Kara Shultz, Ph.D. - Department Chair
Dr. Shultz earned her Ph.D. in Speech Communication from the University of Denver and joined the department in 1991. With a focus in leadership and social influence, her teaching and research interests include the analysis of role of rhetoric in constructing representations of diverse cultural identities. In addition to teaching core communication courses in Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, and Intercultural Communication, she regularly teaches the following courses in the Leadership and Social Influence track of the major: Understanding Social Influence, Community Leadership, and Issue and Image Campaigns. In addition she has taught honors seminars in Free Speech and Community Values and Language, Culture, and Society. She utilizes radical pedagogy in the classroom and has developed, presented, and published original scholarly essays on the topic.
Her research primarily examines the rhetoric of social movements and other forms of marginal discourse; analyzing representations of gender, race, ethnicity, class and cultural identities in public discourse; and reconciling rhetorical theories from diverse cultural traditions, ranging from ancient to contemporary times, and demonstrating their relevance to civic life in our mediated society. Her latest research projects examine the controversy over the growing popularity of the use of technological innovations to perfect “disabled” bodies through cochlear implant surgery, bariatric surgery, and limb lengthening surgery. She has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant to study and has published several essays on the rhetoric of persons with disabilities appearing in the national journals the Quarterly Journal of Speech and The Howard Journal of Communications and in the edited volumes Conflict and Diversity and Handbook of Communication and People with Disabilities. She has presented papers on a variety of communication topics at national and regional conferences. She has served on the editorial board of Communication Quarterly and chaired the Rhetoric and Public Address and the Voices of Diversity divisions of the Eastern Communication Association. She has been both a leader and an active member of the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Committee (T.A.L.E.), the Women’s Studies Minor Advisory Board, and the Ethnic Studies Minor Advisory Board. She has served on the Bloomsburg University tenure, sabbatical, and faculty professional development committees.