Major Decisions: College, Career, and the Case for the Humanities

Ramsey, Michele_05_28_19_011_CL_WEB USE.

Laurie Grobman is a professor of English and women's studies at Penn State, Berks. She founded the Professional Writing major (now Writing and Digital Media) at the college. 


Grobman's teaching, research, and service interests center on community-engaged scholarship and teaching, bringing together students and community organizations to produce meaningful work while enriching students' learning experiences. She and her students have worked closely with the city of Reading, Central Pennsylvania African American Museum in Reading, Centro Hispano in Reading, Jewish Federation of Reading, and the Olivet Boys & Girls Club of Reading.

She founded Young Scholars in Writing: Undergraduate Research in Writing and Rhetoric, now in its 17th consecutive year of publication, and the international, multidisciplinary online journal, Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research. She's won a number of awards for her teaching, research, and service, including the 2014 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Outstanding Baccalaureate Colleges Professor of the Year.

Laurie has published six books, including two edited collections in 2015: Pedagogies of Public Memory: Teaching Writing and Rhetoric at Museums, Archives, and Memorials (co-edited with Jane Greer), and Service Learning and Literary Studies in English (co-edited with Roberta Rosenberg). She also has more than 40 published, peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

E. Michele Ramsey is associate professor of communication arts and sciences and women’s studies at Penn State, Berks. She founded the major in Communication Arts and Sciences at the college.


Her research interests include: feminist media and rhetorical criticism; political communication, with a focus on women’s rights rhetoric; social movements; and the rhetoric of American horror film. She teaches courses in public speaking, the rhetoric of American horror film, conflict management, gender roles in communication, and political communication. She's also taught rhetoric and persuasion at the American University of Paris and Gender and Leadership in the online MBA program at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.


She has won a number of local, college, university, and national awards for her teaching, research, and service, including: the 2001 Cheris Kramarae Dissertation Award and the 2017 Feminist Mentor/Teacher Award from the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender; the 2016 Junior League of Reading Community Partnership Award; the 2015 Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award and the 2010 Achieving Woman Award (Faculty) from the Penn State University's Commission for Women, 2010; the 2008 Excellence in Curricular Integration Award from the Penn State Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual Equity.


Her scholarship has appeared in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Western Journal of Communication, Feminist Media Studies, Women’s Studies in Communication, Women and Language, Journal for the Association of Communication Administration, Journal of Media Literacy Education, Journal of Religion and Business Ethics, Communication Teacher, Teaching Ideas for the Basic Course, and the Encyclopedia of Health and Risk Management Design and Processing. She is also regularly quoted in a variety of popular press essays on issues surrounding her teaching and research.