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A native of Wyoming, Jeff Philpott has been a faculty member in the Communication Department since 1992. He has a Masters in Interpersonal Communication (with specializations in relationship dynamics and nonverbal communication) and a Ph.D. in Rhetorical Theory and Criticism (with a secondary emphasis in media criticism). His scholarly interests focus on the epistemic and sociological functions of rhetoric, particularly on the role of public narratives in shaping and transforming social knowledge and identity – in other words, how public communication shapes our understanding of the world and ourselves. His courses at SU have included Introduction to Rhetorical Reasoning, Persuasion, Advanced Rhetorical Theory, Advocacy and Social Change, Public Speaking (basic and advanced), Dynamics of Communication, and Reading Television. He has 18 years of experience as a competitive speaker/debater and as a college-level speech and debate coach and, since 1987, has maintained a small consulting practice helping engineers, architects, and business people improve their communication skills. He served as department chair from 1999 to 2005. Currently he is serving as the Seattle University Core Curriculum Director. Away from the university, his passions are hiking/camping/snowshoeing, cooking, and photography.