Consultants

Phillip Arceneaux, PhD

Phil is assistant professor of Strategic Communication at Miami University. He earned his Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Florida and a Master of Science in Communication from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Phil’s research is in the intersection between political public relations and public policy, at both the international and U.S. domestic policy levels. He teaches courses in public relations writing and political communication. Phil’s has consulted on public relations and digital engagement with a variety of agencies across the United States federal government, including the U.S. Department of State, Naval Academy, and Central Intelligence Agency. He has also served as a policy research consultant for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Tasha Dunn, PhD

Tasha R. Dunn has been a communication professor, researcher, and practitioner for over 15 years. She currently holds a professorship in communication studies at the University of Toledo and has 3 degrees in communication, including a Ph.D., which she earned in 2015 from the University of South Florida. Tasha’s research focuses on the complex and increasingly interwoven relationship between media and life. Her work has been published in a variety of scholarly outlets, including Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, The Journal of Social Media in Society, the International Review of Qualitative Research, the Journal of Autoethnography, and more. She is also the author of an international award-winning book, Talking White Trash (Routledge, 2019).

Tasha teaches a wide variety of courses, including interpersonal communication, social media, public speaking, communication theory, research methods, critical media studies, gender communication, and more. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Tasha worked as a Promotions and Marketing Director for a media company. She also has extensive experience facilitating conversations about and consulting organizations on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Mike Lee, PhD

Michael J. Lee teaches and writes in the areas of political communication and rhetoric at the College of Charleston. His research focuses on branding, identity, and audience responsiveness in American politics, and his work has earned over a dozen awards including five national book awards for Creating Conservatism: Postwar Words that Made an American Movement. He is regularly invited to speak at universities around the country and interviewed often in print and tv media.

In the classroom, Mike teaches courses in persuasion including public speaking, argumentation, effective messaging, political campaigns, media and politics, and many others. He created an intensive, year-long course on written and oral eloquence that has been taken by thousands of students. He also has extensive experience teaching online and directs a fully online MA program in communication.

Mikaela Malsin, PhD

Mikaela is the director of debate at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Georgia in 2016 and has been coaching debate and teaching public speaking for over a decade. In that time, she has worked with a wide range of clients, from government officials to international students. She has also coached debate at the highest levels in both college and high school.

Keiko Nishimura, PhD

Keiko Nishimura received her Ph.D. in Communication (Cultural Studies) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Nishimura received her MA and BA in Global Studies from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. Her research and teaching focus on media and technology with a particular interest in the socio-cultural history of postwar and contemporary Japan. She has nearly a decade of teaching experience in media and public speaking in Japan and the United States, including the University of North Carolina, Sophia University, Aoyama Gakuin University, and The Council on International Educational Exchange.

Alisha Menzies, PhD

Dr. Alisha L. Menzies is an Assistant Professor of Communication and the Program Director of the Communication, Media, and Culture Program in the Department of Communication at the University of Tampa. Her cultural studies and intercultural research focuses on the relationship between mediated popular culture (reality TV, television, social media, film) and lived experiences. She explores how mediated representations of intersectional identity inform intercultural interactions.

Alisha has 15 years of teaching experience in a variety of course, including mass media and society, visual literacy, speech for business professional, communication ethics, gender communication, public speaking, cultural studies, and health communication.

Brett Ommen, PhD

Brett graduated from Northern Illinois University, where he was a national quarterfinalist and state champion in public speaking. He received his Ph.D. in Communication (Rhetoric & Public Culture) from Northwestern University. He has nearly 20 years of teaching experience at a range of universities, including Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, Chicago, the University of North Dakota, and Loyola University Chicago.

Rosemary Pennington, PhD

Rosemary Pennington is a journalism professor at Miami University. Before entering academia, she was an award winning journalist recognized for her ability to tell complex stories well. Pennington received her MA and PhD from Indiana University and she holds a BS from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. A researcher who employs both quantitative and qualitative methodologies in her work, Pennington teaches classes designed to help her students become effective communicators and storytellers.

Christopher Thomas, PhD

Christopher is an assistant professor of Communication at SUNY Brockport in upstate New York. He earned his Ph.D. in Communication, Culture, and Engagement as well as a certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Diversity Studies from the University of Iowa and a MA in Communication from Wake Forest University. Christopher’s research focuses on local and community-level organizing, identity, and strategic messaging within American politics. He teaches courses in political communication, debate and advocacy, business communication, public relations, intercultural communication, and environmental messaging.

Outside the classroom, Christopher has consulted on public relations, community outreach, brand and organizational identity, and public speaking with a variety of local and national organizations, including Moms Demand Action, 1000 Grannies, and Moms Out Front. He also has experience developing and facilitating programming related to diversity, equity, and inclusion for various organizations.

Megan Wood, PhD

Megan M. Wood is a doctoral candidate and research fellow in the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research and teaching focus on media, culture, and U.S. politics. Her current book-length project argues for the value thinking transformations in political economy and domains of civic practice through the lens of popular culture. As an advocate of transdisciplinary, collaborative, and issue-oriented inquiry, Megan has authored, co-authored, and presented dozens of articles, book chapters, reports, and training materials on the role of culture and identity in shaping interactions and transforming institutions. She currently teaches a variety of courses on topics related to the interplay of media, culture, and politics to undergraduate students at UNC and through the Friday Center for Continuing Education, which offers educational services to people incarcerated in North Carolina correctional institutions. As a consultant, Megan specializes in values-based storytelling, effective visual messaging, and communicating across political and cultural divides.