Department of Communication Studies

Ruth Beerman

For Ruth Beerman, UNI’s Communication Studies Graduate Program sparked a desire to continue her education.

As a student at UNI, Ruth was a Graduate Teaching Assistant, assistant debate coach, and research assistant. However, it was working with students both inside the classroom and one-on-one as a coach that inspired her. “I view teaching not only as what I can teach to my students, but what they can teach me, both about myself and the world around me.”  

If that wasn’t enough, Ruth also presented papers at the Iowa Communication Association conference, National Communication Association conference, and at the UNI Annual College of Humanities and Fine Arts Graduate Research Symposium.  She also won the top graduate paper award at ICA, gaining publication in the Iowa Journal of Communication.

However, Ruth didn’t get to where she is today, alone. “Working with Cate Palczewski, Victoria DeFrancisco, Karen Mitchell, and Martha Reineke really influenced my research interests as well as my decision to continue my education,” she states.  In particular, working closely with Dr. Palczewski encouraged Ruth to strive for more. “Cate always demanded the best of me but helped me to be my best and achieve my goals.

Ruth is currently a second year Ph.D. student in communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her area of focus is rhetoric, specifically rhetorics of identity and the body. Additionally, she teaches public speaking as a Teaching Assistant.   

In reflection of her time at UNI, Ruth encourages students to “take advantage of the opportunities around you, and make your coursework work for you. What you put into the course is what you will ultimately get out of it. For advanced degrees, the grades matter less than the utility of the work you produce. If all you can get out of a class is a grade, you are missing the multiple opportunities available.”