- PhD, Indiana University
- MA, BA, Pennsylvania State University
- Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
- Organizational Communication
- Compassionate Nonviolent Communication
- Social Actions
- Voices of Diversity
- Spiritual Communication
- The Robert Kibler Award, National Communication Association (2005). This award specifically was for "dedication to excellence, acceptance of diversity, concern for others and forthrightness" as seen through "accomplishments in research teaching and service."
- Hero of Forgiveness Reconciliation and Peace Award, World Forgiveness Alliance (2004). Previous winners of this award include Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. The award is given to individuals who promote forgiveness as a way of creating a safer, more joyful and more peaceful world.
- Distinguished Research Fellow—recognizing a lifetime of distinguished research (2000)—youngest person to receive this lifetime award earning it at age 47.
- Distinguished Teaching Fellow, Eastern Commnuication Association (1999)—youngest person to receive this lifetime award earning it at age 46.
- Dean's Research Semester Award (1994)
- National Speaker's Association Outstanding Professor Award (1993)
- Everett Lee Hunt Award, Eastern Communication Association, for book, Abraham Lincoln the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (1993)
- Donald H. Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education. Award given annually by the National Speech Communication Association to "an individual who is a consummate educator" (1989)-youngest person to receive this award.
- Past President's Award, Eastern Communication Association (given to someone in his/her "mid-career" to recognize "distinguished research, teaching and service to the Association and the profession"), (1985)—youngest person to receive this mid-career award earning it at age 30.
- Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1982–83—received this award the first year she was eligible.
- Karl Wallace Award—National research award (1982)—youngest person to receive this award.