Meet the Faculty

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown, Professor

OfficeSE114
Fax541.885.1520

Kevin James Brown earned an associate degree from Ricks College, bachelor's degree from Idaho State University, master's degree from Washington State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Dr. Brown is particularly interested in the areas of organizational communication, group interaction, and dispute resolution. His current research agenda centers around why people join and stay in organizations, the communication patterns of digital natives, and sports communication. Dr. Brown is also the advisor for Students In Communication (SIC), a chapter of the nationally recognized student organization for students. He advises the campus radio station, KTEC, and also, is the advisor for the Native American Student Union (NASU). In addition, Dr. Brown is also Coach Brown, coach of the Oregon Tech Hittin' Hooters mens rugby team.

Marilyn Dyrud

Marilyn Dyrud, Professor

OfficeOW109
Fax541.885.1654
Marilyn Dyrud is eclectic in her research interests, which include electronic communication, engineering ethics, and the Holocaust. She is active in three professional organizations: the American Society for Engineering Education, Association for Business Communication, and the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. In ASEE, she has been active as section newsletter editor and chair, Zone IV chair, and a member of the organization’s Board of Directors.  In 2008, she was recognized as a Fellow of ASEE and has received the Engineering Technology Division’s top awards: McGraw Award (2010) and Berger Award (2013). She has also served as program chair and division chair for the Engineering Ethics Division.

In ABC, she chairs the Teaching Committee and is regional vice-president for the West region. She is also a section editor for the Business and Professional Communication Quarterly and regularly gives papers at the annual conference, as well as organizing and moderating a session featuring ABC’s Outstanding Teacher Award winners.  She has received ABC’s Distinguished Member Award (2006) and the Spirit of ABC Award (2012).

In APPE, she is a regular conference presenter and moderator for the Ethics Bowl, a pre-conference student competition.  She also is proceedings editor.

Over the years, Dr. Dyrud has given more than 150 conference presentations on subjects ranging from business and technical communication to engineering ethics. She has published in a variety of engineering-related journals, as well as business communication journals and a number of assorted conference proceedings. She currently serves on the editorial boards for four journals, is communications editor for the Journal of Engineering Technology and a technical editor for the International Association for Journals and Conferences.
 
Andria Fultz

Andria Fultz, Assistant Professor

OfficeWilsonville
Fax503.625.2497
Franny Howes

Franny Howes, Assistant Professor

OfficeSE121
Fax541.885.1520

Franny Howes received her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing from Virginia Tech in 2014. She also has an M.A. in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing and a B.A. in Social Relations from Michigan State. (Go green.)

Franny is the creator of the comic “Oh Shit, I’m in Grad School!”, a graduate of the Adventure School for Ladies, and a member of the Ladydrawers Comics Collective. She is an accomplished lace knitter and handspinner, a former Jeopardy! contestant, and an Americorps VISTA alum. Her experiences as a rhetorician, a comics creator, and a crafter all contribute to her pedagogy.  At Oregon Tech, Franny teaches Technical Report Writing (WRI 227), Advanced Technical Writing (WRI 327), Documentation Development (WRI 350), Document Design (WRI 420), and Communication and Technology (COM 109).

Veronica Koehn

Veronica Koehn, Assistant Professor

OfficeSE113
Fax541.885.1520

Veronica Koehn was born and raised in the Denver, CO, area.  She earned her B.A. in English Writing from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2001, her M.A. in Communication from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2002, and her Ph.D. in Human Communication Studies at the University of Denver in early 2010.  Her Ph.D. work and her dissertation focused on rhetorical ethics and culture.  She came to OIT in Fall 2012. 

Veronica teaches a variety of courses on-campus, including:

  • Small Group and Team Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication,
  • Intercultural Communication,
  • Introduction to Communication Research,
  • Introduction to Communication Theory,
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Public Speaking
  • Gender and Communication

In addition, she teaches the online Small Group and Team course at least once per year, and, with Dr. Dan Peterson, is currently piloting the new online Public Speaking course.

Veronica chairs OIT’s Assessment Commission and is extensively involved with university assessment, in particular the Diverse Perspectives outcome.

Finally, Veronica also serves as the Faculty Advisor for Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association’s Student Honor Society.  If you are a junior and have at least a 3.25 GPA, come by and see her to learn more about the honor society.

Kari Lundgren

Kari Lundgren, Assistant Professor

OfficeSE117
Fax541.885.1520
Kari Lundgren earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University under the joint direction of sociolinguist Barbara Johnstone and rhetorician Andreea Deciu Ritivoi. In her research, Dr. Lundgren (aka “Dr. K”) focuses on how rhetorical and linguistic choices influence who is considered a legitimate voice in the public life of communities—that is, who can speak and be heard. Her interest in the role micro-rhetorical features play in both written and oral argumentation informs her teaching of writing and public speaking. 
 
Dr. K’s path may look a little different from the ‘typical’ English prof: in high school, she preferred math to English; in college, she studied philosophy and never took a writing class; and in her Ph.D. dissertation, she used quantitative evidence (including graphs!) in her analysis of how women write about Catholic nuns. Her favorite video game series is Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda.
 
Dr. K currently teaches WRI 121, WRI 122, and SPE 111.
 
Dan Peterson

Dan Peterson, Professor, Department Chair

OfficeSE118
Fax541.885.1520
Dan Peterson has a Ph.D.in Organizational Communication from Ohio University as well as an M.A. in Mass Media Studies and a B.A. in Public Relations, both from Brigham Young University.

Dr. Peterson is passionate about instruction and training. He teaches a variety of communication courses at Oregon Tech, including organizational communication, small group and team communication, intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, public relations, and public speaking, among others. Beyond teaching in the classroom, he enjoys working on consulting, training, and instructional design projects for nonprofit, for-profit, and government organizations. His current research interests are in organizational culture, small business development, and public speaking pedagogy. He is also involved in campus-wide governance and service. On a personal note, he enjoys gardening, traveling, cooking, music, and family.
 
Matt Schnackenberg

Matt Schnackenberg, Professor

OfficeSE112
Fax541.885.1520

Matt Schnackenberg received a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from Washington State University. In his scholarship he pursues pedagogy in public speaking and composition, application of ancient rhetorics to contemporary contexts, and cultural reception of comic books (he has written about Captain America, but his favorite to read is Hellboy). His personal interests range from good espresso to bad spoken word poetry, and recently he has begun to learn yoga, which is really hard. 

Dr. Schnackenberg teaches SPE: 111, SPE 314: Argumentation, WRI 121, WRI 122, WRI 123: Research Writing, WRI 227, COM 276: Media and Democracy, and COM 301: Rhetorical Theory and Application.
 
Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz, Assistant Professor

OfficeSE122
Fax541.885.1520
Robin J. Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Communication, received his B.A. in Music Education in 1978 and his M.A. in Education Administration in 1988, both from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. 

 Robin began at OIT in 1998, and particularly enjoys teaching freshman-level courses in writing and public speaking. Robin has taught countless sections of these courses in his seventeen years at OIT.

His creative interests center around music, and in 2001 he created the OIT Choir, which meets twice weekly and performs regularly in the Klamath Falls area.

People are often surprised to learn that Robin plays and sings in a Bee Gees tribute band, and is the long-time director of the Klamath Chorale, the community’s adult choir. His office at OIT is a shrine to singer Tony Bennett.

Robin teaches the following courses: WRI 115, WRI 121, WRI 122, SPE 111, and MUS 197.
 
Matt Search

Matt Search, Associate Professor

OfficeWilsonville
Fax541.885.1520

Matthew Search began his career as a technical writer and corporate communication specialist.  He holds an MA in Instructional Systems from the University of Central Florida and a PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from Iowa State University; if you made a Venn diagram with those degrees, the overlap would be “strategic, intentional, information design.” His primary research interests are in business communication ethics and the adaptation of traditional classroom methods to distance education venues; he teaches general education writing courses at the Oregon Tech Wilsonville campus. 

Dr. Christopher J. Syrnyk

Dr. Christopher J. Syrnyk, Assistant Professor, Director of the Honors Program

OfficeSE111
Fax541.885.1520
Christopher J. Syrnyk earned his B.A. and first M.A. from the University of Oregon, in Russian, and his second M.A., in English, from Virginia Tech. He earned his Ph.D. in English: Composition and Rhetoric, and a Ph.D. Minor in Cultural Studies and Literary Theory, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Syrnyk is a native Oregonian and glad to be back in his favorite state.

Dr. Syrnyk enjoys teaching foundational writing courses in the Communication Department, as well as select courses in the Communication Studies major. Syrnyk is the Director of theOregon Tech Honors Program: if you are interested in the Honors Program, email him!

Dr. Syrnyk currently serves as Chair of the Oregon Writing and English Advisory Committee (OWEAC): a statewide organization that focuses on writing pedagogy and policy in the state of Oregon.

On campus, Dr. Syrnyk also takes great pleasure serving as the program advisor for Oregon Tech Broadcasting—watch The Parliament, Mondays, at 5p.m.!

This year, Dr. Syrnyk began teaching for Oregon Tech Online, which he has found to be a great experience: “I enjoy the online teaching environment—the students are diverse, intelligent, and very thoughtful.”

His research interests include writing program administration, first-year composition, and the rhetoric of science and medicine. He is also interested in rights-based argumentation, recognition theory, the animal question, and the intersection of ethics and rhetoric.

Dr. Syrnyk teaches WRI 121, WRI 122, COM 216, SPE 111, COM 246, COM 407 (“Communicating Science”), as well as various courses and seminars for the Honors Program.
 
Christian Vukasovich

Christian Vukasovich, Assistant Professor

OfficeSE116
Fax541.885.1520

Christian Alexander Vukasovich is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Department, with a Ph.D. in Media and Communication from Bowling Green State University (2012), an M.A. in Communication Studies from Eastern Michigan University (2006), and a B.S. in Public Relations from Eastern Michigan University (1999). 

He has taught at Oregon Tech since 2013, and currently teaches courses that include: Introduction to Communication Studies (COM104); Mass Communication (COM115); Visual Communication (COM237); International Media (COM207); Propaganda, Media Representation, & War (COM407); Intercultural Communication (COM205); Small Group and Team Communication (SPE321); and Public Speaking (SPE111).

Vukasovich has conducted international field research in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, and conducts research focusing on media studies, international and intercultural communication, political economy of media, propaganda studies, as well as issues of identity in inter- and cross-cultural contexts. He has recently published an article on the national news agency Tanjug in the International Communication Gazette, and has most recently presented papers at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), the International Communication Association (ICA), the National Communication Association (NCA), as well as the Northwest Communication Association (NWCA).

 

Linda Young

Linda Young, Professor

OfficeSE115
Fax541.885.1520
Professor Linda Young teaches a wide range of courses in the Communication Department.  Her research interests include creative communication, Japanese media/anime/manga and media images generally, and teaching composition.  Her doctoral work focused on reflection and the role it plays in the college writing experience. Over the years, Dr. Young has given workshop presentations on teaching written composition, reflection, institutional assessment, and faculty development.  Her hobbies include traveling, singing, writing, and playing city building games like Caesar.  Someday, she would like to design a video game that involves a compelling educational journey instead of people shooting each other.