My name is Valerie Lynn Schrader and I’m a doctoral candidate in the Rhetoric and Public Culture area of Communication Studies. My primary research interests include political rhetoric (especially presidential), the rhetoric of social movements (especially the Labor Movement), new media and rhetoric, and theatre as equipment for everyday living. My secondary area is instructional communication. For my dissertation, I am studying how social movement leadership and hegemony are portrayed rhetorically in the Broadway musical Wicked, and how political messages can change through performance. I also absolutely love to teach, and I enjoy incorporating a lot of community-action learning activities in my classes. Next year, I will be an assistant professor at Penn State Schuylkill in Communication Arts and Sciences.
I’m originally from the Pittsburgh area, and after graduating from Penn State (University Park) with my B.A. in Communication Arts and Sciences, I moved to Chicago for a year to work in marketing. During my junior year of college, I interned at the AFL-CIO in Washington, DC, where I had the privilege of writing speeches for the Director of Field Mobilization. I come from a politically-active union family, and my interests in political rhetoric and the Labor Movement stem from my background. I also have an extensive background in vocal performance and a moderate background in acting, which have influenced my interests in performance and theatre studies. Since moving to Athens, I have sung with the Ohio University Choral Union, performed various solos at the First United Methodist Church in Athens, taken classical voice lessons at Ohio University, and performed in Athenian Players Theatre's (now Athenian Berean Community Players) productions of The Boy Friend, Li'l Abner, and Quilters. I have also directed a play, Little Women, in the winter of 2010 for ABC Players. I am the current usher coordinator and secretary for theatre group and I am a member of the First United Methodist Church in Athens.
In June 2006, I married my college sweetheart, Mike, who holds two baccalaureate degrees from Penn State and has recently graduated from the MPA program here at Ohio University. Mike and I have a 3-year-old black-and-white cat named Fiyero. My parents and grandmother still live in the Pittsburgh area, where my father is Township Supervisor. I have one younger sister, Michelle, who is a second grade teacher for the Canon-McMillan School District. My hobbies include singing, acting, doing yoga and dance, traveling, and watching Nittany Lions and Steelers football games.
(Note: Photo on the right was taken by Morristowne Photography during Athenian Berean Community Players' production of "Quilters.")