Category: RTC

Rhetoric, Theory, & Culture Students Recognized for Academic Achievements

Several of our graduate students in the Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture program have been recognized this spring for achievements in both teaching and research!

Basanti Timalsina was awarded a Spring 2024 Finishing Fellowship by the graduate school, which is funding her research for the spring semester as she finishes her doctoral dissertation and prepares for her thesis defense. Click Here too learn more about Basanti’s research and the topic of her dissertation. Congratulations and good luck, Basanti!

Reid Devoge has been recognized with the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award, which is granted to graduate student instructors who have displayed excellence in teaching within their department. Reid is a PhD student in the Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture program, as well as the Deputy Director of Michigan Tech Public Safety and Police Services. Congratulations, Reid!

Brilynn Janckila has been awarded the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship, which recognizes excellence among graduate students in the year of their graduation. Students may be nominated for the award who display outstanding qualities in areas such as research, teaching, leadership, dissertation quality, and departmental involvement, to name a few. Brilynn is scheduled to complete her PhD in Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture this year. Congratulations and good luck, Brilynn!

Laura Vidal-Chiesa Inducted into AAC&U Future Leaders Society

portrait of Laura
As a finalist for the K. Patricia Cross Award, Laura was recently inducted into the AAC&U Future Leaders Society.

Humanities PhD candidate Laura Vidal-Chiesa has been inducted into the American Association of Colleges and Universities Future Leaders Society, presented at the AAC&U Annual Meeting in San Francisco Jan 18-20 2023.

“First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Andy Fiss and Dr. Maria Bergstrom for the nomination to the K. Patricia Cross Award. While I wasn’t a winner, I was selected as one of the finalists, which means I have been inducted into the AAC&U Future Leaders Society. I’m very excited about all of the resources that come with it, and looking forward to bringing as many of those back into our department and sharing them with our instructors and faculty,” said Vidal-Chiesa.

According to AAC&U’s web site, “The Inductees into the AAC&U Future Leaders Society share a profound commitment to high-quality teaching and learning, equity, and community engagement.” Membership includes access to “unique, cross-disciplinary opportunities for professional development, networking, and mentorship” as well as training and development resources for future educators.

“The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is a global membership organization dedicated to advancing the democratic purposes of higher education by promoting equity, innovation, and excellence in liberal education. ”

Laura is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture (RTC) Program, as well as the Assistant Director for the Composition Program. In addition to writing and composition, her research includes topics like emotional labor, organizational communication, feminism, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI.) She hopes to graduate this upcoming summer, 2023.

Congratulations, Laura!

“Bad Info” Project Funded by Michigan Humanities Grant

Dr. Stefka Hristova and Dr. Sue Collins (HU) have been awarded a grant by Michigan Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, for their project “Bad Info: Fake News, Manipulated Photographs, and Social Influencers.”

This project explores issues of media literacy in relation to the spread of mis- and dis-information. It aims to educate college students as well as our local community more broadly on how to identify fabricated news, manipulated photographs, and social influencers and their infomercials, in digital media and social media contexts.

This initiative is a collaborative effort involving the Department of Humanities, J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library, and Copper Country Community Art Center. Bad Info features three exhibits, four workshops, film screenings, panel discussions, and keynote experts in information literacy.

The series of events will run from October 2021 through the spring semester 2022.

Reid DeVoge Graduates from FBI Academy

by Administration

The Department of Public Safety and Police Services announced that Detective Lieutenant Reid DeVoge recently graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (FBINA) in Quantico, Virginia.

The graduating class consisted of men and women from 49 states and the District of Columbia. The class included members of law enforcement agencies from 32 countries, five military organizations and eight federal civilian organizations. Of the 250 graduates, seven are from institutions of higher education.

The FBI National Academy is a professional course of study for U.S. and International law enforcement leaders that serves to improve the administration of justice in police departments and agencies at home and abroad and to raise law enforcement standards, knowledge, and cooperation worldwide.

Internationally known for its academic excellence, the National Academy offers 10 weeks of undergraduate and/or graduate college courses in the following areas: law, behavioral science, forensic science, understanding terrorist mindsets, leadership development, communication and health/fitness.

DeVoge has served with the Department of Public Safety and Police Services since November 2009. He is also a student in the Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture

RTC Student Officers in GSG

The Graduate Student Government (GSG) has elected its Executive Board for the 2020-2021 session. The new Executive Board members include two RTC students: Aaron Hoover will serve as Secretary and Marina Choy will continue as Public Relations Chair. The roster of officers is below.

  • Nathan Ford (MEEM), President
  • Michael Maurer (ECE), Vice-President
  • Aaron Hoover (Humanities), Secretary
  • Laura Schaerer (Biological Sciences), Treasurer
  • Sarvada Chipkar (Chemical Engineering), Research Chair
  • Yasasya Batugedara (Mathematical Sciences), Professional Development Chair
  • Eric Pearson (Chemical Engineering), Social Chair
  • Marina Choy (Humanities), Public Relations Chair

The new Executive Board will assume office on May 1.

PhD Candidates Celebrated at Advancement to Candidacy Ceremony

RTC PhD candidates were celebrated at the first annual Advancement to Candidacy Ceremony conducted by the Graduate School for all ABD students. Attending the ceremony with their advisors were the following:

Gabriel Edzordzi Agbozo (advisor Dr. Vicky Bergvall)
Nada Mohammad A. Alfeir (advisor Dr. Patty Sotirin)
Joshua Chase (advisor Dr. Abraham Romney)
Marina Choy (advisor Dr. Patty Sotirin)
Geethu Madeckal Jose (advisor Dr. Patty Sotirin)
Sara T. Potter (advisor Dr. Patty Sotirin)
Hua Wang (advisor Dr. Marika Seigel)

RTC Colloquium: Orchestrated Appeals for Vegetarianism

The next RTC Colloquium takes place from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23 in the mezzanine in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

This colloquium employs Jonathan Safran Foer’s bestseller ‘Eating Animals’ as a case study to forward the rhetorical technique of “orchestrated appeals,” as a persuasive strategy for communicating vegetarianism to potentially resistant audiences.

By mapping the web of connections between food and varied life areas, rhetors can identify with values already held by audiences with diverse ideological commitments and explore alignments between existing beliefs and exigencies for change. The speakers are Oren Abeles (HU) and graduate student Emma Lozon.

RTC Alumnus, Dr. Isidore Kafui Dorpenyo, Publishes Book

Dr. Isidore Kafui DorpenyoDr. Isidore Kafui Dorpenyo, 2016 RTC graduate, has published his first book, User Localization Strategies in the Face of Technological Breakdown: Biometric in Ghana’s Elections published by Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2019. The book is an extension of his RTC PhD dissertation work. Dr. Karla Saari Kitalong of the Humanities Department at Michigan Tech wrote the foreword to the book.

“Dorpenyo argues that the success of a technology depends on how it meets the users’ needs and the creative efforts users put into use situations.” He “identifies and advances three user localization strategies: linguistic localization, subversive localization, and user-heuristic experience localization, and considers how biometric systems can become a tool of marginalization”. – Dr. Karla Saari Kitalong

Dorpenyo is currently Assistant Professor of Professional Writing and Rhetoric at George Mason University, USA. His research focuses on election technology, international technical communication, social justice, and localization. He co-edited a special issue of Technical Communication focused on technical communication and election technologies. Dorpenyo has also published in Technical Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, and Community Literacy journal.

Josh Chase Joins 2019 Bedford New Scholars Advisory Board

Josh ChaseRTC Phd candidate Joshua Chase joins the 2019 Bedford New Scholars advisory board. According to Leah Rang, development editor at Bedford/St. Martin’s, the board advises the publishing company about

“teaching challenges they face and the research in the field that excites them. They also give us feedback on the direction of our new projects. In the process, Bedford New Scholars participants have the opportunity to connect with other graduate students from across the country and to learn a bit about how publishing works”.

She further stated in a blog post that the members of the board are nominated from among the leading programs from across the country. Josh was recommended to the board by Dr. Marika Seigel, the immediate past Director of the Composition program at Michigan Tech