Department of Communication
Current Grad Students (2014-2015) CGSA Officers

Scott Anderson headshotScott Anderson

Annie Hunter headshotAnnie Laurie Hunter

Kristen Ball MA studentKristen Ball
Adam HughesAdam Hughes

Reginald Bell headshotReginald Bell, Jr.

Justin Jaggers headshotJustin Jaggers

Carolyn Block bio picturesCarolyn Block

Eddie Kruger headshotEddie Kruger

JR Briscoe headshotJ.R. Briscoe

Malvin Massey headshotMalvin Massey, Jr.

Jon-Paul BushnellJon-Paul Bushnell

Stephen McKellips headshotStephen McKellips

Kyle ChristensenKyle Christensen

Timothy Miller headshotTimothy Miller

no image for bioLisa Dale
Stephanie MontgomeryStephanie Montgomery

Crystal Daugherty bio pictureCrystal Daugherty
April Phillips headshotApril Phillips

Merci Decker headshotMerci Decker

Christine Platt headshotChristine M. Platt

Steven EdscornSteven Edscorn

Christina RaderChristina Rader

Andre Favors headshotAndre Favors

Blake RagsdaleBlake Ragsdale

Earle J. FisherEarle J. Fisher

Lindsey Randall headshotLindsey Randall

Kevin Gallagher headshotKevin Gallagher

 Caroline Sawyer headshotCaroline E. Sawyer

Robert GloverRobert (Zach) Glover

William Schraufnagel headshotWilliam Schraufnagel

Brandon Goldsmith headshotBrandon Chase Goldsmith

Jonas SchubachJonas Schubach

no image for bioBrenda Green

Sarah ScottSarah Scott

Marcus Hassell headshotMarcus K. Hassell

no image for bioTrevor Stack

Jesse Hearn headshotJesse Hearn

Lori Stallings headshotLori Stallings

Brian HeslopBrian Heslop

Joel Stamey headshotJoel Stamey

Scarlett Hester headshotScarlett L. Hester

Eyon WuchinaEyan Wuchina

Rachel HinsonRachel Hinson

Ivon WuchinaIvon Wuchina

Kristen Hungerford headshotKristen Hungerford


Scott Anderson headshot

Scott Anderson, PhD student 

Scott Anderson’s academic interests include contemporary political rhetoric and American public address.  With rhetorical theory and criticism, he has engaged texts in their contexts through metaphor, identification, and close textual analysis.  His work with metaphor has examined rhetoric in a variety of contexts that range from the discourse of Barack Obama to the nineteenth century literature of Nathaniel Hawthorne.  Using the theoretical constructs of Kenneth Burke, he has also examined the rhetoric of Steve Jobs through identification and the dramatistic process.  Anderson is currently working on the idea of post-racism and media in the age of Obama.  

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Kristen Ball MA student

Kristen Ball, M.A. student

Kristen is working on a M.A. in Communication, after earning a J.D. at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and a B.A. in Communication at the University of Memphis.  During her time as an undergraduate, she presented at the Tennessee Communication Association Annual Conference and at the Southern States Communication Association Undergraduate Honors Conference, where she had the honor of speaking on the Top Papers Panel.  Kristen’s time studying law focused primarily on labor and health law, with an emphasis on federal employment laws and the Affordable Care Act.  She is currently interested in political and social protest rhetoric and she intends to connect her legal education with her ongoing study of rhetoric.

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Reginald Bell headshot

Reginald Bell, Ph.D. student    

Reginald Bell, Jr., graduated from Emory University with a Master of Divinity. He is currently a PhD student specializing in rhetoric. His research interests focus on religious discourse. In particular, he is interested in the artistry and craft of televangelist Joel Osteen’s discourse, and how that artistry and craft can be analyzed as a site for the ethical criticism of his rhetoric. Upon earning his PhD from University of Memphis, he hopes to further his career as an educator at the collegiate level.

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Carolyn Block bio pictures Carolyn Block

Carolyn Block’s research focuses on critical theory, media and cultural studies, and the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in constructions of humans and animals. Currently she is examining how media texts construct wildness as an affect and how they represent owning wildness. Carolyn’s teaching experience includes public speaking, introduction to human communication, and television and culture. She is a self-proclaimed dog lover and has done extensive work examining the relationship between people and their pets. In her free time, Carolyn enjoys running and playing with her two dogs Cocoa and DeeBowe.

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JR Briscoe headshot

J.R. Briscoe, Ph.D. student

J.R.’s primary research interests examine rhetoric within the realm of political discourse image repair. His most recent research was an examination of President Obama’s speeches that lead to the publication of Apologia, Antapologia and Barack Obama’s “Global Apology Tour” in the Iowa Journal of Communication. J.R. is a recent graduate of Southern Utah University and of Brigham Young University Idaho where he was awarded the Newell K. Whitney Award, given only to distinguished graduates in communication.

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Jon-Paul Bushnell Jon-Paul Bushnell, Ph.D. Student 

Jon-Paul Bushnell’s current research interests include studying the intersections and tensions between rhetoric and ethics within the context of new media technology, examining how technologies of anonymity, coupled with the decentralization and profusion of information and power in the twenty-first century, challenge conventional formulations of political responsibility and the identity of the citizen, and the writings of James Joyce.  

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Kyle Christensen

Kyle Christensen, Ph.D. student

A native of Illinois, Kyle Christensen received his Master of Arts degree in Communication (with a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies) from Northern Illinois University in 2011. For his exceptional academic achievement, he was named a recipient of the Paul K. Crawford Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the NIU Department of Communication. Prior to attending the University of Memphis, Christensen worked as a speech communication instructor for various colleges in the Western Illinois-Eastern Iowa area, most notably at Monmouth College (his undergraduate alma mater) where he also served as its Director of Forensics from 2012- 14. As a scholar, Christensen's research focuses on rhetorics of popular culture, addressing how popular media can function as a site for engaging critical theory and promoting dialogic understanding of the relationship between media texts and the social-cultural-political contexts in which they are produced. More specifically, he is interested in contemporary horror film narratives, and he draws upon his background in feminist theory and masculinity studies to deconstruct the ways in which these narratives impart significant social messages regarding gender identity, sexuality, abjection, and corporeality. Christensen's scholarly work has appeared in the journal Studies in Popular Culture and in the edited collection Reading Richard Matheson: A Critical Survey (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014). He has also had a book review featured on the Critical Lede qualitative communication podcast.  

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Crystal Daugherty bio picture  Crystal DaughertyPh.D. student  

Crystal Daugherty ‘s main research focus is health communication. Specifically, spirituality and international health. The goal of her dissertation research is to explore the relationship between spirituality (as a coping mechanism) and individuals living in Liberia who have been diagnosed with malaria. Her professional goals include working with international health organizations and/or teaching.

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Lisa Dale, Ph.D. student

Lisa Dale graduated from Loewenberg School of Nursing in 2011, cum laude, and completed a Master of Arts in Medical Anthropology in 2014. Her graduate research, “Barriers to Therapy Adherence in HIV Treatment” examined the way healthcare professionals identified and addressed social obstacles to therapy adherence: extreme poverty, social stigma, cultural dilemmas, and health literacy. Findings identified mental health status as a prevailing challenge for people living with HIV. Lisa’s goal is to continue to investigate ways in which healthcare professionals and healthcare systems can address therapy adherence for the 117 million people living with chronic illnesses in America. As a PhD student she examines how culturally specific health messages can be used to decrease health disparities among marginalized populations. By facilitating engaged community-based research, culturally specific health messages can be designed and disseminated to targeted audiences for the purpose of health education, health promotion, and disease prevention.

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Merci Decker headshot

Merci Decker, Ph.D. student  

Merci Decker is PhD candidate in Communication with an emphasis in rhetoric at University of Memphis. Her research focuses on understanding how underrepresented groups use rhetorical and argumentative strategies in order obtain a voice in the political sphere. Her dissertation examines how the 1930’s anarchist organization “Vanguard Group” used definitional strategies to negotiate the meaning of the term “anarchism” in a changing political and economic climate.  Other areas of interest include: Argumentation Theory, Definitional Strategies, Anarchist Rhetoric, Radical Rhetoric, Labor Rhetoric, Social Movements, and Persuasion Theory. Merci is also a Lecturer at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan where she teaches courses in persuasion, social movements, argumentation, and gender.  In 2006 she received an MA in Speech Communication from Minnesota State University, Mankato.  She is an active member of the National Communication Association and in 2010 she served as chair and program planner for the Peace and Conflict Division. 

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Andre Favors headshot

André Favors, Ph.D. student

André Favors has broad interests in communication and culture. He studies phenomena related to place and space, technology and new media, and LGBT studies. Currently the assistant editor for Technoculture: An Online Journal of Technology in Society, he has also published book reviews in that journal and in The Critical Lede.


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Earle J. Fisher  Earle J. Fisher

A native of Benton Harbor, Michigan, Earle J. Fisher graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1996, earned an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts in 1999 from Lake Michigan College, a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Computer Science in 2003 from LeMoyne Owen College and a Masters of Divinity Degree in May 2008 from Memphis Theological Seminary. As a dually ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Missionary Baptist Church denominations Earle is a PhD student in the Rhetoric, Politics, Society area. Rev. Fisher serves as Adjunct Instructor of Contemporary Theology at Rhodes College.  Pastor Earle is also the Senior Pastor of Abyssinian Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis, TN.  Most of his research focuses on Black Prophetic Rhetoric, the rhetorical strategies and impact of black preaching and hip-hop lyricism.

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Kevin Gallagher headshot

Kevin Gallagher, Ph.D. Student

After several years as a professional political consultant, including serving as Director of Public Affairs for Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton, Jr., Kevin returned to the University of Memphis to study the intersection of communication and social cognition, specifically in the area of public and political discourse.  His research examines the way beliefs and assumptions are expressed in, and shaped by public discourse.

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Robert Glover  Robert (Zach) Glover, M.A. Student

A native Memphian, Zach Glover received his undergraduate degree at Rhodes College where he wrote his thesis on the American gothic convention in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks TV series. He is the recipient of Rhodes’s Allen Tate award for excellence in creative writing. With backgrounds in creative writing, music composition and performance, and film studies, Zach is thrilled to be furthering his education by pursuing an MA in the narrative track of U of M’s film and video production program.

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Brandon Goldsmith headshot

Brandon Chase Goldsmith, Ph.D.     

Brandon Chase Goldsmith is a PhD candidate whose research focuses on the rhetoric of contemporary United States’ citizenship and the performance of America’s form of democracy. He has made 13 national, regional, and/or local conference presentations and performances based on his studies. Goldsmith’s solo show “A 12 Step Program for Recovering White Caucasians” was a Top Performance at the 2012 Southern States Communication Association Conference. As part of his engaged scholarship, Goldsmith has transposed his work for popular mediums such as newspaper editorials and opinion letters, and has even discussed his findings as a guest on local political radio shows. His dissertation topic, Contemporary American Citizenship: A Genre Study of Citizen (ship)/Civic Engagement Centers, combines his interests in deliberative dialogues, civic participation and political performance. Goldsmith’s goals are to merge his theoretical scholarship with practical applications that encourage partnerships between higher education institutions and the communities they serve. Most recently he is a recipient of the University of Memphis’ Presidential Tuition Service Scholarship and is acting as the College of Communication and Fine Arts’ representative on the Engaged Scholarship Committee.

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Marcus Hassell headshot

Marcus K. Hassell, Ph.D. Student

Marcus Hassell’s research focuses on critical theory, critical pedagogy and the anthropology of race. Currently he is examining media framing of human rights issues in Uganda and South Africa, specifically how activism and policy are influenced by media narratives.



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Jesse Hearn headshot

Jesse Hearn, M.A. student, specializing in Film & Video Production

Jesse Hearn is a returning University of Memphis student aspiring to turn his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications into a Master of Arts degree with a concentration on film and video production. Films and his theatrical background have given him a fondness for visual narrative storytelling and the acting method. Jesse and his crew won the Audience Choice Award for their video short "San Diego" at the 2011 Indie Memphis Student Film Showcase. He hopes to expand his knowledge and grow as an artist in order to produce valuable work during his time with the department.

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Brian Heslop Brian Heslop, Ph.D. student

Brian graduated from Weber State University with a B.A. in English. He earned his MA in Professional Communication from Southern Utah University. For his capstone, he interned as a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil, researching for and contributing to the Department of State's Trafficking in Person's Report and the International Religious Freedom Report. As a part of his capstone, Brian wrote a thesis on a speech by Ambassador Sobel, exploring the way Sobel used metaphors to construct the power dynamic between the U.S. and Brazil. His current research examines religious and political rhetoric, and he gives particular attention to the presence of civil religion and controversy in public discourse. His plan is to graduate in 2015 and work in higher education, focusing on teaching while publishing in the field of communication. His goal as a professor is to enable students to become better citizens, to think critically, and to participate effectively in society.

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Scarlett Hester headshot

Scarlett L. Hester, Ph.D. student

Scarlett just graduated from Ball State University with her Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies.  She is a current first year PhD student studying rhetoric.  Her research interests include rhetoric of popular culture from a feminist perspective.  In particular, she is interested in gender and the concepts of masculinity and female masculinity.  She has served as a peer reviewer and panel chair for both CSCA and NCA. Upon earning her PhD from the University of Memphis, she hopes to further pursue her career as an educator at the collegiate level. 

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Rachel Hinson  Rachel Hinson, M.A. student

Rachel Hinson is pursuing her Masters in Communication, specializing in Film and Video Production.  She obtained her Bachelors degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and International Business from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  She decided to go back to school to follow her true passion, film.  She is actively pursuing the study of narrative storytelling and its impact on the emotional state of the audience.

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Adam Hughes  Adam Hughes, Ph.D. student

Adam G. Hughes is a Ph.D. student and graduate teaching assistant at the University of Memphis with research interests in rhetoric, historiography, new communication technology, and cultural communication. Mr. Hughes has degrees in communication from North Carolina State University (B.A. 2012) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (M.A. 2014). After finishing his Ph.D., he hopes to serve in a faculty role at a public university, work to improve the efficacy of basic COMM courses for students outside the discipline, and continue studying interesting things. Mr. Hughes is currently working on two projects: one that investigates how viewers of zombie apocalypse narratives are constituted alongside survivor characters in acceptance of monstrous behavior, and another that examines Sinclair Lewis's use of irony to describe a 1929 textile mill strike in Marion, North Carolina that ended with the death of six people.

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Kristen Hungerford headshot

Kristen Hungerford, Ph.D. Student                                          

Kristen Hungerford is a doctoral candidate specializing in rhetoric and media studies. Kristen's research interests include rhetoric of popular culture with an emphasis on feminist and queer theories/criticisms and social movement rhetoric, including the rhetoric of marginalized voices and representations of marginalization in discourse. Currently, she is working on a dissertation that examines performances of difference on Saturday Night Live (SNL). It explores the ethics of comedic performances and how identity groups are marginalized for the purposes of laughter. Kristen has published research on the topic of gender in presidential film portrayals in the Ohio Communication Journal (2010), which was also honored as a top paper by the rhetorical theory and criticism division at the annual Central States Communication Association (CSCA) conference in 2010. She is also the recipient of the 2012 Samuel L. Becker Top Graduate Student Paper award honored by the media studies division at the CSCA conference for her case study on portrayals of difference in an SNL episode. Kristen's teaching experience includes public speaking, introduction to human communication, communication theory, freedom of speech, and rhetoric of popular culture.

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Annie Hunter headshot

Annie Laurie Hunter, M.A. Student, specializing in Film & Video Production

Annie joins the University of Memphis in pursuit her Masters of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Film and Video Production.  With a background in print journalism, she is seguing into documentaries.  Annie is combining her passion for storytelling and her interest in media studies, religious studies, and gender studies.  She is driven to highlight disparity and social justice issues, as raising awareness is the first step to change.  While working on her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies at Young Harris College, Annie coauthored “Suited for Gangsterism: Popular Fashion and Criminality in the New York Times” which was presented at the Popular Culture Association of Canada 2013 conference. Annie is also a member of the National Communication Association’s honor society, Lambda Pi Eta.

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Justin Jaggers headshot

Justin Jaggers, M.A. Student, specializing in Film & Video Production 

Justin Jaggers has been a Memphian all his life.  In 2007, he made the best decision of his life and decided to go back to school.  In 2009, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southwest Tennesee Community College with an Associate of Sciences Degree in Music. From there, he continued on to the University of Memphis.  In the Spring of 2012, he graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music Degree with a dual concentration in Recording Technology and Music Business.  In 2013, he returned to the University of Memphis to study Film and Video Production with an emphasis on Documentary Filmmaking.  Jaggers hopes to be able to tell more about the music and vibe of the city of Memphis.  When not in class, he’s working in his home recording studio or playing bass around town or in the casinos in Tunica. 

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Eddie Kruger headshot

Eddie Kruger, M.A. Student, specializing in Film & Video Production 

Eddie Kruger is an aspiring film maker and musician with a flair for pop art and American humor. A graduate from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Kruger works as a documentarian often focusing on music and religion. He is a founding member of The Heroes and Circuit Tree, and currently produces big-beat electronic music under the moniker, "Sporez". Combining a passion for entertainment with a deep respect for understanding, he works toward the ongoing goal of putting art back into information.

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Malvin Massey headshot

Malvin Massey, Jr., M.A. Student

Malvin Massey, Jr. is a 2009 graduate of the Communication Department’s Broadcast Communication undergraduate program. A life-long Memphian, United States Air Force veteran, and 1969 graduate of Hamilton High School, he started as a musician and was a member of the Memphis State University Jazz Band in the mid 70’s. Later Massey enrolled in Columbia School of Broadcasting and, after earning a Broadcasting certificate from that school; he obtained an FCC license and became a volunteer dj at WUMR – then WSMS – University of Memphis Radio. That was in 1988. In 2009 Massey was named General Manager of WUMR where he still serves today. In earning this MA, his ability to perform as a teacher and mentor to broadcasting and journalism students will be significantly enhanced.

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Stephen McKellips headshot

Stephen McKellips, Ph.D. student

Stephen McKellips is interested in the bi-directional communication involved in the college selection process, particularly focusing on the needs and wants of the triumvirate of key players: prospective students, their families, and the University Administration.  He hopes to decipher ways in which communication can be improved to increase access to the information people want, the information people need, and to predict the impact of  persuasion whereby students may select a University at a higher rate of frequency. He has worked in University admissions since 1996 and continues to be amazed that the industry seems a hotbed for communication study with practical, real-world applications starved for answers.

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Timothy Miller headshot

Timothy Miller, M.A. student

Timothy Miller is a part-time Comm MA student with an organizational comm emphasis. He has been with FedEx in the Corporate Communications department for two years. Prior to that, he worked in a similar role at AutoZone for four years.



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Stephanie Montgomery  Stephanie Montgomery, Ph.D. student

Stephanie Montgomery is a doctoral candidate in Health Communication. Her research interests include overweight and obesity issues of the traditional college student. Stephanie has her masters in Communication Studies from the University of Alabama, and baccalaureate in Communications and Psychology from the University of North Alabama. She is a full time instructor at the University of North Alabama (UNA) and teaches Speech, Gender Communication, Nonverbal Communication, Business and Professional Speaking and Interpersonal Communication. She is faculty advisor for Lambda Pi Eta and recently developed and launched LionCom - a communication student organization. In 2008 Stephanie designed and launched an annual speech competition for all students on campus and she still serves as coordinator and director. In April she won UNA's cherished Eleanor Gaunder Excellence in Teaching award for the 2013-2014 year. 

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April Phillips headshot

April Phillips, M.A. student

April R. Phillips, Communication MA student (film/video production), is currently interested in the intersection of art and faith -- especially in film content. She holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies and is a former newspaper reporter who specialized in human-interest feature stories.



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Christine Platt headshot

Christine M. Platt, Ph.D. student

Christine Platt is doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Memphis where she studies Health Communication. Christine completed her MBA at Baylor University and her bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Arkansas, both with a Marketing and Finance concentration. Her research interests include health literacy, global health prevention and promotion (particularly in the Haitian Central Plateau), and health messaging using mass media channels. In recent years, she has focused on applying communication theory and twenty-plus years of corporate marketing experience to develop better techniques for communicating about health. Christine was awarded the 2013 University of Memphis Graduate Research Award for Liberal and Fine Arts.  She has presented her research at the National Communication Association National Conference and the Health Communication Conference at George Mason University.  She hosts the WUMR radio series, “Let’s Talk Health” on the campus of the University of Memphis. And in early 2013, Christine joined the Food Advisory Council for the city of Memphis whose mission is to help area residents make healthy food choices.  

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Christina Rader  Christina Rader, M.A. student     

Christy Rader graduated in the spring with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Memphis. Her interests are vast and wide. She has an affinity for Oral Communication, and thinks it is critical for every student to learn the concept of speaking in front of others and doing it well for whatever profession they may find themselves in in the future. She also enjoys studying communication online and how it affects our communication in person. 


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Blake Ragsdale

Blake Ragsdale, M.A. student                 

Blake received his B.A. in Audio/Visual production at the University of Alabama. He is excited to continue is education in narrative film as a graduate student at University of Memphis. Possessing a life long passion for film, Blake looks forward to furthering his creative abilities in every aspect of the movie making process. A three time recipient of Dean’s list for academic excellence, Blake brings with him the drive to succeed in achieving his M.A. in film production. 


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Lindsey Randall headshot

Lindsey Randall, M.A. Student in Communication 

Lindsey is a first-year Masters student in Communication. A long-time Memphian, she received her B.A. in English/Literature from the University of Memphis. While an undergraduate, Lindsey was the recipient of the following awards: 3rd Place, Joseph and June Riley Essay Contest, 2012; 2nd Place, Civility Campaign Essay Contest, 2012. Her interests in the field of Communication are varied, but include public relations, media, and health communication. Outside of academic endeavors, she enjoys creating art, writing, and exploring Memphis like a tourist. 


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Caroline Sawyer headshot

Caroline E. Sawyer, Ph.D. Student 

Caroline E. Sawyer is currently a  doctoral candidate working on her PhD in applied communication with an emphasis in gendered sports communication, discourse studies, media studies, and computer-mediated communication.  Her dissertation is titled “From Cheerleader to Quarterback Princess: Narratives of Gender in Online Fantasy Football.”  She earned her Masters of Arts from Austin Peay State University and her Bachelor of Business Administration from Baylor University.

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William Schraufnagel headshot William Schraufnagel, Ph.D. Student 

William Schraufnagel holds a BA in English from Yale and an MA in Rhetoric and Writing Studies from San Diego State Unversity, where he completed a thesis titled "The Influence of Kenneth Burke on Harold Bloom" under the direction of Ellen Quandahl. He has an abiding interest in Kenneth Burke and hopes to write a dissertation on Burke's relationship to his nineteenth-century precursors. As a graduate assistant, he has taught courses in Written Composition and Oral Communication. 


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Jonas Schubach  Jonas Schubach, M.A. student

After graduating from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany with a B.A. in Communication and Audiovisual Publishing, Jonas Schubach is joining the University of Memphis to continue this combination of theory and practice at the M.A level within the Film and Video Production area. (Jonas is actually returning to the University of Memphis, after he was awarded a DAAD-scholarship that allowed him to spend a semester as an exchange student here in 2012.) Though his undergraduate studies in Germany mostly focused on the production of journalistic short films for the University's TV channel, Jonas is now particularly interested in exploring fictional filmmaking as well. In Mainz, he served as a teaching assistant, tutoring students in how to operate the Department's camera and audio equipment. His research mostly focused on media effects, especially in the context of audiovisual media. He has interned with various print and TV outlets, including the German public TV broadcaster ZDF. Beside his studies, he is passionate about music, regularly accompanying a local choir on the guitar.

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Sarah Scott  Sarah Scott, Ph.D. student

Sarah Mayberry Scott completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and her master’s degree at Arkansas State University (ASTATE), both in the field of Communication Studies. Her research interests include disability and able-bodiedness, sport, disabilities in sport, and mediated sports coverage. Sarah is a full-time Instructor at Arkansas State University.  Her teaching experience includes oral communication, human communication, communication theory, interpersonal communication, and principles of public relations.  Sarah is very active in an autism group at Arkansas State University that is developing an autism center to serve all of northeast Arkansas in the areas of early-intervention and education. Sarah serves as faculty adviser for ASTATE’s chapter of Lamba Pi Eta, is active in the local Deaf community, is a member of the Jonesboro, AR Celiac/gluten-intolerance awareness group, and in her “real life” is always on the go with an athlete-husband and two young children, Cameron and Nora. 

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Lori Stallings headshot Lori Stallings, 
Ph.D. Student             

Lori Stallings is in the final stages of coursework for the PhD  Her research interests include feminist rhetoric and media representations of gender.  Her dissertation will focus on the media representations and rhetoric surrounding the candidacy for sainthood of Dorothy Day.  She has been teaching at the college level for 25 years, with particular emphasis on introductory and undergraduate courses in Communication.  She serves as the Basic Course Director for the Department at the University of Memphis.

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Joel Stamey headshot Joel Stamey, M.A. Student in Communication 

Joel Stamey works as an IT strategist, devising solutions for an agency that manages advertising research and promotional programs for Fortune-500 companies. His overall professional and research focus is on how commercial messages are negotiated and managed in digital spaces. Academic interests include research via and about the internet, the discourse surrounding the adoption of new technology and commercial speech-- mercantile discourse like advertising, promotional messaging and product placement. Joel is also interested in the ethical issues arising from the use, overuse and misuse of digital communication. Specific projects include an exploration of the reviews of the Apple® iPad™, analysis of President Obama’s Trayvon Martin comments as a situational response within a Rhetorical Network and the study of how/why/how much consumers share online commercial messages.

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Eyon Wuchina  Eyan Wuchina, M.A. student
Eyan Sweeney Tucker Wuchina was born in Nashville and raised in Primm Springs which is located in rural middle Tennessee. Along with his twin, Eyan has been making videos and short films since elementary school. In the last two years, he has worked on numerous movie sets and shoots and produced videos for outside company's like Southwest Tennessee's Entrepreneur Development Center. Last summer, Eyan interned at Storyville Post, a highly successful editing house in downtown Nashville. A master's degree in U of M's Communications department specializing in film and video is something of a dream for Eyan as his passion and heart is for film and he is willing to work hard to succeed in this endeavor. Eyan looks forward to becoming part of such a highly regarded and prestigious program that will increase his skills and knowledge in video and film making and he looks forward to making the department proud.

Ivon Wuchina  Ivon Wuchina, M.A. student

Raised in rural middle TN, Ivon graduated cum laude in 2013 from The University of Memphis Lambuth campus. Ivon has held an internship with the renowned post production company, Storyville Post, in downtown Nashville, where he was able to aid in the production of some high profile video projects. Along with with his twin, he remains actively involved in filmmaking with personal and professional video projects, while creatively working with other filmmakers as well. 


Doctoral Alumni

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