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Carson Kay

Carson Kay

Assistant Professor
Communication Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Morgan Hall
Room 206
1700 SW College Ave
Topeka, KS 66621-1117
Degrees & Certifications
Berry College, Bachelor of Science
Ohio University, Master of Arts
Ohio University, Doctor of Philosophy
Academic History

Assistant Professor, Washburn University, 2022-Present
Lecturer, Washburn University, 2020-2022
Graduate Teaching Associate, Ohio University, 2016-2020

Course List
  • CN 101 Introduction to Communication Studies
  • CN 150 Public Speaking
  • CN 302 Communication Theory
  • CN 304 Qualitative Research Methods
  • CN 308 Organizational Communication
  • CN 309 Political Communication
  • CN 342 Communication in Teams and Groups
  • CN 395 Special Topics: Community Dialogue & Deliberation
  • CN 490 Directed Research
  • CN 498 Senior Capstone
  • CN 695 Special Topics: Community Dialogue & Deliberation
  • CN 698 Capstone
Scholarly Interests/Activities

As an engaged political rhetorician, my research integrates political communication, public dialogue, and public deliberation. Specifically, I explore the representations of political and politicized identities in contentious U.S. spaces and conversations. My current projects examine the rhetoric emerging in small group settings like the persuasive narratives shared in public dialogue sessions.

In my classrooms, I foster equitable and deliberative democratic practices to encourage critical thinking, active learning, and self-reflexive awareness. Through engaged pedagogy, I seek to co-create transformative moments with my students and provide opportunities for meaningful mentorship.

Service Interests/Activities

I am currently a member of Faculty Senate and the Institutional Review Board. Within the discipline, I have served in various organizations, including the National Communication Association (NCA), Southern States Communication Association (SSCA), and Novice National Forensics Association. Presently, I'm serving as the vice-chair elect of the SSCA Political Communication Division and secretary of the NCA Public Dialogue and Deliberation Division.

Career Accomplishments

There is no greater joy than witnessing a student apply their knowledge to make a difference in the world. From coaching students on their speech-writing skills to providing guidance on research projects, I maintain that seeing students thrive is my ultimate accomplishment as an educator.

To date, I have received formal recognition for my commitment to teaching, research, and service. Recent honors include the following:

  • 2021 Top Paper in Political Communication, Southern States Communication Association
  • 2021 Outstanding Young Alumni Award, Berry College Alumni Association
  • 2020 Waterhouse Family Institute Research Grant, Team Recipient, Villanova University
  • 2020 Top Student Paper in Political Communication, Southern States Communication Association
  • 2019 Peter Raposo Servant Leadership Award, Ohio University School of Communication Studies

Recent and Forthcoming Publications

Kay, C. S. (2022). Social media spectacle: Reconceptualizing the medium and the message of online political spectacles. Ohio Communication Journal, 60, 110-126. 

Black, L. W., Wolfe, A. W., Kay, C. S., & Chalupa, J. (2021). Group deliberation: Weighing options. In S. Beck, M. S. Poole, & J. Keyton (Eds), The Emerald handbook of group and team communication research (pp. 261-274). Emerald Publishing.

Kay, C. S., & Mishne, E. W. (2020). What we value: Trends in value appeals of Interstate Oratory Contest final round speeches. National Forensic Journal, 37, 93-120.

Kay, C. S. (2019). White-washed and/or blackfaced?: The roles of public memory, racial (re)presentation, and white guilt in memorialization of Black Confederate soldiers. Carolinas Communication Annual, 35, 1-16.

Lippert, A., & Kay, C. S. (2019). Click for Dixie: Virtual plantation tours’ use of white nostalgia and directed narrative experience. In R. Lizardi (Ed.), Subjective experiences of interactive nostalgia (pp. 105-128). Peter Lang. 

Certificate of Teaching and Learning 2020-2021

Certificate of Inclusive Teaching and Learning 2020-2021

Certificate of Teaching and Learning 2021-2022

Certificate of Inclusive Teaching and Learning 2021-2022

Certificate of Teaching and Learning 2022-2023

Certificate of Inclusive Teaching and Learning 2022-2023

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