My interests have always been on how people get moved into action by communication. Formally, this is called “the social influence processes,” and it includes the study of persuasion at all levels of the social system, from interpersonal one-on-one persuasion, to public speaking, to social movements and mass media persuasion.
My degrees correspond to my interests. I graduated from the University of Toledo (1973) with a B.Ed. in Speech Education, where I had the fortune of teaching public speaking classes my senior year. I then got an MA in Communication from Miami University (1975), where I taught public speaking, interpersonal communication and small group communication.
I capped off my academic career with a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Communication from Temple University (1980), where I emphasized studying the influence of social movements and the mass media from a rhetorical perspective. My method of investigation is squarely empirical. Personally, I’m interested in enjoying good oratory—and what makes it “good.” I tend to be a news junkie, especially during the elections.