Important: New Academic Organizational Structure in Effect July 1
As of July 1, the College of Arts and Sciences has split into two new colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science. Learn more here.
College of Arts and Sciences

Steven Alan Carr, Professor and Graduate Studies Director
Carr is a film and media historian. He is a 2002-03 Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Postdoctoral Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, a 2010-11 Loewenstein-Wiener Marcus Research Fellow at the American Jewish Archives, and Co-Director of the IPFW Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. His first book is Hollywood and Anti-Semitism: A Cultural History Up to World War II (Cambridge UP, 2001). His current project examines Hollywood's wartime entanglement with Nazism and the birth of the Holocaust film. Learn more at

Marcia D. Dixson, Professor and Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs
Dr. Dixson's research area, communication in the online teaching environment, has yielded a top panel paper at the National Communication Association Conference as well as publications in the Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks. She teaches numerous graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of interpersonal communication, family communication, business and professional communication, research methods, communication in the classroom, nonverbal communication, relational communication, and the dark side of communication. She earned a PhD in Communication Research from the University of Iowa as well as MA and BSE in English Education from Truman State University.

Art Herbig, Associate Professor
Herbig is a critical rhetorician who employs a variety of techniques and methodologies when crafting his scholarship. On top of publications in journals such as Communication Studies and the International Journal of Communication, he is currently in the process of finishing a documentary film entitled Never Forget: Public Memory & 9/11. As a teacher, he teaches across a range of topics and skills, but his primary focuses have been media production, media criticism, and rhetoric. Dr. Herbig has a PhD in Rhetoric and Political Culture from the University of Maryland and he is currently working as one of the editors of the book #WeNeedaWord: Discourse and Critique about Contemporary Media.

Michelle Kelsey, Associate Professor and Department Chair
Dr. Kelsey is a critical rhetorical scholar who focuses on social movement discourse around issues relating to sex, gender, sexuality, and race. Michelle's work has most recently focused on the intersection of race, sexuality, and class in marriage equality movement discourse, particularly in California and Maryland. She is also expanding her work on intersectional rhetorics to other public controversies including abortion, voter ID laws, and immigration reform. Michelle earned her PhD at Arizona State University; she also completed the graduate certificate in Women and Gender studies. Michelle teaches rhetorical theory, rhetorical criticism, persuasion in social movements, and is affiliated faculty with the Women's Studies program.

Sarah LeBlanc, Assistant Professor
Dr. LeBlanc is a qualitative scholar who focuses on family and health issues related to maternal health and identity. Sarah’s recent scholarship has focused on communicating grief and how communication is used to describe someone posthumously. Her work can be found in The Journal of Loss and Trauma and Death Studies. Her first co-authored book (2012) proposes and explains the dark side of family communication model and she has a book chapter (2015) examining how military veterans negotiate their identity post-deployment. Sarah received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri and has taught Interpersonal Theories.

Kitty Luo, Associate Professor
Luo’s current research explores evolving gender ideologies within China’s neoliberal discourse of consumerism. She is interested in employing interpretive, critical, and rhetorical approaches to examine the intersections of issues on gender, ethnicity, and class within the confluence of global and local cultures. She has published her work in Women's Studies in Communication, Women's Studies International Forum, and Asian Women, to name a few. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses within the subfields of intercultural communication, gender and communication, semiotics, rhetoric, and media and society. She earned a Ph.D. in Communication and a MA in English from the University of Utah.

Assem Nasr, Associate Professor
Assem Nasr is an Associate Professor at the Department of Communication at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. His research and publications have centered on global media issues with a focus on the Arab world. This includes work on transnational television industries, representation of history in media, and consumption and cultural identity. His research yielded scholarly journal publications (Global Media Journal and Arab Media & Society) as well as conference papers (Global Fusion, International Communication Association, and National Communication Association). Recently, Nasr’s work explored the role of Al-Jazeera Arabic in shaping popular consciousness during the Arab uprisings. He is currently investigating the role of colloquial Arabic in framing gender and gender roles in Lebanese society.

Barbara H. Smith, Continuing Lecturer
Smith has a professional background in journalism and expertise in communication law issues. She earned a Ph.D. in mass communication, with an emphasis in media law and policy, from the University of Florida. She earned an MA in journalism and a BA in telecommunications from Michigan State University. Her primary research focuses on the First Amendment freedom of speech and of the press and the application of established law to new media. Her article on the First Amendment and mandatory Internet filtering in public libraries was published in 2013 in Communication Law and Policy, a top peer-reviewed journal. Dr. Smith teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in mass communication, including communication law, as well as undergraduate courses in journalism.

Heloisa Sturm Wilkerson, Assistant Professor
Wilkerson’s research is in the intersection of political communication, digital media, and comparative studies, where she examines the extent to which digital technologies have influenced journalism and how individuals consume and engage in information. She holds degrees in Journalism and Law from the University of São Paulo, in Brazil, and is a PhD candidate from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. Before moving to the U.S., she worked as a reporter for national newspapers in Brazil. She has published work in The International Journal of Press/Politics, Cultural Studies Critical Methodologies, and Feminist Media Studies. She is currently studying social media discourse in electoral contexts in Brazil and the U.S., as well as factors influencing media engagement, fake news sharing, and political participation.