Amy Arellano

University of Texas-Tyler 2005 B.S. Communication
Texas State University-San Marcos 2007 M.A. Speech Communication

Research interests:

I am interested in trauma narratives, performance pedagogy, critical studies, and social movements. I balance my time between classes, coaching and civic advocacy.

Performance, Dialogue, and Debriefing: Examining Frank Oceans Coming Out. Teaching Media 1.3 (Spring 2013): 2-33.

Work in progress:
Word Wielding Womb: Poetry Speaking on the War on Women: Cultural Studies<-> Critical Methodoliges (In press)

The Use of Pathos in IPDA Debate (Book Chapter) Dr.   Jefferey Hobbs  and Amy Arellano (In press)
423 Oldfather Hall
(402) 472-3348

Raymond Blanton

Ph.D. student in Rhetoric & Public Culture
B.S. from Texas Christian University (TCU)

M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary

Research interests:
"Road" scholarship; visual rhetoric; cinema; social class; cultural/media studies; authenticity; sacred rhetoric.

Conference Papers:
Raymond Blanton. "American Dreams: Shepard Fairey's Obama Hope as Visual Ideograph," June, 2013 (for 2013 RSA Institute in Lawrence, Kansas).

Raymond Blanton. "Sacred Rhetoric: Paul, Augustine, and the Sacred Tradition," November 2013 (for 2013 NCA in Washington D.C.).

Work in Progress:
Raymond Blanton. "Remember the Alamo: Distraction as Attention in the Aesthetics of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema," May, 2013.

Raymond Blanton. "Beyond Borders: Inside/Outside the Lines -- Autheticity in Motion," May 2013.

Raymond Blanton. "Southern Hospitality: Easy Rider and Terry Southern," May 2013.
418 Oldfather Hall
(402) 472-3348

Kathy Castle

M.A. from University of Nebraska - Lincoln
B.A. from University of Iowa

Research interests:
Kathy’s research interests lie at the intersection of health, illness, identity  and discourse. She is particularly interested in identity in chronic illness  and how the micropractices of talk shape and are shaped by the healthcare system in which individuals and families are situated. Ultimately, her research is aimed at finding ways in which we can, through our communicative practices, shape a healthcare system  that affords us an opportunity for sustainable opportunities for dialogue between all the stakeholders in health and illness so that we can improve communication, health and relational outcomes for those experiencing illness.

Conference Paper and Short Courses:
Castle, K., & Krone, K. (November, 2006). Re-Conceptualizing Individualization: Negotiating the Dialectics of Success. Presented at the 2006 National Communication Association Conference in San Antonio, TX.

Castle, K. (November, 2011). Developing Student Voice through Technology: Teaching the Business and Professional Communication Course Online. Presented at the 2011 National Communication Association Conference in New Orleans, LA.

Castle, K. (February 2012). Developing Student Voice through BlackBoard: Teaching the Business and Professional Communication Course Online. Presented at the 2012 BlackBoard Regional Conference in Lincoln, NE.
424 Oldfather Hall
(402) 472-5658

Jamie Downing

Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Public Culture
B.A. & M.S. from Illinois State University

Research interests: Religious Rhetorical Rhetoric, Religious influence in the public sphere, Interfaith Dialogue

Downing, J. L. (2013) An Ancient Modern Rhetoric: Calling Upon Traditional Rhetorical Practice in the Fight for Jewish Emancipation. Paper to be presented at the Religious Communication Association Conference in Washington, D.C. * Selected as Student Submission of the Year.

Works in Progress

The Self-Hating Jew: Exploring the Rhetorical Spectacle of New Anti-Semitism

Standing in the Eye of the Storm: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious’ Response to the Congregation on Doctrinal Faith’s Doctrinal Assessment
422 Oldfather Hall
(402) 472-3348

Joshua Ewalt

B.S., Northern Michigan University
M.A., University of Nebraska

Woods, C., Ewalt, J.P., & Baker, S. (2013). A matter of regionalism: Remembering Brandon Teena and Willa Cather at the Nebraska History Museum. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 99(3), 341-363.

Ewalt, J.P., Ohl, J.J., & Pfister, D.S. (2013). Activism, Deliberation and Networked Public Screens: Rhetorical Scenes from the Occupy Moment in Lincoln, Nebraska. Cultural Studies <==> Critical Methodologies 13, 173-190.

Ewalt, J.P. (2011). Mapping injustice: The world is witness, place-framing, and the politics of viewing on Google Earth. Communication, Culture, and Critique, 4(4), 333-354 (lead article).

Current Interests:
Regional Rhetorics; Spatial Politics and Public Culture; Detroit; Jacques Ranciere
419 Oldfather Hall

Elizabeth Flood Grady

Ph.D. student in Interpersonal and Family Communication
M.S. from Illinois State University
B.A from Elmhurst College

Research interests:
Communication and sense-making in family and personal relationships, communication of social support, the connections between family communication, individual health, and treatment-seeking behaviors

Flood, E. M. (2012, March). Gendered perceptions of emotional support in romantic relationships. Paper presented at the meeting of the Central States Communication Association, Cleveland, OH.

Work in progress:
The impact of family communication on perceived stigma, attributions, and attitudes toward treatment seeking behaviors for depression.

Why she has to and he doesn’t: An examination of biological sex differences in the emotional support process.

Elizabeth.flood88@gmail.com422 Oldfather Hall
(402) 472-3348

Getachew Dinku Godana

Ph.D. student in Rhetoric & Public Culture
B.A. and M. A. from Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia)

Research interests: rhetoric of community participation

Work in progress:

The Construction of the "the people" in Charity Singles-"We are the World" and "Do They Know It's Christmas?"
419 Oldfather Hall
(402) 472-3348

Amanda Holman

Ph.D. student in Interpersonal and Family Communication
B.A. from Concordia College-Moorhead
M.A. from University of Montana

Research interests: communication and sense-making in family, adolescent, and personal relationships, storytelling of taboo topics in family relationships, nar rative development in adolescence, connection between communication, identity, and emotional/physical well-being.

Sillars, A., Holman, A., Richards, A., Jacobs, K., Reynolds-Dyke, A., Koerner, A. (in press). Conversation and conformity orientations as predictors of observed conflict in parent-adolescent relationships. Journal of Family Communication.

Stephenson-Abetz, J. & Holman, A. (2012). Home is where the heart is: Facebook and the negotiation of "old" and "new" relationships and selves during the transition to college. Western Journal of Communication, 76(2), 175-193. DOI: 10.1080/10570315.2011.654309 [Most downloaded manuscript of 2012]

Holman, A. & Sillars, A. (2011). Talk about "Hooking Up": The influence of college student social networks on non-relationship sex. Health Communication, 27(2), 205-216. DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2011.575540

Work in progress:
Storytelling and sexual health, couples communication after miscarriage, couples sense making and perspective taking on difficult topics narrative development in adolescence.
417 Oldfather Hall
(402) 472-3348

Christina Ivey

Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Public Culture
M.A. from Kansas State University
B.S. from West Texas A&M University

Research interests: Intersection of gender/spirituality, Embodiment of marginalized identity, Counterpublics, Social Movements, Performance art, Autoethnography, Creative Arts Therapies

Ivey, C.L. (2013).“But What Does It Mean?”: Incorporating Creative Arts Therapy into Forensics Pedagogy

Paper to be presented at the National Communication Association Conference, Washington D.C. November/2013

Ivey, C.L., Arellano, A., Ronnau, A. (2012). “No Matter What”: A Dialogic Analysis of Turning Points and Interaction in Parent/LGBT Child Relationships

Paper to be presented at National Communication Association Conference, Washington D.C. November/2013

Ivey, C. L. (2012). “Uh, What?” and other things my vagina said: Analyzing V-Day through autoethnography

Paper presented at the National Autoethnography Conference, San Angelo, TX. March/2013

Ivey, C. L. (2011). Equal and opposite?: An ideological look at Tea Party Jesus

Paper presented at Religious Communication Association Pre-conference, Orlando, FL. November/2012

Ivey, C. L. (2010). Using the lens of muted group theory: Empowering or constraining voices with technology

Paper presented at Oklahoma University Communication Conference, Norman, OK. April/2011

Ivey, C. L. (2009). Fighting fire with fire: A feminist analysis of Men Can Stop Rape

Paper accepted but not presented to Oklahoma University Communication Conference, Norman, OK. April/2010

Work in progress:

Establishing FEMEN as Revolutionary Style, Drag Queen as Angel in Drag U, DuoAutoethnography – Partnership in the Midst of SCOTUS Rulings on Prop 8/DOMA with A. Arellano



christina.ivey37@gmail.com423 Oldfather Hall

Alexis Johnson

Ph.D. student in Interpersonal and Family Communication, secondary: Rhetoric
M.A. from Northeastern Illinois University
B.A. from University of Illinois at Chicago

Research interests: How individuals negotiate identity and communicate during times of distress and marginalization.
Primary focuses are in health communication and mediated communication.

Waters, A.Z.  (2010, November). Cancer: The hardest word in the dictionary to say. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, San Francisco, CA.

Waters, A.Z. (2010, February). The Sex life in your Second Life: An Ethnography Study of the Oversexualization of Women on Second Life. Paper Presented at Popular Culture Association/America Culture Association, Albuquerque, NM.

Work in progress:
The Role of Social Media during Turning Points and Commitment in Romantic Relationships.
423 Oldfather Hall
(402) 472-2070

Jen Kienzle

M.A., San Francisco State University
B.A., California State University - Northridge

Research interests:

  • Networked Communication in Virtual Communities
  • Social Identity Approaches in Computer-Mediated Contexts
Current Project:
Kienzle, J, Soliz, J, Wertley, C. Interfaith Dialogue in Computer-Mediated Contexts.

Kienzle, J. Communication among Runners in Multiple Online Platforms: A Networked Perspective on VIrtual Community.

Past Research:
Hardy, J. (November 2012). Adult Sibling Communication after Parental Death: A Relational Dialectics Perspective. Paper presented at the National Communication Association conference in Orlando, Florida, November 2012.

Moore, J., Kienzle, J., Flood, E. (November 2013). A Dealogic Analysis of Marriage Proposals among Cohabilitating Couples. Paper to be presented at the National Communication Association conference in Washington D.C., November 2013.
417 Oldfather Hall

Julia Moore

Ph.D. student in Interpersonal and Family Communication
B.A. from University of Washington
M.A. from San Diego State University

Research interests: discourses within and surrounding contested family forms; mediated representations of “deviant” identities

Moore, J., & Geist-Martin, P. (2013). Mediated representations of voluntary childlessness, 1900-2012. In D. Castañeda (Ed.), The essential handbook of women’s sexuality. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Moore, J. (2011, November). Voices of voluntary childlessness: Emergent pronatalist discourses and communicative resistance to reproduction. Manuscript presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, New Orleans, LA. [Top Five Paper, Ethnography Division]

Schultz, A., Moore, J., & Spitzberg, B. (in press). Once upon a midnight stalker: A content analysis of stalking in films. Western Journal of Communication.

jmoore@huskers.unl.edu418 Oldfather Hall
 (402) 472-3348

Audra Nuru

Ph.D. Student in Interpersonal and Family Communication
B.A. & M.A. from University of Central Florida

Research interests: The intersections of identities and how the interplay of familial and societal discourses impact understandings of ethnic/racial identities, LGBTQ identites, and familial and cultural identities. 

Nuru, A. K., & Soliz, J. (in press). Parental socialization of ethnic identity: Perspectives from multiethnic adults. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication.

Nuru, A.K. (in press). Between layers: Understanding the communicative negotiation of conflicting identities by transgender individuals. Communication Studies.  

Metts, S., Braithwaite, D.O., Schrodt, P., Wang, T., Holman, A.J., Nuru, A.K., & Stephenson Abetz, J. (2013). The experience and expression of stepchildren’s emotions at critical events in stepfamily life. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. 

Work in progress: 

Nuru, A.K. . Communication and multiethnic/racial identity: Costa Rican perceptions of dialectical contradictions in communication about ethnicity/race
417 Oldfather Hall
(402) 472-3348

Allison Ronnau Bonander

Ph.D. student in Interpersonal and Family Communication
B.A. from The University of Nebraska – Lincoln
M.A. from The University of Alabama

Research Interests:  Communication in gender and sexual identity, sexual education communication, taboo topic avoidance and relational satisfaction.

Ronnau, A. (2012). Is Sex Still “Gendered”?:  A Critique of Campbell’s “Feminine Style” Through Contemporary Rhetoric.  A student paper presentation at the 2012 Southern States Communication Convention critiquing the use of ‘feminine’ rhetoric used to describe sexual activity. [Top Student Paper]

Ronnau, A. (2012).  Feminine Vs. Feminist: Conflicting Representations of Women in Modern Magazines.  A poster presentation at the 2012 Discerning Diverse Voices Communication and Information Symposium on Diversity analyzing representations of feminine and feminist ideologies within modern magazines targeted towards women.

Ronnau, A. (2012).  For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Cross Dressing When The Gay Pride Rainbow Becomes Too Much.  A paper presentation at the 2012 Discerning   Diverse Voices Communication and Information Symposium on Diversity discussing the intersectionality of sexual orientation and race in black lesbian relationships.
413 Oldfather Hall
(402) 472-3348

Chigozirim Ifedapo Utah

Ph.D. Candidate in Organizational Communication
M.A. Wichita State University
B.A. Angelo State University

Research Interests: Social change organizing in the African context, Organizational discourse, National and transnational identity, Learner-centered pedagogy

Utah, C. (2013, October). Living with corruption: Re-examining anti-corruption organizing through the citizen lens. Organizational Communication Mini Conference, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, Champaign, Illinois

Krone, K., Ewalt, J., Utah, C., Walther, J. (2013, November). Organizing on behalf of refugee resettlement: Re-thinking inter-organization collaboration and conflict as organizing struggle. National Communication Association Annual Convention, Washington, DC.

Utah, C. (2014) Migrant Diaries: Communicating in pop culture nation. Globalizing intercultural communication: A reader

Utah, C., Waters, A. (2014) Confronting critical thinking challenges “in” the college classroom. Cases on teaching critical thinking through visual representation strategies
417 Oldfather Hall
(402) 472-3348

Janell Walther

B.A., Kansas State University
M.A., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Research interests: Public and civic engagement, inter-organizational communication, environmental communication, and volunteerism & nonprofit organizations

Hutchens, M.J., PytlikZillig, L.M., Muhlberger, P., Tomkins, A.J., Anderson, R.P., Walther, J.C., & Gonzalez, F.J. (2014, May). Message or process? Learning about nanotechnology through engaged deliberation. Paper presented at International Communication Association Annual Conference, Seattle, WA.

Walther, J.C. (2013). Transformative Engagement in Deliberative Democracies: Exploring a Framework for Engagement Using a Creative, Braided Approach. MA thesis. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Krone, K.J., Ewalt, J., Utah, C.I., & Walther, J.C. (2013, November). Organizing on behalf of refugee resettlement: Re-thinking inter-organizational collaboration and conflict as organizing struggle. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Annual Conference, Washington, DC.

Garner, J., Kramer, M., Meisenbach, R.J., Mize Smith, J., Nichols, Z., & Walther, J.C. (2013, November). Connections through current theoretical approaches and interdisciplinary perspectives of volunteer research. Panel presented at the National Communication Association Annual Conference, Washington, DC.

PytlikZillig, L., Anderson, R., Phear, N., & Walther, J.C. (2013, May). Using creative non-fiction to communicate about climate change. Poster presented at the Water for Food Conference, Lincoln, NE.
215 Centennial Mall South, Ste. 401
(402) 472-2762

The UNL Communication Studies Department welcomes our 2013-14 New Graduate Students


Jordan Allen
Nicole Allen
Chase Aunspach
Katherine Brockhage
Jon Carter
Kaitlin Phillips