Anna is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies. They are originally from a small, mostly blue collar farming village in northern Illinois. They have undergraduate degrees in Theatre and Communication Studies, and are currently focusing their studies on socioeconomic class, performance studies, the Midwest, and gender. They also really love dogs.
Courtney Simpkins is currently an English PhD student, focusing on human rights in the Victorian period. She holds a BA in English/Creative Writing from Longwood University, and an MA in English/British Literature from Radford University. Before SIUC, Courtney was an adjunct instructor of composition, professional writing, and literature at Radford University. Here at SIUC, she is a graduate instructor in the English department.
Antonio is a PhD student in the Department of History. He is a Graduate Dean’s Fellow and the recipient of the 2020 History Department Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. He holds both an M.A. and a B.S. in History and an Illinois Professional Educator’s License. He is an Executive Council member for organizations such as the History Graduate Student Association and the Jackson County Stage Company. Antonio sits on the Board of Directors for the Varsity Center for the Arts. He is part of the editorial staff for Legacy, the journal of student research and this fall he will be assisting the Center for Teaching Excellence with the E. Pluribus Unum project. His current research centers on the investigation of lives, underscoring the historical intersections of gender and culture, who were involved in the court cases brought by American citizens of Mexican descent during the Mexican repatriation of the 1930’s.
Alex Lockwood is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Communication Studies. He received his M.A.from Southern Illinois University, and his B.A. from Georgia College and State University. He is involved with SIU’s Kleinau Theatre, the Student Communication Organization, and edits the graduate research journal Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research. His academic interests lie in performance studies, rhetoric, and environmental communication. His current research explores the performances enacted within ecovillages, and the communicative processes involved with establishing alternative communities.
O.J. Duncan is a first-year PhD student in Communication Studies. He received his M.A. and B.S. at Southern Illinois University. He is incredibly active at SIU (SCO, GPSC, Graduate Council) as well as in the greater Carbondale and southern Illinois community through Rainbow Café LGBTQ Center. O.J.’s academic focus is Intercultural Communication and Pedagogy. His current research is on using digital badges and micro-credentials to increase accessibility to higher education for first-generation and other marginalized students.
Dianah is a PhD student in the Communication Studies program. She earned a BA in Mass Communication from Texas State University and a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies from Angelo State University. Her current research focuses on ambiguous loss and complicated grief.
Madelyn Fox Defago
Madelyn Fox Defago is a Ph.D candidate majoring in Rhetoric & Composition within the Department of English. While her primary research focuses on digital rhetorics and first-year composition curriculum design, she also has research interests in women novelists of the 18th century, the rhetorical use of the novel form in the long 18th century, linguistics, and TESOL. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in English Language and Literature, both from Austin Peay State University, and was born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northeast Tennessee.