Beth Messner

Associate Professor

LB 314   Phone: 765-285-1959  

Communication Studies
David Letterman Communication and Media Building, room 351
2000 University Ave.
Muncie, IN 47306


B.S., Manchester College
M.A., Ball State University
Ph.D., Bowling Green State University


COMM 201: Exploration of Communication Studies
COMM 320: Persuasion
COMM 385: Rhetoric and Public Advocacy – Investigating Hate Speech
COMM 401: Message Design for Communication Professionals
COMM 404: Political Communication
COMM 412: Rhetorical Criticism
COMM 420: Classical Rhetorical Theory
COMM 611: Theories of Rhetoric
COMM 612: Rhetorical Criticism
COMM 614: Contemporary Rhetoric and Social Issues
COMM 690: Narrative Theory and Criticism

Research interests include:

  • Rhetorical Criticism
  • Rhetorical Theory
  • Social Movement Rhetoric
  • Political Campaign Rhetoric
  • Hate Speech

Selected publications:

Messner, B.A., & Vail, M.T. (2009). A “City at War”: Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Communication Studies, 60(1),

Messner, B. A. (2009). Madame C.J. Walker. In Historical Encyclopedia of American Business. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press

Messner, B. A. (2009). James Byrd Murder Case. In The Nineties in America. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press

Messner, B.A., Jipson, A., Becker, P.J., & Byers, B. (2007). The hardest hate: A sociological analysis of country hate music. Popular Music and Society, 30(4), 513-531.

Messner, B. A. (2008). United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Great Events in the 20th Century. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press.

Messner, B. A. (2006). Willis Carto. Notorious Lives. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press.

Messner, B. A. (January). White Citizens’ Councils. Fifties in America. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press.

Apple, A.L., & Messner, B.A. (2001). Paranoia and paradox: The apocalyptic rhetoric of Christian Identity. Western Journal of Communication, 65(3), 206-227.

Messner, B.A., & Buckrop, J.J. (2000). Restoring order: Interpreting suicide through a Burkean lens. Communication Quarterly, 48(1), 1-18.

Messner, B.A. (1997). Achetypal evolution and 'new birth' from codependency. Communication Studies, 48(1), 76-92.

Messner, B.A. (1996). 'Sizing up' codependency recovery. Western Journal of Communication, 60(2), 1-24.


  • Member, Diversity Interest Group, College of Communication, Information and Media (2005 - present)
  • Member, Advisory Board, Center for Peace & Conflict Studies (2008-present)
  • Chair and Member, Creative Arts Committee (2006 - present)
  • Primary Departmental Advisor, Department of Communication Studies (2004 - present)
  • Member and Past Chair, Curriculum and Program Development Committee, Department of Communication Studies (1992 – present)
  • Member, Past Chair and Chair, Promotion and Tenure Committee, Department of Communication Studies (1994–1997, 1998-1999, 2002-present)
  • Past Advisor, COMM Club (NCASC, BSU Chapter) (1999-2004)
  • Past University Senator and Member of Faculty Council (2004-2006)
  • Past Chair and Member, Academic Policies Council, University Senate (1997-2003)
  • Member and Past Officer, “Freedom and Responsibilities of Speech” Division, Central States Communication Association (2002 – present)
  • Past Member, Education Steering Committee, Indiana Civil Rights Commission (2006-2008)
  • Member, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (2008 – present)
  • Fellow, Diversity Associates Program (2004-2005; 2008-2009)
  • Fellow, Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry (2004-2005)
  • Member, Communicating Common Group Initiative, National Communication Association (2005 – present)

Awards and Honors:

  • Outstanding Faculty Service Award, Ball State University (2007-2008)
  • Outstanding Social Responsibility Award; College of Communication, Information, and Media (2007-2008)
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Department of Communication Studies (2006-2007)
  • Educator of the Year, Muncie Human Rights Commission (2006)
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority (Spring 2005)
  • Co-Recipient (with Marisa Fuoti), Service-Learning Award; College of Communication, Information, and Media (2003-2004)
  • Teaching Award; College of Communication, Information, and Media (August 2002-2003)
  • Teaching Award, Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority (Fall 2003)
  • Outstanding Faculty Award, Mortar Board Society, (1997-1998, 1995-1996)
  • Outstanding Faculty Award, Student Government Association, (1995-1996)
  • Outstanding Professor Award (Fall 1991), Delta Delta Delta Sorority


Course Schedule