Penn State York

Penn State York Commencement

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Fall 2009 Commencement Speaker


Jane S. Sutton, B.A.,M.A.,Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Member of the Graduate Faculty at Penn State

Jane Sutton
Photo courtesy of Dave Swanson

Dr. Jane S. Sutton, associate professor of communication arts and sciences, began her Penn State career in 1984 at Penn State York and this year celebrates twenty-five years of service to the University. She is a member of the graduate faculty at the University and serves as the program coordinator for the communication arts and sciences program at Penn State York. She began her teaching career in 1974 in a high school near Montrose, Colorado, where she taught language arts classes and coached high school debate.

An internationally known expert on rhetoric, Dr. Sutton credits a college course thirty-five years ago for sparking her interest in, and study of, rhetoric. This course transformed her passion for competitive debate into an intellectual curiosity about rhetoric that has continued throughout her career.

During her tenure at York, Dr. Sutton has taught more than 117 sections of public speaking (CAS 100) as well as other courses including rhetorical theory, rhetorical criticism, language culture and society, American public address, contemporary American rhetoric, and business and professional communication.

Dedicated to her students, Dr. Sutton started a chapter of the National Communication Association Student Group (NCASG) at Penn State York and the Pi Rho Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, a national honor society, at the campus. She involves students in her research projects and has taken them to national conferences where they have presented papers and won awards.

Dr. Sutton earned a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Colorado in 1984. She earned a master of arts in Communication Arts and a bachelor of arts in Speech and Drama, with a minor in English literature, from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado.

She is the author of The House of My Sojourn: Rhetoric, Women, and the Question of Authority, Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2010, currently in press. She has more than thirty publications among them journal articles in international and national journals such as Rhetorica, Windsor Access to Justice, and Journal of International Women’s Studies as well as chapters in books, including references such as the Encyclopedia of Rhetoric. She has earned a number of awards and grants for her research, including a “Best Article Award” for her publication in Southern Communication Journal on women and rhetoric. She has been the recipient of several internal grants, such as the Institute for the Arts and Humanistic Studies.

She is a member of Penn State’s Center for Democratic Deliberation. She served as President of the Society for the History of Rhetoric and has been chair of the Rhetoric and Public Address Division of the Speech Communication Association of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sutton has served on the Commission for Women and chaired the York Faculty Senate.

Active in the community, Dr. Sutton has worked with various agencies clocking a number of hours with the Pennsylvania Institute of Banking, Speaker’s Bureau for YWCA, Neighborhood Resource Institute, Optimist Club, and United Way Agencies.

She resides in Glen Rock with her husband, Jerry Caslow.