public speaking signI approach courses in rhetorical studies as education for civic life, encouraging students to develop the communication skills and ethical commitments necessary for engaged citizenship. I ensure my classrooms are inclusive environments that allow for the discussion of controversial issues, an approach I help promote across campus. I have helped students facilitate public forums on a number of topics including campus free speech and sexual assault. Based on my experience with these projects, I designed and won university approval for a new undergraduate course at Penn State, CAS 315: Debate and Civic Life (see syllabus), which I taught for the first time during the Fall 2016 semester. Lastly, I have a passion for helping develop ways to teach public speaking in a digital age. To this end, I authored a white paper with J. Michael Hogan on “The Future of the Basic Course in Communication,” based on a event hosted by the Eastern Communication Association and the Center for Democratic Deliberation at Penn State, which speaks to these goals.