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Debra Petersen

Associate Professor and Director

Communication Studies

  • Expertise
  • Rhetoric. Race, Class and Gender. Sport Communication. Public Speaking.

Dr. Debra Petersen teaches Communication of Race, Class and Gender, Sport Communication, and Public Speaking each semester. Students in her sections of Public Speaking research and give speeches on sustainability/environmental challenges. Her research emphasizes issues of race, class, gender and sexual identity, and environmental challenges and sustainability. Her Sport Communication course is a core course in the new Sports Studies minor.

Dr. Debra Petersen teaches the cross-listed COJO 328 course, “Rhetoric of Race, Class and Gender,” each year, usually during fall semester. In this course we examine the history of women’s struggles to gain a public voice in the United States from the nineteenth century to today. Research projects conducted by WMST Studies in this course have included the Guerrilla Girls (arts activists), women politicians (including Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential race), and, female journalists (including sports writers/commentators). Dr. Petersen is engaged in on-going research on the rhetoric of first ladies, and received a research grant to conduct research at the Eleanor Roosevelt archives in Hyde Park, New York. She also conducts research on women and politics, including women engaged in international political communication.