.

- Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1986). Religion and Politics: The Rhetorical Strategies of Mario M. Cuomo and John F. Kennedy. Journal of Communication Studies, 4, 8-12.


American Civil Religion. (2011). In D. Coates, K. Smith & W. Waldorf (Eds.), Companion to American Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Research Published in the Mass Media

CNN. (2011-2012). CNN Republican Primary Election Coverage. Conducted Public Opinion Research and Analysis.

CNN. (2010). The President’s State of the Union Address. Conducted Public Opinion Research and Analysis.

CNN. (2008). Presidential Debates: General Election. Conducted Public Opinion Research and Election Analysis for CNN Election and Debate Coverage. Part of research team that won the Peabody Award for Excellence in Journalism.

CNN. (2008). Presidential Primary Election. Conducted Public Opinion Research and Election Analysis for CNN Election and Debate Coverage.

Hearst-Argyle Television. (2008). Presidential Primary Election. Conducted Public Opinion Research and Election Analysis for ABC Election Coverage.

Hearst-Argyle Television. (2008). Mayoral Debate Coverage and Analysis. Sacramento, CA.

Published Book Reviews

Review of Ralph Engelman’s Public Radio and Television in America: A Political History for Social Science Quarterly. September/December 1997.

Review of Leon Hurwitz‟ Historical Dictionary of Censorship in the United States for Free Speech Yearbook, 26, (1988): 221-222.

Review of Lynda Lee Kaid, Dan Nimmo, and Keith R. Sanders’ New Perspectives on Political Advertising for Southern Speech Communication Journal, 52, (1987): 331-332.

Book Series Editor

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (2000-2002). Discourse Analysis Series Editor. Peter Lang Publisher.

Journal Editor

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (Winter 2002). Southern Communication Journal. Special issue on Civil Discourse

Whillock, Rita Kirk & Patricia D’Itri, guest editors. (1987). Journal of American Culture, 10.

Select List of Professional Presentations

Kirk, Rita. (2011). Kirk, Rita. (2010). Building Bridges between Research and Practice: Political Scholarship and Student Action. National Communication Association. San Francisco, CA.

Kirk, Rita. (2009). Between Theory and Practice: Dial Testing and Citizen Engagement. National Communication Association. Chicago, IL.

Kirk, Rita. (2008). An Insider’s View of the 2008 Presidential Debates. National Communication Association. San Diego, CA.

Kirk, R., & Schill. D. (2008, May). CNN & the “You Tube” Debates: America’s Choice. Presented at the International Communication Association Convention, Montreal, Canada.

Kirk, Rita. (2007). The Rhetorical Challenges of the 2008 Presidential Primaries and Caucuses. National Communication Association. Chicago, IL.

Kirk, Rita. (2007). Thick Description: Ethnography Comes to Political Communication. National Communication Association. Chicago, IL.

Kirk, Rita. (2007). Technology Reality Check. National Communication Association. Chicago, IL.

Kirk, Rita. (2007). Frontiers of Communication. International Communication Association. San Francisco, CA.

Kirk, Rita. (2007). Electronic Textbook Publishing. American Communication Association. Taos, New Mexico.

Kirk, Rita. (2006). Brave New Media, Brave New World. Keynote Address. Congress of the Americas. Lima, Peru. Lawson-Borders, Gracie and Rita Kirk. (2004). Internet Blogs in Campaign Communication. National Communication Association Convention. Chicago

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (2003). Using Multimedia and the Internet to Teach Rhetorical Criticism and Political Communication. Miami, FL: National Communication Association.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (2003). Internet Campaign 2000: Monologue or Dialogue. Bush Presidential Library. Conference on the Rhetorical Presidency. Texas A&M.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (2002). The New Propaganda Team and Its Communication Strategies. New Orleans, LA: National Communication Association.

Whillock, Rita Kirk Squatters’ Rights: Self Definition and the Role of Political Satire on the Internet. Southern States Communication Association Convention. New Orleans. 2000.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1999). Free Speech and the Internet: A Debate over Information Access, the Price of Freedom, and Quick-Time Responses to Age Old Issues. Panelist upholding the Free Speech position. St. Louis, MO. Joint Conference of the Central and Southern Communication Associations.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1999). Chair of "Politics as Performance Art" with Pulitzer- nominated H.W. Brands, Robert Friedenburg, and Andrew A. King. George Bush Presidential Studies Conference. College Station, TX.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1998). Free Speech and Political Thought: An Analysis of Campaign Rhetoric. Top Paper. Southern Communication Association. San Antonio, TX.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1998). Chair of "Distinguished Scholars Roundtable on Cold War Rhetoric." George Bush Presidential Studies Conference. College Station, TX.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1997). Border Crossings: British Perceptions of American Culture in Packaging World War II News. National Communication Association. Chicago, IL.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1997). Building a Rhetorical Bridge to the 21st Century. National Communication Association. Chicago, IL.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1997). Webs of Hate: Underground Strategies for Turning Talk into Action. Southern Communication Association. Savannah, GA.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1996). Establishing National Identity: Storytelling as Propaganda. Southern Communication Association. Memphis, TN.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1996). Honoring Hate Speech. A Response to Critics Reviewing and Honoring the Book. Eastern Communication Association. New York.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1996). International Propaganda: Britain and the US in World War II. American Communication Association. Charleston, SC.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1995). Media Innovations and the 1996 Presidential Election.” Center for the Study of the Presidency. Washington, D.C.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1994). Foreign Policy and Public Persuasion. Center for the Study of the Presidency’s 25th Annual Leadership Conference. Baltimore, MD.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1994). That Dog Won’t Hunt: Regional Humor and Political Argument the 1994 Richards-Bush Texas Gubernatorial Race. Speech Communication Association National Convention. New Orleans, LA.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1994). Expressions of Hate in America: Scholars‟ Discussion of Current Research. Speech Communication Association. New Orleans, LA.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1993). Assessing the Impact of Globalization on US Public Relations. A Top-3 Competitive Paper. Public Relations Society of America National Convention. Orlando, FL.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1993). The Media and Foreign Policy. Center for the Study of the Presidency’s 24th Annual Leadership Conference. Indianapolis, IN.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1992). The Struggle to Establish a Democratic Majority: The Election Tactics and Governing Principles of William Jefferson Clinton. Speech Communication Association National Convention. Chicago, IL.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1992). Turning Anger into Hate: An Analysis of Demagogic Arguments in David Duke’s Ford Hall Forum Address. Speech Communication Association National Convention. Chicago, IL.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1992). Subversion of Argument: Expressions of Hate in Political Discourse. Selected for the Media Forum Series. Speech Communication Association National Convention. Chicago, IL.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1991). The Gulf War: Evidence toward Theories of Media Bias. Speech Communication Association National Convention. Atlanta, GA.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1989). The Public Failure of the Scientific Model as a Decision- Making Paradigm: A Case Analysis of the Challenger Disaster. Speech Communication Association National Convention. San Francisco, CA.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1989). Images of Southern Women: The Redefinition of the “Southern Woman‟ in the Antebellum South. (with Annette Shelby). Special Conference on Southern Politics. Mobile, AL.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1988). The Paradox of a Religious Nation: The Introduction of “City on a Hill‟ as a Campaign Theme of the 1980‟s. Speech Communication Association National Convention. New Orleans, LA.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1987). The Emergence of Political Arguments Manifested from the Construction of Value Paradigms. Competitive Panel. Speech Communication Association National Convention. Boston, MA.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1987). Strengthening the Coalition: The Defeminization of Strategic Political Issues. Speech Communication Association National Convention. Boston, MA.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1987). Carrie Nation’s Moral Rebellion: The Political Power of Protest. American Culture Association. Montreal, Canada.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1986). The Rhetorical Study of Myths: A Component Analysis (with William R. Benoit). Competitive paper in the Rhetoric and Public Address Division. Speech Communication Association National Convention. Chicago, IL.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1986). An Investigation into the Uses of International Issues by the Carter Campaign in the 1980 Presidential Election. Research Forum. University of Missouri.

Whillock, Rita Kirk. (1985). The Theory of Democratic Elitism: Practical Applications for Politics in the “80s.” Graduate and Professional Research Forum. University of Missouri.


Executive Director. American Communication Association. 2006-2009.

Chair, NCA Book Award Committee for Outstanding Book in Political Communication, 2008, 2011.. Awards committee member, 2010.

Accreditation Team Leader. American Communication Association. Led accreditation team to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Peru, as well as universities in the U.S. 2007-2009.

Founding Member. InterAmericas Forum, an alliance of communication associations in North, Central and South America. 2006-2009.


CNL Properties, Baylor Health Care Systems, The Marketing Arm (a division of OmniCom), J.M. Huber (listed in Top 200 Private Companies in the US), TU Electric (Texas‟ largest investor-owned utility), NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center,

CMC Industries (contract manufacturing), AVEX Electronics, Electronic Data Systems, Gardere & Wynne PC, Tri-M Technologies, and several others for whom proprietary work was performed (1984-present). Political: Research team leader for CNN‟s dial testing of the 1988 Presidential primaries and general election debates. Primary communication strategist for campaigns including U.S. Congress (Texas 32nd, Alabama 5th), Governor (Alabama), U.S. District Court Judge (Alabama), and various municipal elections including two mayoral races, a district attorney race, and three city council elections. Advisor to various campaigns on fund-raising and direct mail
strategies in Presidential, U.S. Senate, and state elections (1986-present).

Public Affairs Counsel:
polling analysis for various government and business entities; co-counsel with Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, and Bustin & Company (formerly Tracey-Locke Public Relations) on issues relating to public affairs for their corporate clients. Analyst for Hill & Knowlton Public Relations in their analysis of the Dallas market.


James W. and Nancy McLamore Foundation. $3,500. Scholarship fund for London Communication students. January, 2010.

Bauer Foundation. $100,000. Additional endowment for the Hilltop on the Hill. January, 2009.

Bauer Foundation. $90,000. Additional endowment for Hilltop on the Hill. January, 2008.

Komen for the Cure/Meadows School of the Arts. (with Tony Kroll). International Caregiver Perceptions about Barriers to Detection and Treatment for Breast Cancer. $45,000.

Meadows Travel Grant. $1,950 for hosting the International Communication Association Convention. Taos, NM, 2007.

Bauer Foundation. $118,825. Operating Expenses for Hilltop on the Hill. Dec. 2006.

Bauer Foundation. $350,000 endowment for Hilltop on the Hill political experience. 2002-2006.

Rosemary Haggar Vaughn. $10,000. To support the CCPA academic program.

Levenson Rising Star Award. $500 a year for five years. Spring, 2006. Keith Burton. $5,800. Legends Speak underwriter. Fall, 2006.

Maguire Ethics Center. (2000). A Grant for Developing the Ethics Sequence of the Persuasion Course. $500.

An OTRI-I Audit of the United Methodist Church: A Technical Report Prepared for the General Commission on Communication, The United Methodist Church, USA. (1998). Lead Researcher: Craig E. Carroll (University of Texas - Austin). Research Advisors: Rita Kirk Whillock (Southern Methodist University) & George Cheney (University of Waikato, New Zealand). $18,960.

Teaching Technology Grant. (1998). A Grant to Develop Web-Based Instructional Assistance for Public Affairs Courses. $2,500.

British Propaganda. (1997). University Research Council Grant. $3,000. 1997.

American Response to British Propaganda. (1997). Meadows Research Grant. $2,700.

Investigating the Use of Public Relations Agents by Foreign Governments to Influence Media, Public Opinion, and the Congress on US Foreign Policy Issues. (1994). Cambridge University: Visiting Scholars Grant, 1994. Supplemented by SMU Research Council, Research and Travel Grant. $3,500.

Expressions of Hate in American Discourse. (1992). Sam Taylor Fellow (with David Slayden). $1,800.

The Search for America’s Faith: An Examination of American Civil Religion as Proclaimed in the Mediated Campaign Messages of 1992. (1992). C-SPAN. $500.

An Investigation of Emergent Practices in International Public Relations. (1992). SMU Research Council. (with Kathy Fitzpatrick) $3,600.

Survey of National PRSA Members. Public Relations Society of America – North Texas Chapter. (with Kathy Fitzpatrick). (1992). $1,700 in-kind contribution.

A Study of Televised Political Advertisements in the 1986 Senatorial Campaigns. (1987). University of Alabama-Huntsville Research Council Grant. $2,300.


Awarded the “M” Award for Outstanding Teaching as voted by the SMU student body. 2011.

Named a Texas Woman Pioneer for work done to advance women in the field of communication. Honored at Fair Park, Dallas, TX in conjunction with the Veteran Feminists of America. 2010.

Peabody Award as member of CNN‟s Election Team Coverage of the 2008 Presidential Election. April, 2009.

Research advisor for CNN on Presidential primary debates. 2007-2008.

Named a member of the Altshuler Academy of Distinguished Professors. 2003-2006.

Named the Meadows Outstanding Teaching Professor. 2001-2002.

Named an H.O.P.E. Professor (2000). Award from the Student Residential Life Committee for Teaching Excellence.

Presented the “Rotunda Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award” by the SMU student body. Spring 2000.

Named to the editorial board. Southern Communication Journal. Term 1999-2002.

Received the Greg Phifer Freedom of Speech Award. Southern Communication Association. 1998.

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research. Meadows School of the Arts. Southern Methodist University. 1997.

Awarded the James A. Madison Award for Excellence in First Amendment Scholarship for Hate Speech. Southern States Communication Association. 1997.

Named to editorial board of The American Communication Journal. Term 1996-1999.

Hate Speech is awarded Outstanding Book on the subject of Human Rights in North America. Gustavus Meyers Center (co-sponsored by the NAACP, National Organization of Women, National Urban League, B’nai B’rith, Universalist Unitarian Church, Project Censured, and Free Inquiry. Fall, 1996.

Political Commentator. 1996 Elections. Interviewed by a number of sources including MSNBC, The Jerusalem Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and National Public Radio.

Featured Guest. National Public Radio of Wisconsin. Call-in talk show on Hate Speech. March 1, 1996.

Analyst for NBC‟s Today Show regarding President Clinton’s State of the Union Speech. January 23, 1996.

Expert for Steve Insky’s story on Hate Speech and Patrick Buchanan’s Race for the Presidency. National Public Radio. January 1996.

Named to the editorial board. Southern Communication Journal. Term 1995-1998.

Name a Cambridge Visiting Scholar. Wolfson College. Cambridge, England. Summer 1994.

Recipient of Best Book in Applied Communication Award for Political Empiricism: Communication Strategies in State and Regional Elections. Speech Communication Association National Convention. Chicago, IL. 1992.

Invited Critic, “The Future of the Rhetorical Presidency.” (with Edwin Black and Dan Hahn). The Center for Presidential Studies Inaugural Conference. Sponsored by the Bush Presidential Library and Texas A&M University. 1995.

Distinguished Lecturer. Clemson University. “Images in Political Campaigns.” October, 1992.

Featured Speaker. Carolina Communication Association. “A Scholarly View of Communication across Society.” Spotlight Session. October 1992.

Named: Who’s Who in the Media and Communications. 1998. The World Who’s Who of Women. 1996. Who’s Who of International Scholars. 1995. Who’s Who in the South and Southwest. 1994. Who’s Who in American Women. 1995. Outstanding Young Women of America. 1985-1986.

Named “Outstanding Professor” by the SMU Student Governing Association. October, 1992.

Selected participant in C-SPAN‟s 1989 Seminar for Professors. Washington DC, 1989.


Regular news source on issues relating to political communication and hate speech. Approximately 40 interviews each year.

Sponsor guest speakers for CCPA students. Those include David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Susan McDougal, Nellie Connally, Harry Benson, and George Crile, Harold Burson, and British Member of Parliament Julian Brazier.

Serve as an SMU professor/expert resource on political communication, the Bush library, and media and politics.

Regularly teach service learning courses for students at the Democrat/Republican National Convention and the Inauguration of the President (Washington, D.C.). In non-presidential election years, the political experience is a program entitled Hilltop on the Hill held in each October in Washington, D.C.

Co-Host of Debate Watch 2000 rally. October 3, 2000. An official program of the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Vice Chair. 1999-2000. Free Speech Division. Southern Communication Association.

Vice Chair Elect. 1999-2000. Free Speech Division. Southern Communication Association.

Associate Editor. Qualitative Research Reports (a new journal sponsored by the Eastern Communication Association). 1999-2002.

Editorial Selection Committee. 1998-1999; 1999-2000. Rose B. Johnson Award for Outstanding Article published in the Southern Communication Journal.

Board Member, American Communication Association. 1995-1999.

Editorial Selection Committee. 1998. Kappa Tau Alpha Award for Outstanding Book in Journalism. AEJMC.

Member, Legislative Council. 1996-1998. National Communication Association (formerly SCA).

Member of National Nominating Committee. 1997-1998. National Communication Association.

Reviewer for Western Communication Journal. 1996-1999.

Editorial Selection Committee. 1997. Kappa Tau Alpha Award for Outstanding Book in Journalism. AEJMC.

Lecturer for the Young Writer’s Series. Fall 1996. Grapevine/Colleyville Independent School District.

Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. “Campaign ‟96: The Inauguration, an Academic Seminar.” January 14-20, 1997. Sponsored by the Washington Center, Washington DC. Responsibilities included lecture and discussion with students, moderating panels with distinguished speakers, and overseeing students working with the Presidential Inaugural Committee and Texas State Society. Speakers included The Honorable Wilson Livingood, Dr. Walter Oleszek, David Gergen, The Honorable Edwin Meese III, The Honorable Phil English, Ronald Elving with the Congressional Quarterly, David Lightman with the Hartford Courant, Steve Scully with C-SPAN, Sam Donaldson, Dr. Illana Kass, and Dr. Bard O’Neillo.

Guest Lecturer. Public Relations Society of America, Fort Worth Chapter. “The Current Status of Public Relations Research.” February 23, 1996.

Senatorial Advisory Committee, Texas State Senator Jane Nelson. 1996-1998.

President. American Communication Association. 1995-1996. (This is a virtual organization designed to foster communication research on the World Wide Web.)

Chair. Applied Communication Section. 1995-1996. Speech Communication Association.

Named to the Dallas Chamber of Commerce Communication Advisory Committee. 1995-1996.

Judge for Dallas PICA Journalism Awards. Sponsored by the Junior League of Dallas. 1992, 1993, 1994.

Reviewer for Allyn & Bacon Publishers for proposed books in the communication field. 1991-present.

Advisor. Kappa Tau Alpha (Journalism and Mass Communication Honorary). Southern Methodist University. 1993-1998.

Vice Chair. Applied Communication Section. Speech Communication Association. 1994-1995.

Reviewer for Competitive Papers section:
Political Communication Division. Speech Communication Association. 1993,1994, 1995, 1996, 1998. 

Applied Communication. Speech Communication Association. 1994,1995, 1996, 1997.
Free Speech Division. Southern Communication Association. 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002.

Panelist on “Women in Politics” with Justice Barbara Rosenberg and Candidate Chris Michaelek. Women’s Interest Network. Dallas, Texas. 1993.

Member, Executive Committee. 1992-1994. Applied Communication section, Speech Communication Association.

Select Committee work at Southern Methodist University: Committee Member. Bush Presidential Library. SMU. 2001-2010. Search Committee member, Vice President for Student Affairs. 2007. Intellectual Property Policy Committee, Member 2002-2006, Chair, 2002 Chair of the Meadows Grants Committee Member of the MLA (Master of Liberal Arts) Council Council on General Education University Technology Committee, Provost's Minority Mentoring Program CCA Honor's Committee Chair

Master’s Theses Committees, Dissertation Committees, Meadows Scholarship, Recruiting & Financial Aid Committee, Meadows Academic Policies Committee, President’s Committee on the Needs of Persons with Disabilities, Public Relations Advisory Board, President’s Scholars Faculty Interviewer, Dedman College Promotion & Tenure Committee.

Faculty Liaison to the Public Relations Society of America’s 1994 International Visiting Scholar. Established lectures for her at SMU, discussed the Dallas-Fort Worth market, and provided contacts for future research. 1994.

Political Analyst for local/regional stations (1986-1991): WAFF, Channel 48, (NBC). Huntsville, AL. WAAY, Channel 31, (ABC), Huntsville, AL.

Mayor’s Community Planning and Policy Board. Huntsville, AL. 1988-1990.

Moderator, Public Debate between Sara Weddington and Phyllis Schlafley on Abortion. Huntsville, AL. 1990.

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