Debra L. Petersen portrait

Debra L. Petersen

Associate Professor
B.A., University of Minnesota-Morris
M.A., Colorado State University
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
OEC 110
(651) 962-5828
Mail 5011
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

    Professor Petersen teaches Communication of Race, Class and Gender, Rhetorical Criticism, Political Communication, Public Speaking, and Hawai’i:  Multi-Cultural Communication in Diverse Organizations. 

Scholarship and service: 
Professor Petersen is the faculty advisor for the UST chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the communication honorary.   She is also a member of the Women’s Studies Committee, the Service Learning Advisory Board, and the Sustainability Curriculum Committee.  She chairs the University Discipline Committee.   She was director of the Luann Dummer Center for Women from 2000-2006.  

Prof. Petersen’s awards include:  the 2011-2012 UST Global Citizenship Faculty award for commitment to international and intercultural awareness throughout the UST community; the 2010-2011 UST Distinguished Educator Award for outstanding dedication to the student body;  the 2011 Sister Pat Kowalski Women’s Leadership Award in appreciation for Service to Women at UST;  the Minnesota Campus Compact Presidents’ Award in 2011;  and, the UST Outstanding Faculty in Service-Learning Award, 2009-2010, for her service on the Service-Learning Advisory Board and the significant Service-Learning projects in many of her courses.  

Prof. Petersen’s research interests include political campaigns, gender/race/class/sexual identity and public communication, and, the rhetoric of First Ladies.  She recently attended the Association of Women in Sports Media (AWSM) annual conference and the International Environmental Communication Association Annual Conference in Uppsala, Sweden. 

Summer 2014 Courses

Summer 2014 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2014 Courses

Fall 2014 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
COJO 100 - 03 Public Speaking M - W - - 1525 - 1700 BEC 113
CRN: 41668 4 Credit Hours Preparation, presentation, and evaluation of original speeches by each student throughout the semester; special emphasis given to selecting and researching topics, organizing evidence, analyzing audiences, sharpening style and tone, communicating ethically and listening critically. This class may be taken Communication and Journalism majors only with the permission of the department chair.
COJO 212 - 01 Rhetorical Criticism M - W - - 1335 - 1510 BEC 113
CRN: 40780 4 Credit Hours This course teaches students to become more critical consumers and producers of public messages. Students will examine a mix of historical and contemporary examples of persuasive communication in order to develop an awareness of the rhetorical power of messages in everyday life. Critical tools will be covered to help the student learn how to approach a communicative act systematically, identifying crucial interactions and suggesting ways of understanding how those interactions function. The emphasis on critical consumption also enables students to become more effective creators of public messages. Prerequisite: COJO 111 or permission of instructor
COJO 338 - 01 Political Communication M - - - - 1800 - 2130 BEC 113
CRN: 42414 4 Credit Hours Political Communication is a survey of how politicians use various communication strategies, particularly during campaigns, in local, state and national elections to influence public and legislative audiences. Examination of oral presentations, electronic media, written materials, and web-based appeals will be central to the course. Students will apply theory to specific political situations and candidates, will conduct interviews, and will write papers and make presentations on their findings. Prerequisite: COJO 212 or junior standing

J-Term 2015 Courses

J-Term 2015 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location