New Assistant Professors
Soumia Bardhan received her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarship focuses on the intersections of culture, religion, politics, gender, and new media,
particularly the interactional dynamics of Western and Arab Islamic rhetorical traditions; the multivocal discourses and discursive practices within Islam; the rhetoric of Muslim counterpublics; and the role of new media/social media in the cultural-political transformation of Arab societies. Dr. Bardhan’s research has been published in the peer-reviewed Digest of Middle East Studies and the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, a co-edited volume on gender, rhetoric, and the Arab Spring published by New York University Press, among others. She has presented her research at national and international conferences and directs summer seminars in Spain, France, Morocco, and India.
Natalie Pennington received her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. Her research interests lie at the intersection of interpersonal and mediated communication. She has conducted research that looks at topics such as impression management through Facebook, social support and grief communication online, and relational developmentand maintenance through social networking sites. Dr. Pennington's research has been published in New Media & Society, Computers in Human Behavior, and the Iowa Journal of Communication among others.
Timothy Shaffer received his Ph.D. from Cornell University. His research centers on the advancement of democratic engagement through deliberative democracy and citizen engagement in higher education and community settings. His current research program focuses on two related lines of inquiry, both exploring deliberative democracy, civic professionalism, and public philosophy contributing to the emerging field of civic studies. Dr. Shaffer has published in journals such as The Good Society, Journal of Public Deliberation, Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, and Rural Sociology.