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James R. DiSanza

James R. DiSanza

Professor & Department Chair

Office: Frazier Hall 223

(208) 282-1242


BA, California State University Stanislaus; MA, San Francisco State University; Ph.D. Penn State University


Corporate Communication & Leadership

Courses Taught:

CMP2201: Business & Professional Communication; CMP3320: Foundations of Leadership; CMP4422: Conflict Management; CMP4424: Management Communication; CMP5522: Conflict Management

Idaho State University was my first full-time, tenure-track job after getting my Ph.D. I suspected it would be a three or four year gig. Twenty-nine years later I'm still here and I wouldn't even consider leaving ISU. I am privileged to lead the finest group of faculty at this institution. You can't find a more "present" and caring group who throw themselves into their teaching and research. I often remind myself that most people go an entire career and are never be part of a creative team like this one.
My annual teaching schedule includes Foundations of Leadership, Conflict Management, Small Group Communication, and Business and Professional Communication. The greatest reward is watching students' improve their communication skills and the increased self-confidence that this improvement creates.
My research interests are in persuasive attack and defense. As part of a research team that includes John Gribas, Nancy Legge, Karen Hartman, Jasun Carr, and Zac Gershberg, we examine how organizations are attacked during a crisis and how they defend themselves using various image repair tactics. I enjoy bringing the findings of our research into the classroom for students' benefit.

Dr. Disanza’s ResearchGate

Selected Publications:

DiSanza, J. R., Hartman, K. L., Legge, N. J., & Gershberg, Z. (2018, in press). Adding narrative to the situational crisis communication theory: The case for crisis ‘Narrative Management’ in sport.

Gribas, J., Gershberg, Z, DiSanza, J. R., and Legge, N. L. (2017). Finding story in unexpected places: Branding and the role of narrative in the study of communication. In B. Attebery, J. Gribas, M. K. McBeth, P. Sivitz, and K. Turley-Ames (Eds.), Narrative, Identity, and Academic Community in Higher Education (pp. 91-110). New York: Routledge.

DiSanza, J. R., Carr, D. J. (2017). Corporate Communication. In Mike Allen (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods (pp. 264-266). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gribas, J., DiSanza, J., Legge, N., Hartman, K., and Santee, C. (2016). Exploring the alignment of image repair tactics to audience type. In J. R. Blaney (Ed.), Putting Image Repair to the Test (pp. 41-61). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Legge, N. J., DiSanza, J. R., Gribas, J., & Schiffler, A. (2012). "He sounded like a vile, disgusting pervert. . ." An analysis of persuasive attacks on Rush Limbaugh during the Sandra Fluke Controversy. Journal of Radio & Audio Media, 19, 173-205.

Awards & Honors

Outstanding Service Award nominee, 2011, 2014

Aubrey Jeppesen

Administrative Assistant

Office: Frazier Hall 218

(208) 282-3695


Course Scheduling, Accounting, & Student Inquiries

Full-time Faculty

Photo of Nikyra Capson

Nikyra Capson

Assistant Professor

Office: Frazier Hall 315


Having been born and raised in Idaho, I’m excited to be a part of the CMP department at Idaho State University. After getting my BA in Communications and a BFA in Fine Art, I went on to get my MFA in Studio Arts with an emphasis in digital arts. My work is centered around social media and the mental health issues it causes in some users. I teach Graphic Design and Typography and enjoy watching students find their artistic sides as they learn about visual communication.

 Selected Shows:

  • We are All Contagious, UMass Dartmouth University Art Gallery, Juried by Nato Thompson, New Bedford, Massachusetts

  • In Love and Tech: Exploration of the Human Interaction in the Digital Age, eighteen fifteen, Juried by Anton Chavez and Amanda Fay, Austin, Texas

  • enGENDERing Change: The Exhibition, Cloyde Snook Gallery, Adams State University Juried by Dr. Ann Woods, The Public Book, and Dr. Alan Woods, Alamosa, Colorado

  • The Biennial Project Biennial 2019, Juried by Kaveh Mojtabai, Jeannie Motherwell, Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, Yanelys Nuñez Leyva, and Nonardo Perea, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

  • Women’s Stories (Untold) - Text and Image, Midwestern Center for Photography, Juried by Linda Robinson, Wichita, Kansas

  • “Clotheshorse,” Indianapolis Art Center, Juried by Kyle Herrington, Indianapolis, Indiana

D. Jasun Carr

D. Jasun Carr

Associate Professor and Minor Advisor

Office: Frazier Hall 316

(208) 282-2995


BS, Communication Processes, UW-Green Bay; MS, Electronic Media, Kutztown University; PhD, Mass Communication, UW-Madison


Digital Media; Social Media; Media Psychology; Research Methods

Courses Taught:

CMP2202: Photo, Graphic, and Video Editing; CMP2203: Media Literacy; CMP3307: Social and Interactive Media Campaigns; CMP3309: Communication Inquiry; CMP3339: Web Design; CMP6601: Introduction to Graduate Research Methods; CMP6630: Communication Revolutions


Dr. Jasun Carr earned his PhD in Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His ongoing research interests focus on persuasion, consumer culture, and civic engagement; the interaction of source and generational cohort in new media; and the changing journalistic and persuasive practices within social media platforms. Currently he is in the beginning stages of developing a scale to clarify the measurement of "social media trust." In addition to teaching and research, he acts as webmaster and social media coordinator for the department.

Dr. Carr’s CV

Dr. Carr’s Website

Dr. Carr’s ORCID

Selected Publications:

Carr, D. J. (2018). Multitasking & Multiskilling. In Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh (Ed.), International Encyclopedia for Journalism Studies. (In Press)

Carr, D. J. (2018). Exploring the Role of Parasocial Relationships on Product Placement Effectiveness. American Communication Journal, 20(1), 31-45.

Carr, D. J. & Bard, M. (2017). Even a Celebrity Journalist Can’t Have an Opinion: Post-Millennials’ Recognition and Evaluation of Journalists and News Brands on Twitter. Electronic News, Online First, doi: 10.1177/1931243117710280

Carr, D. J. (2017). The Internet and Information Economy. In Robert Rycroft (Ed.), The American Middle Class: An Economic Encyclopedia of Progress and Poverty. ABC-CLIO.

Carr, D. J., Barnidge, M., Lee, B. & Tsang, S. J. (2014). Cynics and skeptics: Evaluating the credibility of mainstream and citizen journalism. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 91(3), 452-470.

Awards & Honors

Faculty Senator - College of Arts & Letters

Political Communication Interest Group - Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication: Head (2016-17), Vice-Head (2015-16), Research Co-Chair (2013-15).

ISU Office of Research: ISU College of Arts & Letters Combined Subject Pool Pilot. (2018-June 2020)

ISU College of Arts & Letters: Faculty Travel Funds. (2017, 2015)

ISU Office of Research: Faculty Travel Funds. (2017)

Idaho Humanities Council Grant: Humanities Cafe 2015-16: Identity. (2015)

ISU College of Arts & Letters: Infrastructure Grant Proposal Department of Communication, Media, and Persuasion DSLR Photography and Video Cameras. (2015)

Zac Gershberg 2021

Zac Gershberg

Associate Professor

Office: Frazier 310

(208) 282-3272


BS, Cinema, Sports Communication, Ithaca College; MA, Communication, Hawaii Pacific University; PhD, Communication Studies, Louisiana State University


Journalism, Media Studies

Courses Taught:

CMP1110: Media Writing; CMP2203: Media Literacy; CMP3310: Multiplatform Storytelling; CMP3311: Business and Political Reporting; CMP3382: Political Communication; CMP3312: Screenwriting; CMP4410: Mass Media History, Law, & Ethics; CMP4418: Feature Writing; CMP6630: Media and Culture

The range of courses I teach reflects how media necessarily intersect with our lives — economically, technologically, and politically. From newspapers and magazines to social media, as well as movies and television, we shouldn't just be consumers. We are, first and foremost, citizens of a democracy who must critically process and effectively negotiate the contemporary frenzy of communication all around us. That can be challenging but also exciting and full of opportunities. For students in my courses — and multiplatform journalism majors, in particular (who often go on to work across the media landscape spanning news, entertainment, sports, and politics) — that means nurturing a creative, polished professionalism armed with creativity, knowledge, and responsibility.

Research-wise, I examine journalism, media, and politics. I recently co-authored a book, The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion, published by the University of Chicago Press.

I have experience working as a journalist in Hawaii covering news, sports, and travel, and I spent some time in script development in Hollywood. I used to host a monthly program, Know Your Media, on our campus NPR affiliate, KISU-FM, and serve as one of the college’s pre-law advisors as well as a liaison for our exchange program with Karlstad University, in Sweden, where students can attend with a department scholarship.


Recent Publications:

Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing, The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022).

Zac Gershberg and D. Jasun Carr, “Media in North America,” in Global Journalism: Understanding World Medis Systems, ed. Daniela V. Dimitrova (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021), 177-186.

John Gribas 2021

John Gribas

Professor & Associate Dean for Fine Arts and Humanities

Office: Business Administration 247

(208) 282-5801


BS, Secondary Education, Eastern Montana College; MA/PhD, Communication Studies, University of Kansas


Corporate Communication & Leadership

Courses Taught:

CMP3308: Groups and Communication; CMP4420: Advanced Leadership Communication

I grew up the son of a self-employed carpenter in northern Montana and attended Eastern Montana College (now MSU-Billings) as a first-generation college student. I began my career as an educator working with junior high and high school students in Billings, Montana, teaching art, language arts, theatre, English, and speech communication, and I coached competitive debate. I moved to the Midwest, earned my PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas in 1993, and have been at ISU since 1996.

As a scholar, I am interested in exploring how language choices impact human thought and action. In particular, I am fascinated with ways people use metaphor to refer to themselves as organized groups. My interest in groups and communication really comes from many years of participation with educational, community, and professional summer repertory theatre. I love downhill skiing, remodeling my home, and, most of all, spending time with my family.

Selected Publications:

Gribas, J., Disanza, J. R., Gershberg, Z. M., and Legge, N. (2017). Finding story in unexpected places: Branding and the role of narrative in the study of communication. In B. Attebery, J. Gribas, M. K. McBeth, P. Sivitz, and K. Turley-Ames (Eds.), Narrative, identity, and academic community in higher education (pp. 91-110). New York, NY: Routledge.

Gribas, J., DiSanza, J., Legge, N., Hartman, K. L., Santee, C. (2015). Exploring the alignment of image repair tactics to audience type. In J. R. Blaney (Ed.), Putting Image Repair to the Test: Quantitative Applications of Image Restoration Theory (pp. 41-62). Lexington Books.

Driskill, G., & Gribas, J. (2013). Enacting grace and truth: A communication perspective on interfaith dialogue (pp. 11-36). In D. Brown (Ed.), Interfaith dialogue in practice: Christian, Muslim, Jew (pp. 11-36). Kansas City, MO: Rockhurst University Press.

Legge, N., DiSanza, J., Gribas, J., & Shiffler, A. (2012). "He sounded like a vile, disgusting pervert...": An analysis of persuasive attacks on Rush Limbaugh during the Sandra Fluke controversy. Journal of Radio & Audio Media, 19, 173-205.

Gribas, J. (2008). Doing teams while being the body: Managing spiritual/secular dialectical tensions of defining the church collective through transcendent metaphor. The Journal of Communication and Religion, 31, 206-244.

Gribas, J., Disanza, J. R., Hartman, K. L., Carr, D. J., & Legge, N. J. (2021). Exploring the effectiveness of image repair tactics: Comparison of U.S. and Middle Eastern audiences. Communication Research Reports, DOI: 10.1080/08824096.2021.1909550

 Bass, C. W., & Gribas, J. (2020). Factors to consider while attempting image restoration: Limitations to the impact of sound strategy application. American Journal of Management20, 59-77.

Gribas, J., Disanza, J., & Legge, N., Hartman, K. L. (2018). Organizational image repair tactics and crisis type: Implications for crisis response strategy effectiveness. International Journal of Crisis & Risk Communication, 1, 225-252.

Awards & Honors:

Karen L. Hartman

Karen L. Hartman


Office: Frazier Hall 221

(208) 282-3233


BA, Communication Studies, Furman University; MA, Speech Communication, University of South Carolina; PhD, Rhetoric and Public Address, Louisiana State University


Corporate Communication, Public Relations, Sport Communication

Courses Taught:

COMM1101: Public Speaking; CMP1110: Media Writing; CMP2241: Introduction to Public Relations; CMP3346: Public Relations Writing; CMP3347: Sport Communication; CMP4446: Public Relations Campaigns; CMP4440: Sport Public Relations; CMP6630: Crisis Communication

My research interests revolve largely around the role of sport in the United States and how language and public relations efforts frame athletes, organizations, and laws. I have authored over a dozen peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and book reviews and my work has been published in the Journal of Communication Studies, International Journal of Sport Communication, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Academic Exchange Quarterly, and the edited volume The ESPN Effect: Academic Studies of the Worldwide Leader in Sports.

I teach eight different courses in our department that largely include the courses in the public relations curriculum, as well as a sport communication elective and a graduate seminar on crisis communication. One of my favorite things about teaching is seeing the transformation within students when they move a topic from a mere curiosity to something that becomes inspirational and fulfilling in their lives.

Beyond the classroom I enjoy marveling at the Pocatello scenery, playing with my daughter, and eating greasy bar food while watching sports. Go Bengals!

Selected Publications:

Hartman, K. (2016). How did this end up on my doorstep? In D. Tucker & J. Wrench (Eds.), Casing Sport
Communication (pp. 196-203). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

DiSanza, J., Gribas, J., Legge, N., Hartman, K., & Santee, C. (2016). Exploring the Alignment of Image
Repair Tactics to Audience Type. In J.R. Blaney (Ed.), Putting image repair to the test: Quantitative
applications of image restoration theory (pp. 41-61). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Hartman, K. (2015). ESPN’s mythological rhetoric of Title IX. In J. McGuire & G.
Armfield (Eds.), The ESPN effect: Academic studies of the worldwide leader in sports (pp. 97-109). New
York: Peter Lang.

Hartman, K. (2014). The “most evil thing about college sports”: The one-year scholarship and a
former NCAA athlete’s personal narrative. International Journal of Sport Communication, 7, 425-440.

Awards & Honors

Keynote Speaker for Idaho State University’s National Girls and Women in Sport Day. (2015)

Nancy J. Legge

Nancy J. Legge


Office: Frazier 401

(208) 282-3771


BA, Speech Communication, Wayne State University; MA, Speech Communication, Indiana University; PhD, Speech Communication, Penn State University



Courses Taught:

COMM1101: Principles of Speech; CMP2209: Persuasion; CMP3302: Image Management; CMP4483: Rhetoric of Popular Culture; CMP4487: Rhetorical Theory; CMP4488: Rhetorical Criticism; CMP6630: Graduate Seminar

“Speak out! Your voice should be heard.”
“Speak out and suffer the consequences!”
These opposing points of view reflect an important premise: democracy and rhetoric are intricately intertwined. As democracy thrives so, too, do opportunities for speaking (orally or in writing), also called “rhetoric.” Conversely, when democracy declines, so does rhetoric. Logically, then, when democracy is threatened, the need for rhetoric intensifies, but the risks inherent in speaking out also increase. These are foundational premises for my research and teaching. My work is characterized by the assumption that what’s relevant is inherently worth investigating and analyzing.
As a researcher, I am interested in investigating the rhetorical dimensions of issues in popular culture including sports, politics, and music. As a member of a research team in the CMP Department we are consistently engaged in understanding issues related to image, crisis, and persuasive attack in sports, organizations, and politics.   
As Journal editor for Relevant Rhetoric: A New Journal of Rhetorical Studies, I am dedicated to publishing scholarship that creates a bridge between “academics” and “community.” The Journal publishes essays on current issues analyzed from a variety of rhetorical perspectives that create new insights for both an academic and lay audiences. The Journal has a large international audience from diverse backgrounds with varying levels of education. The success and appeal of the Journal is due to its accessibility in language, its development of relevant and contemporary issues, and its free access.
As a teacher, I work to ensure that students understand three components of rhetoric: (1) Rhetoric is relevant. Understanding the relevance of rhetoric helps make people aware, tolerant, and willing to be analytical of the world around them. (2) Rhetoric is precious. That is, words should be spoken with care and reflection; there are consequences for speaking. Students come to appreciate that opportunities to speak should not be taken for granted and they should think strategically. (3) Rhetoric is honorable. That is, we should be thoughtfully critical of ideas and tolerant of others’ voices. Students have opportunities to both practice and analyze the art of rhetoric. Through analysis of rhetorical artifacts in history and in popular culture, students learn to evaluate beyond the standard “up/down” simplicity embedded in our culture to reach understandings about the complexity of audience, context, content, and layered meanings. The result is citizens who are critical citizens and critical consumers of messages.

Selected Publications:

DiSanza, J. R., Hartman, K. L., Legge, N. J., Gershberg, Z. (in press). Adding Narrative to the Situational Crisis Communication Theory: The Case for Crisis 'Narrative Management' in Sport. In Andrew Billings, W. Timothy Coombs, and Kenon Brown (Ed.), Reputational Challenges in Sport. New York: Routledge.

Gribas, J., Gershberg, Z., James, D. R., Legge, N. J. (2017). Finding Story in Unexpected Places: Branding and the Role of Narrative in the Study of Communication. In Brian Attebery, John Gribas, Mark K. McBeth, Paul Sivitz, and Kandi Turley-Ames (Ed.), Narrative, Identity, and Academic Community in Higher Education (pp. 91-110). New York: Routledge.

Gribas, J., DiSanza, J., Legge, N., Hartman, K. L., Santee, C. (2016). "Exploring the Alignment of Image Repair Tactics to Audience Type." In J. R. Blaney (Ed.), Putting Image Repair to the Test: Quantitative Applications of Image Restoration Theory (41-61). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

DiSanza, J. R., Legge, N. J. (2016). The Rhetoric of Persuasive Attack: Continuing the Development of a Taxonomy of Strategies and Tactics. Relevant Rhetoric: A New Journal of Rhetorical Studies, 7, 1-16.

Awards & Honors:

Master Teacher (2009)

Twice nominated for Carnegie Teacher of the Year

Journal Editor, Relevant Rhetoric: A New Journal of Rhetorical Studies

Terry Ownby

Terry Ownby


Office: Frazier 416

(208) 282-6453


BS, Media + Photography + Geography, Missouri State University; MA, Media Communication, Webster University-Saint Louis; PhD, Visual Media Studies, Colorado State University-Fort Collins


Visual Communication and Photo Media

Courses Taught:

ART2210/CMP2250: History and Appreciation of Photography; CMP2251: Intro. To Photography; CMP3352: Photo Communication; CMP3355: Studio Photography; CMP4455: Photo Media; CMP4457: Advanced Photography; CMP6630: Critical Visual Methodologies

I am a visual storyteller. My career has been diversified, challenging, and above all, FUN! Over the years and before turning to full-time academics, I have accomplished editorial and food advertising photography, shot and directed corporate video productions, served as a military photojournalist and public affairs chief for an Army division (both stateside and overseas), and mentored hundreds of emerging visual communication professionals.

During my professional career, I won multiple ADDY Awards and worked with clients such as: Tyson Foods, Land O' Lakes, Bass Pro Shops, Copper Mountain Resort, and Colony Brands, to mention a few. My commercial work has been published in magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens, Southern Living, McCall's, Ladies Home Journal, TV Guide, and Colorado Homes & Lifestyles, among others. Lastly, I have worked in broadcast and TV operations for a local PBS station, which included producing several on-air promo pieces.

Here at Idaho State University, I'm an associate professor in the Communication, Media, & Persuasion department and I teach in our Visual Communication program. As an undergrad teacher, my area of responsibility is the Photo Media track and I manage the program’s first fully-equipped photography studio. I provide a variety of face-to-face and online photo media courses, field experience, and professional studio application for our photo majors. Also, I conduct graduate seminars on critical visual methodologies.

My research interests include: Atomic West Photography: Photography and Nuclear Zones in USA West; Visual Semiotics: Personal Identity through Visual Images; Vernacular Snapshots: Road Trip Identity and Photo Media; and 19th Century Photographic History: American Photography in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, I have presented my research at conferences in Cyprus, Sweden, and Turkey, as well as in the U.S.

So, as you can see, I haven't always been an academic! I've had full careers in corporate advertising and in the military. And just to mix things up a bit, I farmed my wine vineyard in Wisconsin for several years. What a ride!

Dr. Ownby’s CV

Dr. Ownby’s Website

Dr. Ownby’s Blog

Dr. Ownby’s page


Selected Publications

Ownby, T. (2017). Gulf-08 with Bluebird House #20. Juried Group Exhibit. Midwest Center for Photography: Topographies, Wichita, KS.

Ownby, T. (2017). Shepard’s Wagon in Snow. Juried Group Exhibit. 1650 Gallery: Snow & Ice 2017, Los Angeles, CA.

Ownby, T. (2017). Atomic Amnesia: A Mashup of Photo Media, Cartography, and Satellite Imagery. Presented at the GeoMedia 2017 Conference, Karlstad, Sweden,

Ownby, T. (2017). Photographing the Wunderkammer: A Personal Journey of Art Making and Meaning. In C. Mieves and I. B. Wonder (Eds.) Contemporary Art Practice (pp. 271-283). London: Routledge.

Ownby, T. (2015). Reconstructing Silent Voices in Southern Photographic History. The Southern Quarterly: A Journal of Arts & Letters in the South, 52(4), 11-27.

Awards & Honors

Member, Atomic Photography Guild

Sarah Partlow Lefevre

Sarah Partlow Lefevre

Professor & Director, James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society

Office: Frazier 407

(208) 282-5962


BA, English, University of Utah; MA, Communication Studies, University of Kansas; PhD, Communication Studies, University of Kansas


Rhetoric & Debate

Courses Taught:

CMP2205: Argumentation; CMP3305: Intercollegiate Debate; CMP4404: Gender and Communication; CMP6630: Drama of Human Symbol Use

Sarah Partlow Lefevre, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Communication, Media, and Persuasion and has been the Director of Debate at Idaho State University since 2001. Dr. Partlow Lefevre began her involvement in debate in 1991 at the University of Utah where she completed her undergraduate degree. She then pursued both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication Studies at the University of Kansas where she was an Assistant Debate Coach. Coaching highlights from her time at ISU include: two 3rd place finishes in Public Forum Debate at Pi Kappa Delta Nationals, First Place in British Parliamentary Debate at Pi Kappa Delta Nationals, multiple First Round At Large Bids to the National Debate Tournament, 3rd Place at Cross Examination Debate Association Nationals, Second Speaker at both the NDT and CEDA national tournaments among hundreds of other awards and acclamations. She was a member of the NDT Committee for several years and served as President of the Cross Examination Debate Association. Dr. Partlow Lefevre is currently the Director of the National Debate Tournament and serves on the Board of the Women’s Debate Institute.

Rupp Debate Society

Rupp Debate Blog

Selected Publications:

Partlow Lefevre, S. T. (2018) Recovering the Potential of Argument in the Public Sphere: Moms Demand Action and Threats of Gendered Violence in the Gun Control Debate. In (ed.) Randall A. Lake . Routledge.

Eckstein, J., & Partlow Lefevre, S. T. (2017). Since Sandy Hook: Strategic Maneuvering in the Gun Control Debate. Western Journal of Communication81(2), 225-242.

Partlow-Lefevre, S. T. (2015) Obama on the Affirmative: Sequester arguments as policy debate. In (ed.) Catherine Helen Palczewski. Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group. 

Awards & Honors:

The George Ziegelmueller Award honoring  a faculty member who has distinguished himself or herself in the communication profession while coaching teams to competitive success at the National Debate Tournament

The Lucy Keele Award for outstanding service to the debate community

The Rebecca Galentine Award recognizing debate service, community building, and competitive success.

The Rupp Debate Society has won hundreds of awards with Dr. Partlow Lefevre at the helm, including: 3rd place Overall Division II at Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, 3rd Place Debate Division I at Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, 3rd Place Public Forum Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, 3rd Place Public Forum Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, 1st Place British Parliamentary Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, Second Speaker CEDA Nationals, 2nd Speaker NDT Nationals, 3rd Place CEDA Nationals.

photo of Neelam Sharma

Neelam Sharma

Assistant Professor & Director of Graduate Studies in Communication

Office: Frazier Hall 216 D

(208) 282-3471


BC, Commerce, Panjab University; MA, Mass Communication, Panjab University; PhD, Public Communication and Technology, Colorado State University


Journalism, Media Psychology, International Communication, Research Methods

Courses Taught:

CMP 1110: Media Writing; CMP 2241: Introduction to Public Relations; CMP3311: Business and Political Reporting, CMP 3309/5509: Communication Inquiry, CMP 4403/5503: Mass Communication & Society, CMP 6601: Communication and Media Studies

Dr. Neelam Sharma earned her Ph.D. in Public Communication and Technology from Colorado State University, Fort Collins. Her research interests include narrative persuasion,  digital media, journalism, and South Asian news and entertainment media. Her research appears in journals including the International Journal of Communication, Psychology of Popular Media, Journal of Communication Inquiry, Global Media and Communication, and Atlantic Journal of Communication, among others. She is currently investigating the effects of entertainment programs on the eating habits of preschool-aged children. Before starting her doctoral studies, Dr. Sharma worked as a journalist with The Times of India and The Indian Express in India.

Selected Publications:

  • Sharma, N. (2022). Digital Moral Outrage, Collective Guilt, And Collective Action: An Examination of How Twitter Users Expressed Their Anguish During India’s Covid-19 Related Migrant Crisis. Journal of Communication Inquiry.
  • Sharma, N. (2021). An examination of viewers’ mental model drawings after they watched a transgender-themed TV narrative. Psychology of popular media.

  • Sharma, N. & Sivakumar, G. (in-press). Social media, political discourse and the 2019 elections in India: Journalists’ perspectives on the changing role of the mainstream media in setting political agenda. Global Media and Communication Journal. 

  • Sharma, N. (2016). What do readers’ mental models represent? Understanding audience processing of narratives by analyzing mental models drawn by fiction readers in India. International Journal of Communication, 10, 26.

  • Sharma, N. (2020). Real-life projections and narrative engagement: A link between narrative transportation, real-life projections, and identification with characters in a polarizing TV drama about transgender persons. In S.S. Dunn & G. Nisbett (Eds) Innovations and Implications of Persuasive Narrative. Peter Lang Publications.

Awards & Honors

  • Kopenhaver Center Fellow, 2021: The Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication, AEJMC.
  • Teaching Chair- Entertainment Studies Interest Group - Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication (AEJMC)- (2021-22).
  • Faculty Senator - College of Arts & Letters (2021-2024).
  • ISU Office of Research: Internal Small Research Grants (2021).
  • ISU College of Arts & Letters- Travel Grant (2020, 2021, 2022).
  • Graduate Instructor of the Year (2014-2015), Department of Journalism and Media Communication, CSU, Spring 2016.
  • Young Journalist of the Year award, 2005. Press Club, Chandigarh (India).




Amanda Bennett headshot

Amanda Bennett

Assistant Lecturer

Office: Frazier Hall 216C



BA, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Idaho State University; MA, Communication, Idaho State University


Speech Communication; National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC)

Courses Taught:

Comm 1101: Principles of Speech, CMP 2261: Introduction to Advertising, CMP 3365: Ad Strategy Copywriting

With nearly a decade of corporate advertising experience with a national health insurance company, I bring a very practical perspective to the classroom. My professional experience is complemented by an undergraduate degree in Communication with an emphasis in Advertising and a minor in Marketing, and a graduate degree in Communication.

In my public speaking classes, I focus heavily on helping my students learn to be critical consumers of information and to always support their arguments with reasoning and evidence. I have a passion for teaching and love seeing my students grow and develop as thinkers and communicators. In addition, as a former member of ISU’s two award-winning NSAC teams, I developed a deep appreciation for the value this program offers students as they prepare for careers in advertising or related fields. I love teaching and mentoring current NSAC students and I strive to provide meaningful and practical experiences that improve their understanding of advertising best practices and increase their confidence in their abilities to be successful advertising professionals.

In my free time I try to travel the world as much as possible, spend time hiking and camping with my family, and occasionally finish a quilting project.

Selected Publications

Knight, H. R., Hartman, K. L., & Bennett, A. (2019). Gun Violence, eSports, and Global Crises: A Proposed Model for Sport Crisis Communication Practitioners. Journal of Global Sport Management, 1-19.

Awards & Honors

Most Influential Teacher: ISU Women’s Volleyball Team (2018)

Andy Christensen

Andy Christensen

Associate Lecturer & Assistant Director ISU Bengal Debate

Office: Frazier Hall 325

(208) 242-6089


BS, Communication & Public Relations, University of Idaho; MA, Communication, Idaho State University


Rhetoric, Speech, Debate

Courses Taught:

COMM 1101 - Principles of Public Speaking; CMP 2201 - Business and Professional Speaking; CMP 3305 Intercollegiate Debate

Professor Christensen is recovering from over two decades in captivity as senior management for one of the nation's top resorts, after which he sought to pursue his lifelong dream of teaching at the university level [he simply doesn't have the patience, or vocabulary, to work in a pre-collegiate setting]. As a member of the Bengal Faculty, he brings to the classroom a background of leadership, team building, passion, straight talk, and humor. Christensen values the desire to learn as well as to teach, and celebrates the notion that there really must be a better hobby than political criticism.

Awards & Honors

Graduate of Management Tools, Inc. Hospitality Management and Leadership Quality Institute

Former Executive Officer in Idaho for DeMolay International

Member of the Alpha Kappa Epsilon Corporation

Member of the Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta

Member of Pi Kappa Delta Speech and Debate Association

Honorary member of the F.B.I. National Executive Institute

Photo of Elisa Johnson

Elisa Johnson

Assistant Lecturer

Office: Frazier Hall 216E



Speech Communication

Courses Taught:

Comm1101 Principles of Speech; CMP 2209 Persuasion; CMP 3308 Groups and Communication; ROAR 1199 First Roar

photo of Daniel Shelden

Daniel Shelden

Assistant Lecturer

Office: Frazier Hall 216A


Photo not available

John Young

Assistant Lecturer

Office: Frazier Hall 219



Video Production

Courses Taught:

CMP1110: Media Writing; CMP2202: Photo, Graphic, & Video Editing; CMP2271: TV & Video Production; CMP3371: Narrative Video Production; CMP4471: Advanced Video Production; CMP4475 Corporate Video Production

Photo of Payton Gibbs

Payton Gibbs

Visiting Assistant Lecturer

Office: Frazier Hall 220

Emeritus Faculty

Paula Jull

Paula Jull

Professor Emeritus


Visual Communication & Graphic Design

Paula Jull specializes in graphic design, book arts, and photography. Professor Jull earned an MFA in printmaking at Indiana University's School of Fine Arts and is a founder of the Pocatello Book Arts Group and has exhibited in many regional and national exhibits. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections, including the Special Collections Departments of the Virginia Commonwealth University, the Otis College of Art, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. Her books are also featured in 500 Handmade Books, 2nd ed., 500 Handmade Books, Volume 2, and Handmade Books, Studio Series, all published by Lark Crafts Press.

Bruce Loebs

Bruce Loebs

Professor Emeritus



Dr. Bruce Loebs received his PhD from the University of Oregon. After five years of teaching and coaching debate at California State University at Hayward, he came to ISU as department chair in 1969, a position he held for 36 years. He taught courses in rhetoric including COMM 1101, Argumentation, American Public Address, the Rhetoric of Hitler and Churchill, and Rhetorical Issues.