Associate Professor of Communication;
Chair of Academic Division IV
Draper Building, 208B
Friday by appointment
- COM 315 (Mon/Wed: 12:40 pm – 2:30 pm)
- BA, Berea College, 1998
- MA, Georgia State University, 2002
- PhD, University of Kentucky, 2006
I am a Berean in all senses of the word. After growing up in the northeast Georgia mountains, I came to Berea in 1994 as a student and majored in English. While at Berea, I served as a teaching assistant, a media services specialist, and debated on Berea’s speech and debate team. After graduating Berea, I was excited to leave and conquer the world of law school and become the “Matlock” I always wanted to be as a kid. I was accepted to Tulane University’s School of Law, but the week before I was to attend, I had a family emergency and had to postpone my plans. During that year, I worked as a newspaper reporter and fell in love with journalism and public relations, which changed my career path. I decided to skip law school and pursue my Masters in Communication at Georgia State University, where I specialized in gender communication and media studies. After graduating with my Masters in 2002, I attended the University of Kentucky’s PhD program. I was lucky enough to be granted a teaching assistantship at both graduate institutions, and I fell in love with the classroom and teaching students.
The fates aligned while I was at UK, and I learned that Berea was about to start a Communication program and they needed someone to teach as a sabbatical replacement for a year. After serious reflection and hearing that Berea College was starting a Communication program, I decided I wanted to try and come back “home.” As a student who benefited immensely from Berea’s mission and dedication to bettering the lives of its students, I knew my calling was to give back to an institution that nurtured me and return as part of the Berea family. Long story short, I finished my PhD in 2006 and was ready to relocate anywhere in the United States. So, you may ask, why did I choose to stay at Berea College in the middle of Kentucky when the world was my proverbial oyster? Two words: our students. I could not imagine teaching anywhere else or anyone else. The wide-eyed eagerness to learn and grow I see every fall from students just like I was back in 1994 has solidified my work at Berea. I’m here to give back to a mission that privileged me with the voice, the choice and the ability to serve.
I live in Berea with my husband Mickey and our two chugs (chihuahua/pug mix) Winnie and Pearl. I’ve recently expanded my Berea experience to include my passion for journalism by spearheading a new Broadcast Journalism program and a new Berea radio station, started in Fall of 2015. Combined, the COM program is now home of WBER: Berea College News and Radio, and I couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. I also have a passion for coaching Berea’s speech and debate team for the past fourteen years. Lastly, in all my spare time, I’ve developed a love for gardening and home projects. So, you’ll either find me in our production studio, on the road with the debate team, or in Lowes.
Honors and Awards
- Top Paper Award, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, 2013
- Kentucky Forensics Association Coach of the Year, 2013
- Paul C. Hager Excellence in Advising Award at Berea College for 2010-2011
- Kentucky Forensics Association Coach of the Year, 2011
- “Power of One Award” for outstanding mentorship – Berea College Black Cultural Center, 2008
- “Dwight Freshley Outstanding New Teacher Award” from the Southern States Communication Association, 2007
- “Distinguished Volunteer Award” from Madison County Safety Coalition, 2006
- Kentucky Forensics Association Coach of the Year, 2006
- “Dedicated Faculty Member Award,” Senior Class of Berea College 2006
- “David Carter Outstanding Forensics Coach of the Year” Award, 2004-2005
- Outstanding Faculty Member (Black Student Union, Berea College), 2003
- Top Student Paper Award, Central States Communication Association Conference, 2003
- Top Student Paper Award, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference (Women’s Caucus), 2002
- AIDS Education and Awareness Volunteer of the Year (Atlanta), 2001
- Secretary of Southern Forensics Division, Southern States Communication Association, 2004-2005
- Vice-President of Kentucky Forensics Association (KFA), 2004
- Outstanding Faculty Member (Black Student Union, Berea College), 2003
- Top Student Paper Award, CSCA Conference, 2003
- Top Student Paper Award, AEJMC Conference (Women’s Caucus), 2002
Professional Elected Offices
- Division Chair of Communication, English, Foreign Languages, Music, and Theatre, 2014-Present
- President of the Board of Directors of the New Opportunity School for Women, January 2012-Present
- Marketing Chair of the New Opportunity School for Women, January 2010-Present
- Secretary/Treasurer of the Kentucky Forensics Association, February 2007-Present
- Women and Gender Studies Steering Committee, 2005-Present
Publications, Papers and Conference Presentations
Wooten, B. Historicizing change: A Brechtian & Habermasian review of Robbie McCauley’s “Sally’s Rape.” Women and Language.
Ramona R. Rush, Carol E., Oukrop, Katharine Sarikakis, Julie Andsager, Billy Wooten, & E-K Daufin (Winter 2005). Junior Scholars in Search for Equity for Women and Minorities, Journalism & Communication Monographs, 6 (1).
Wooten, B. (2004). Peering through the ceiling of the boy’s club: Examining how masculinity affects journalism, in Rush, R.R., Oukrop, C.E., & Creedon, P. (eds.). The search for equity: Women in journalism and mass communication education. Mahwah, NJ, Erlbaum, 129-148.
Papers and Conference Presentations
“Christian values in fast food: Chick-Fil-A Case Study in Homophobia” – Northeast Public Relations Conference in 2014
“Flash mobs as social media marketing: A theatrical approach to web-based public relations” – Social Media Marketing Conference by Skill Paths, October 2014
“A shift toward chaos: The use of graphic imagery in the Boston Massacre coverage” – AEJMC Conference, August 2014
“Diversifying the Forensics Community” – The University of Louisville Communication Conference, October 2013
“Broadcasting Hype: New Program Challenges for Liberal Arts” – Association for the Education of Journalism and Mass Communication, August 2013
“Building solid bridges: The relationship between community partners and service learning faculty and students” – University of North Carolina’s Service Learning Symposium, May 2012
“Hypermasculinity in the classroom: An impetus for furthering the gender gap in higher education” – Butler University’s Annual Undergraduate Research Conference, April, 2012
“Incorporating Civic Engagement through Service Learning in the Classroom” – Periclean Leadership Conference, April 2011 in NYC
“Building Bridges Between Debate and Individual Events: Crafting and Identifying Coaching Techniques and Strategies to Build Squad Cohesion” – National Communication Association November, 2010 in San Francisco, CA.
“Bridging the Instructional Divide: Enhancing Communication Courses through the Use of Film Projects” – National Communication Association November, 2010 in San Francisco, CA.
“Incorporating Civic Engagement through Service Learning in the Classroom” – Periclean Leadership Conference April, 2010 in NYC.
“Partnerships that Prepare Students for Political Engagement and Participation” – Association of American Colleges and Universities October, 2009 in Minneapolis, MN
“Service Learning in the Public Relations Curriculum” – Symposium on PR Education – AD Cincinnati May 2009
“Third Wave Praxis: The Power of Personal Narrative” – Southern States Communication Association (Hereafter, SSCA) April, 2008 in Savannah, GA
“Historicizing Change: A Brechtian & Habermasian Review of Robbie McCauley’s Sally’s Rape” –SSCA April, 2006 in Dallas, TX
“Drowning the Female Blaze: Examining Gender Inequality in Newspaper Coverage of the September 11, 2001 Attack on America” – SSCA April, 2004 in Tampa, FL
“Bridging the Activist Gap between Academe and Media” – Central States Communication Association conference March, 2003 in Omaha, NE
“The Female Gaze and Third Wave Feminism” – Purdue University Third Wave Symposium 2002, Lafayette, IN
“Manifesta: The Third Wave” – University of Kentucky Research Symposium 2002, Lexington, KY
“Peering through the Glass Ceiling of the Boy’s Club: Examining the Status of Women and Minorities in Journalism and Mass Communication Education” – Association for the Education of Journalism and Mass Communication, 2002, Miami, FL
“Pleasure & Empowerment: A New Female Narrative in Advertising” – SSCA, 2001, in Lexington, KY
“Transgressing Sociocultural Patriarchy: A New Narrative of Domestic Violence in the Film Dolores Claiborne” – Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender, Milwaukee, WI
“Obsession for Men: Capturing Female Identity” – American Communication Association, 2000, Louisville, KY
Forensics Awards (National & Regional)
- Project Pericles’ Debate for Democracy Legislative National Champions (2008, 2010, 2013)
- 2014-2015 – Traveled to nine tournaments and captured 110 awards (4 state titles)
- 2013-2014 – Traveled to 12 tournaments and captured 210 awards (8 state titles and 12 national titles)
- 2012-2013 – Traveled to six tournaments and captured 63 awards (2 state titles)
- 2011-2012 – Traveled to nine tournaments and captured 80 awards (3 state titles)
- 2010-2011 Season – Traveled to nine tournaments and captured 75 awards (7 state titles)
- 2009-2010 Season – Traveled to nine tournaments and captured 84 awards (2 state titles)
- 2008-2009 Season – Traveled to nine tournaments and captured 53 awards (3 state titles)
- 2007-2008 Season – Traveled to nine tournaments and captured 74 awards (2 state titles)
- 2006-2007 Season – Traveled to eight tournaments and captured 71 awards (2 state titles)
- 2005-2006 Season – Traveled to eight tournaments and captured 56 awards (2 state titles)
- 2004-2005 Season – Traveled to eight tournaments and captured 33 awards (1 state title)
- 2003-2004 Season – Traveled to seven tournaments and captured 41 awards (2 state titles)
- 2002-2003 Season – Traveled to four tournaments and captured 27 awards (1 state title)
Outside Grants Awarded
- April 2013 – $500 award from Project Pericles to work on education reform in Tennessee for low-income students
- April 2012 – $500 award from Project Pericles to work on lobbying for developing strategies to end meth abuse in Kentucky
- April 2011 – $500 award from Project Pericles to work on lobbying for ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) at the federal and state levels
- April 2010 – $3000 award from Project Pericles to work on developing sustainable and revitalized communities as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Act – work will be done in Birmingham, Knoxville and Nashville as part of student research
- October 2009 – $10,000 grant from the March of Dimes to develop viral videos and other collateral material for the Madison County Health Department’s preconceptual health campaign
- April 2008 – $4000 award from Project Pericles to develop a media campaign on mountaintop removal and the effects of coal to liquid technology on Appalachian communities
- August 2007 – $2000 grant from Project Pericles to develop a civic engagement course
- January 2007 – $2500 grant from Tobacco Prevention Enhancement Organization to develop a media campaign for tobacco awareness
- August 2003 –Secured a grant with Dr. Ramona Rush, University of Kentucky, and Dr. Carol Oukrop, University of Kansas. The focus of the grant was to track the status of women in the field of mass communication and journalism over the past 100 years. This grant led to the publication of the 2004 manuscript The search for equity: Women in journalism and mass communication education.
I am currently working on exploring notions of cool pose hypermasculinity as adopted by African America lesbians in the film Pariah.