Dr. Angela McGowan-Kirsch, PhD

Ph.D., The University of Southern Mississippi


I joined the Fredonia faculty in 2015 after completing my PhD at The University of Southern Mississippi. As an associate professor of communication studies, I am passionate about teaching and fostering students’ creativity, critical thinking, and analytical skills. I enjoy mentoring and advising students, collaborating with undergraduates on their research projects, overseeing student internships, and designing in-person, synchronous, and asynchronous online courses. In these contexts, I remain committed to high standards, individual learning, and helping students achieve their full potential. In my courses, students gain skills that enable them to recognize how communication theories and concepts inform their daily interactions. In addition to teaching, I chair our campus chapter of the American Democracy Project. ADP is tasked with educating students to become engaged in civic issues through participatory democracy.

Teaching Interests

Communication and Leadership
Communication Theory
Mass Media and Society
Political Communication
Presidential Campaign Communication
Rhetoric and Criticism

Research Interests


Political communication 

College students’ democratic engagement 

Media literacy 

Women in politics

Awards and Honors

  • The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, SUNY Chancellor (The).
  • SUNY Fredonia FREDHeros, The State University of New York (2020).
  • Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador for Fredonia, State University of New York (2019).


  • Lumen Circles Fellowship
  • Build Your Online Class
  • Graduate Training and Development Certificate
  • Graduate Rhetorical Leadership Certificate

Professional Membership

  • League of Women Voters Buffalo Niagara
  • Organization for Feminist Research on Gender and Communication
  • Rhetoric Society for America
  • National Communication Association

Intellectual Contributions

  • "Fostering Inclusive Communities Through a Student-Constructed Open Pedagogy Textbook," College Teaching (2024).
  • "Educating emerging citizens: Media literacy as a tool for combating the spread of image-based misinformation," Communication Teacher (2023).
  • "Harnessing the power of three online learning tools: Best practices for student engagement in distance learning courses," COVID and Higher Education: Teaching and Learning (2022).
  • "Implementing campus-level programming: Pathways to online civic engagement," Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2022).
  • "Encouraging college student democratic engagement through a collaborative voter mobilization project," Journal of Communication Pedagogy (2021).
  • "Women in the 113th Senate cultivating the appearance of bipartisanship," Atlantic Journal of Communication (2021).
  • "Progressing Through Tuckman’s Phases in a Virtual College Classroom: Using Online Tools to Support Student Group Development," Post-pandemic pedagogy: Predicting the change to come (2021).
  • "Advocating a Preferred Legislative Style while Constituting a Bipartisan Collective Identity: Women Senators’ Strategic Use of Constitutive and Polarizing Rhetoric," Atlantic Journal of Communication (2019).
  • "Using Jon Stewart’s appearance on Crossfire to teach students about (in)civility and the Elaboration Likelihood Model," Communication in the classroom: A collection of G.I.F.T.S. (2017).
  • "Discovering Civil Discourse: Using the Online Public Sphere for Authentic Assessment," Communication Teacher (2014).


  • "Transforming Learning Through Implementation of Open Pedagogy: Two Case Studies," SUNY OER Summit (2023).
  • "Facilitating Peer and Instructor Interaction While Promoting Student Engagement," Conference on Instruction & Technology (2021).
  • "Advancing the Traditional Conceptualization of Feminine Style: A New Theory of Civility.," National Communication Association (2016).
  • "Rhetorical Strategies for Maintaining Bipartisanship and Civility in the U.S. Senate," National Communication Association (2016).
  • "The Confederate Flag’s Continued Ideographical Power," Rhetoric Society for America Biannual Conference (2016).