Dr. Richard Besel

Richard Besel

Professor and Chair


Office Location

Faculty Offices North (47) 33-B

Office Telephone


Email Address



  • Classical Rhetorical Theory
  • Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
  • Environmental Communication
  • Media Criticism
  • Persuasion
  • Public Speaking
  • Rhetoric of Science
  • Rhetorical Criticism
  • Science Communication


  • Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign
  • M.A.  University of Illinois, Chicago
  • B.A.  North Central College


Dr. Besel joined the department in 2007. Before serving in his role as department chair, he was director of the Interdisciplinary Studies in the Liberal Arts (ISLA) Program and the Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Program. His areas of expertise include rhetorical theory, history, and criticism; environmental communication; science communication; media studies; and political communication. He is co-editor, with Dr. Jnan Blau, of Performance on Behalf of the Environment, published in 2014 by Lexington Books. A second book, co-edited with Dr. Bernard K. Duffy, titled Green Voices: Defending Nature and the Environment in American Civic Discourse, was published in 2016 by SUNY Press. His work also appears in a variety of books and journals, including Applied Environmental Education and Communication; Communication TheoryEnvironmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and CultureJournal of Risk Research; Making Connections: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Cultural DiversityScience in Context; and the Southern Communication Journal. Some of his publications are available at https://works.bepress.com/rbesel. In 2010, Dr. Besel was the department’s Teacher of the Year and recipient of the California Faculty Association’s Distinguished Educator Award. In 2012, Dr. Besel was recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Richard K. Simon Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship. He also received the College of Liberal Arts Early Career Award for Achievement in Teaching in 2016. He is a past president of the National Communication Association’s Environmental Communication Division.

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