School of Communication Graduate Faculty

As members of a Carnegie-recognized R1 university, faculty in the School of Communication produce high-impact and cutting-edge scholarship across the interdisciplinary fields of New Media and Communication Studies. From cultural analytics, crisis communication, surveillance studies, and virtual world design, to intercultural communication, family and health communication, rhetorical theory, environmental communication, and visual communication, OSU’s Communication research is actively shaping the field. 


Daniel Faltesek, associate professor

Daniel Faltesek specializes in Cultural Analytics and Production (augmented reality and computational modes in particular). His book, Selling Social Media (Bloomsbury, 2018) argues that the ways platforms argue for their value depends on a constellation of magical claims about monetization, scale, disruption, and litigation. The predictions in the conclusion of the book seem to have come to pass, which is good for the model proposed, but unfortunate for social media users. His open textbook New Media Futures (Oregon State OER 2019) connects contemporary communication studies, futurology, and production methods through a single framework for communication and media educators, and is clearly in use at multiple institutions (as suggested by download patterns). You may have already enjoyed his production work in public settings (Faltesek's AR works are unsigned) and his group's Cultural Analytics software is available for download.

Faltesek's current research trajectory includes new modes of computational production, post-API social network methods, critical legal studies of the post-API era, and further attempts to bring the affordances of Markov Chains into communication research. His research has appeared in venues like Communication, Culture, and Critique, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and Visual Communication Quarterly. 


Trischa Goodnow, professor

Dr. Trischa Goodnow (Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh) teaches courses in rhetorical theory and criticism, popular culture and freedom of Speech.  Her primary research focus is on visual rhetoric about which she studies the rhetoric of photography and memorials.  She has also published in the area of popular culture and humor. She is the editor of The Daily Show and Rhetoric: Arguments, Issues, and Strategies and the co-editor of The 10 Cent War: Comic Books, Propaganda, and World War II. Her research has also appeared in outlets like American Behavioral Scientist and Visual Communication Quarterly.


Kristen D. Herring, instructor

Kristen D. Herring, Ph.D. is an instructor of rhetoric at Oregon State University. She studies and teaches feminist rhetorical theory, musical rhetoric, and rhetorical field methods. She is trained in rhetorical and qualitative communication research and pedagogy.

Kristen received her Ph.D. from Colorado State University, where she pursued a unique research agenda at the nexus of rhetorical and social-scientific influences in communication studies to examine the rhetoricity of musical discourses. Her dissertation and long-term fieldwork focus on the rhetorical strategies demonstrated within EDM (electronic dance music) cultures and their relationship to the performance of gender and sexuality. Kristen’s additional research interests include rhetorical pedagogy, public discourse, and popular culture. Check out her latest publications "Teaching Intersectional Rhetorical Criticism with Second-Wave Feminist Music." and "(W)reckoning Dual Pandemics Through Food and Hip-hop Topoi: An Analysis of Ghetto Gastro’s Afrocentric PCI Rhetoric." 


Colin Hesse, associate professor

Colin Hesse (Arizona State University, 2009) joined the Department of Speech Communication at Oregon State University in September 2013. He teaches various courses in the field of interpersonal and health communication, including family communication, social media and interpersonal relationships, and advanced interpersonal communication. His graduate courses have revolved around topics such as family communication and the communication of loneliness.

Colin’s research focuses on the links between elements of interpersonal communication (namely the communication of affection, emotional expression, and family communication) and both psychological and physiological health. He has published a combined number of over fifty journal articles and book chapters on those topics, including publications in leading communication journals such as Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Personal Relationships, Communication Monographs, Journal of Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Health Communication, and the Journal of Family Communication. Recent articles include focusing on affection deprivation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the relational correlates of excessive affection, the longitudinal effects of alexithymia on romantic relationships, and a meta-analysis of the relationship between affectionate communication and health. He serves on the editorial board of several journals and is finishing up service as an associate editor at Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.


Todd Kesterson, senior instructor

Todd Kesterson has taught in the New Media Communications program since 2004. He teaches courses and oversees student projects related to 3D modeling, animation, scientific visualization, virtual world design, and X-Reality history and trends.

His personal creative work explores the relationship between internal and external landscapes and our interwoven connections with time, place, and community. Research interests include immersive education, spatial storytelling and digital historic preservation using LiDAR, photogrammetry, and 3D reconstruction. He is currently funded through OSU Ecampus Research Fellows Program to explore student interaction and collaboration in VR.

Kesterson holds a BFA in Visual Design from the University of Oregon, an MS in Environmental Education from Southern Oregon University, and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.


Bill Loges, associate professor

Bill Loges’s research involves the nature and consequences of the relationships between people and the media. His studies have addressed issues such as the role of media in rental discrimination, jury bias, the “digital divide,” and racist beliefs. The social psychology of human values is another of his primary interests, particularly as value priorities influence people’s resolutions of ethical dilemmas.

In an article published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Bill and his co-author Adrian Carpusor demonstrated how emailed inquiries about apartments received different responses from landlords depending on the apparent ethnicity signaled by the name of the applicant. “Patrick MacDougal” was welcome to live pretty much anywhere in Los Angeles (over 90% of landlords invited him to visit the apartment they’d advertised), while “Tyrell Jackson” received positive responses from just over half the landlords and “Said al-Rahman” received positive responses 67% of the time.

In 2004, Bill co-authored Free Press vs. Fair Trials about the role of publicity in criminal trials. Contrary to conventional wisdom and a good deal of experimental research, Bill and his colleague Jon Bruschke found that there is no difference in the conviction rates of trials with no publicity and trials with very high levels of publicity. The highest conviction rates were found in trials with small amounts of publicity. In a brief interview on NPR’s On the Media, Bill was asked to summarize the research reported in his book, and to respond to claims by Nancy Grace that celebrities had hijacked the criminal justice system.

With Professor Sharyn Clough, Bill wrote an article in the Journal of Social Philosophy arguing that racist beliefs can be considered objectively false, not merely matters of taste or preference. Between 1995 and 2015 Bill served as a principal research consultant to the Institute for Global Ethics, where he designed research into the role of people’s values in their ethical decision-making. His research has appeared in the Journal of Communication, the Journal of Social Issues, and Communication Research, among other scholarly journals.


Xuerong Lu, assistant professor

Xuerong Lu (Ph.D., University of Georgia) teaches undergraduate Public Relations, Social Media, Crisis and Risk Communication courses. As a public relations and crisis communication scholar, her primary research areas focus on how publics respond to competing and conflicting information (e.g., misinformation vs. corrective information) spread on social media in times of public health crisis or risk situations. She is especially interested in examining the social, cognitive, affective, and physiological mechanisms underneath individuals’ crisis information consumption experience. Her work has appeared in journals such as Public Relations Review, Journal of Communication Management and Telematics and Informatics. She was named as 2019-2020 Page Legacy Scholar and for the research grant awarded by the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communications. She is also the winner of 2021 Don Bartholomew Award for Excellence in Public Relations Research, Institute for Public Relations [IPR].


Yanni Ma, assistant professor

Yanni Ma, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Communication with a background in Environmental Engineering, Communication, and Statistics. Her research centers on science/technology, environment, and risk communication.  Specifically, she conducts research on exploring the underlying mechanisms of people processing persuasive messages and the factors that contribute to their effectiveness and ineffectiveness. Additionally, years of experience in the environmental industry have sparked a curiosity in examining how corporations can contribute to sustainability. Her recent research has been published in academic journals such as Environmental Communication, Science Communication, and Public Understanding of Science.

She teaches courses such as research methods, communication theory, science communication, and organizational communication.


Mark J. Porrovecchio, associate professor

Mark J. Porrovecchio (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh) has been at Oregon State University since 2006. He is Director of Forensics and Associate Professor in the Speech Communication Area, School of Communication, at OSU. He studies rhetoric, the history of speech communication, and pragmatism. He currently teaches an introductory course on rhetoric; upper-division courses on contemporary rhetoric and the intersection of rhetoric and film; as well as upper-division/graduate courses in the history of rhetoric and the ethics of rhetoric.

His work has appeared in the Western Journal of Communication, Etica & Politica, The Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, Res Rhetorica, and Metal Music Studies, among others. He is the editor of Reengaging the Prospects of Rhetoric: Current Conversations and Contemporary Challenges (Routledge, 2010); author of F. C. S. Schiller and the Dawn of Pragmatism: The Rhetoric of a Philosophical Rebel (Lexington Books, 2011); and the co-editor of Contemporary Rhetorical Theory: A Reader, 2nd Edition (Guilford, 2016). He is currently a regular contributor to Philosophy in Review.


Joshua Reeves, associate professor

Josh is an associate professor in New Media Communications and Speech Communication, where he teaches classes in media studies, rhetorical theory, and propaganda and social control. He is the author of Citizen Spies: The Long Rise of America’s Surveillance Society (NYU Press, 2017) and co-author of Killer Apps: War, Media, Machine (Duke University Press, 2020) and The Prison House of the Circuit: Politics of Control from Analog to Digital (University of Minnesota Press, 2023). He is an executive director of the Surveillance Studies Network, as well as an associate editor at Surveillance & Society. His research has appeared in places like Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Philosophy & Rhetoric, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, and Television and New Media.


Elizabeth Root, associate professor

Elizabeth Root teaches courses in intercultural communication and qualitative research methods. Her research takes an interpretive/critical approach to examine intercultural relationships in educational contexts. One strand of her research explores relationships between native-English-speaking teachers and South Korean students in a classroom setting, through the lens of the hegemony of English. She also focuses on experiential narratives of students in other contexts, such as students who have enrolled in an education abroad experience or in an intercultural communication course. More recently, Elizabeth has focused her research lens on personal narratives as a teacher/life student through the method of autoethnography. Graduate seminars she enjoys teaching include topics in interracial communication, critical intercultural communication, and critical communication pedagogy. Elizabeth received her PhD from the University of New Mexico after an eleven-year career as an English as a second/foreign language teacher. Besides teaching refugees, immigrants, and internationals students in the USA, she also taught conversational English classes in China and South Korea for many years.


Gregg B. Walker, professor

Gregg B. Walker is a professor in Speech Communication and an adjunct professor of Forest Resources. On campus Gregg teaches courses in conflict management, bargaining and negotiation, mediation, international negotiation, natural resources decision making, and peace studies. Off campus, Gregg conducts training programs on collaborative decision making, designs collaborative public participation processes, facilitates collaborative learning community workshops about natural resource and environmental policy issues, and researches community-level collaboration efforts. Gregg has facilitated numerous collaborative, multi-party public participation events (e.g., Collaborative Learning citizen workshops). He is both a practitioner and an academic, learning from and with members of professional/practitioner community, the environmental and natural resource management community, and the university community. In addition, Gregg has published a number of articles and presented numerous papers on environmental conflict management and dispute resolution. He is the co-author (with Steve Daniels) of Working Through Environmental Conflict: The Collaborative Learning Approach (Greenwood/Praeger).