The Faculty Senate at Pennsylvania State University has elected Deborah F. Atwater to a four-year term as University Ombudsperson effective July 1, 2010. She succeeds David (Duff) Gold, Professor Emeritus of Geology, who has served as the interim Ombuds since February 2009.
Atwater is Associate Professor Emerita of Communications Arts and Sciences and African and African American Studies, having served as head of the PSU Department of African and African American Studies from 1996-2000. From 1988 until June 1995 she was Senior Faculty Mentor in the Center for Minority Graduate Opportunities and Faculty Development. In that role she worked with junior minority faculty to enhance their intellectual and professional growth through a wide range of mentoring, counseling, and peer development activities. Atwater's research and scholarly interests are in the areas of, but not limited to, Black rhetoric, African American Women’s rhetoric, and organizational and intercultural communication. She is past President of the Eastern Communication Association. Her works include more than 30 articles and book chapters, and two books, one titled The Rhetoric of Black Mayors: In Their Own Words, to be published August 2010. (PSU Senate Record; Faculty Profile.
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