Michael Bergmaier

Michael Bergmaier

Instructor of Communication Studies


Room:LB 310

Mike Bergmaier joined the Department of Communication Studies in 2016. His primary research project explores how national security issues are deliberated, with a focus on how governmental secrecy affects the public’s capacity to influence policy decisions. A former debater and debate coach, Mike also researches how competitive debate practices have evolved over time, with an emphasis on approaches that make the activity more (or less) accessible to the general public. In his spare time, he can be spotted bicycling around the region or playing recreational softball.


Ph.D. (ABD), The Pennsylvania State University
M.A., Ball State University
B.A., West Chester University

Research Interests

  • Rhetoric of National Security
  • Democratic Theory / Democratic Deliberation
  • Social Movements
  • Political Campaigns
  • Debate and Speech Pedagogy


COMM 210-H Fundamentals of Public Communication (Honors College section)
COMM 310 Communication and Democracy
COMM 360 Communication Theory
COMM 385 Rhetoric of Marginalized Voices
COMM 412 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism

Awards and Honors

  • Top Paper, Central States Communication Association Kenneth Burke Society
  • Top Paper Panel, National Communication Association Argumentation & Forensics Division
  • Top Paper Panel, National Communication Association Kenneth Burke Society
  • Top Paper Panel, National Communication Association Rhetoric & Communication Theory Division
  • Top Student Paper Panel, National Communication Association Peace & Conflict Studies Division
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Ball State University Department of Communication Studies


  • Editorial Board, “Debate and Speech as Civic Education” conference (2015 conference, work on publications ongoing), 2014-present
  • Organizer, “Mapping the Shifting Grounds of Post-9/11 War Rhetoric” (2013 NCA preconference), 2012-2013
  • Reviewer: NCA Public Address division, CSCA Rhetorical Theory and Criticism interest group, CSCA Political Communication interest group
  • Delegate, Penn State Graduate Student Association, 2013-2014

Selected Publications

Michael J. Bergmaier and Nicole L. Johnson, “Fragmentation and Rapprochement: The Case for Paradigm Collaboration,” Argumentation and Advocacy (in press).

J. Michael Hogan, Jeffrey A. Kurr, Michael J. Bergmaier, and Jeremy D. Johnson (Eds.), Debate and Speech as Civic Education (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2017).

J. Michael Hogan, Jeffrey A. Kurr, Jeremy D. Johnson, and Michael J. Bergmaier, “Debate and Speech as Civic Education,” Communication Education 65, no. 4 (2016).

Michael J. Bergmaier, “Review of Political Tone by Roderick P. Hart, Jay P. Childers, and Colene J. Lind.” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 19, no. 1 (2016, Spring).

Curriculum Vitae

Follow this link to see Mike Bergmaier's full CV.