The most rewarding aspect of
academic work for me is watching my students go through the learning process
and seeing that moment when they have realized they learned something about the
topic I’m teaching that benefits them in their world. It’s so rewarding to me
because these moments are cultivated through weeks if not months of
frustration, hard work, and sometimes failure. So to see that moment, developed
out of a student’s best efforts and willingness to push themselves in my class
is really special to me and makes me just want to help the next student realize
Dr. Rhea is a nationally respected
scholar in mass media research focusing on election campaigns (humor and
advertising messages) and entertainment media. His research is published in
major journals in communication field: Argumentation
and Advocacy, Communication Studies, and Communication Quarterly. He has earned numerous awards for faculty
excellence (GSU Excellence Award, 2013), teaching excellence (ICA Teaching
Award, 2007, innovation in teaching (GSU Fisk Awards, 2010, 2012) and
scholarship (Gillman Fellowship, 2005). He is career has been highlighted by major
leadership roles both within GSU (Director of Honors, Co-Chair of the
Institutional Review Board) and amongst scholars in his discipline including
lead program planner for the National Communication Association Mass
Communication Division for their 2013 Convention Program.
Dr. Rhea is active in his local
community. He has recently served as education leader for a local congregation
in Chicago and served on its governance board. He is active in building
community partnerships between the GSU Honors Program and local Community
Colleges and community organizations.
Selected Peer Reviewed Publications
Aubrey, J. S., Rhea, D., Olson, L., & Fine, M. (2013). Conflict and control: Examining the association between exposure to television portraying interpersonal conflict and the use of controlling behaviors in romantic relationships. Communication Studies, 64, 106-124. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2012.731465
Rhea, D. M. (2012). There they go again: The use of humor in presidential debates 1960-2008. Argumentation and Advocacy, 49, 115-131.
Emmers-Sommer, T. M., Triplett, L. H., Pauley, P. M., Hanzal A. D., & Rhea, D. M. (2005). The impact of film manipulation on attitudes toward women, realism, and integrity. Sex Roles, 52, 683-695.
Recent National/International Conference Presentations (2010 to Present)
Chattopadhyay, S., & Rhea, D. M. (2013). The dynamics of recall campaigns: An analysis of issue ownership theories in the 2012 WI recall gubernatorial debates. Paper accepted for presentation at the 2013 International Communication Association Convention, London, England, UK.
Chattopadhyay, S., & Rhea, D. M. (2012). Debating the issues: An analysis of issue ownership theory in the 2010 Wisconsin gubernatorial debates. Paper presented at the 2012 National Communication Association Convention, Orlando, FL.
Rhea, D. M., Chattopadhyay, S., & Davis, C. (2011). Exploring viewer effects of watching gubernatorial debates. Paper presented at the 2011 National Communication Association Convention, New Orleans, LA.
Rhea, D. M., & Gerrish, B. (2011). What candidates talk about in a gubernatorial general election: A comparative study of issue ownership in gubernatorial ads. Paper presented at the 2011 National Communication Association Convention, New Orleans, LA.
Chattopadhyay, S., & Rhea, D. M. (2011). Issue ownership in gubernatorial primary ads. Paper presented at the 2011 National Communication Association Convention, New Orleans, LA.
Rhea, D. M., Chattopadhyay, S., & Foley, M. (2011). Issue ownership in a gubernatorial primary election. Paper presented at the 2011 Central States Communication Association Convention, Milwaukee, WI.
Rhea, D. M. (2010). Laughter in the podium: Humor in presidential debates 1960-2008. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Convention, San Francisco, CA.
Teaching and Research Grants Received
2012 Digital Learning and Media Design FISK Grant Award Winner - Governors State University
- Project: Transmedia Storytelling of a Political Election Campaign
- Amount: $450.00
2010 University Research Grant Award Winner - Governors State University
- Project: Exploring content and effects of campaign messages in the 2010 Illinois and Wisconsin gubernatorial elections
- Amount: $1,245.00
2010 Digital Learning and Media Design FISK Grant Award Winner - Governors State University
- Project: Modernizing Research Methods Instruction
- Amount: $400.00