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Communication & Journalism Department|Professors


Dr. Tracey Owens Patton is the director of African American & Diaspora Studies and a professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism. Dr. Patton's area of expertise is critical cultural communication and rhetorical studies. She has authored a number of academic articles and poetry on topics involving the interdependence between race, gender, and power and how these issues interrelate culturally and rhetorically in education, media, and speeches.

In November 2008 she was the Recipient of the Outstanding Referred Journal Article Award given by the African American Communication and Culture Division of the National Communication Association for the scholarly article, Jim Crow on Fraternity Row: A Study of the Phenomenon of Blackface in the Southern White Fraternal Order.

In 2007 she was selected to represent the University of Wyoming at the American Institute for Foreign Study at the University of London for the 2007 spring semester. She conducted research on diasporic rhetorical commonalities between Black American and Black British female speakers as well as taught two classes.

In 2003-2004 she was the recipient of the Carnegie Academy Award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Stanford University) where she conducted research on social justice education and activism at University of Wyoming.

She also was one of the professors chosen as A&S Outstanding Graduates Best Teachers at The University of Wyoming for Spring 2009.


The University of Utah; Salt Lake City, Utah
Ph.D. in Communication
Spring 2000
Dissertation Mixed Messages and Complicitous Policy: Reconstructing Diversity Requirements Through Coherence

Colorado State University; Fort Collins, Colo.
MA in Speech Communication
Spring 1996
Thesis The Effect of Ethnicity and Gender on Instructor Credibility in the University Classroom

Colorado State University; Fort Collins, Colo.
BA in German and BA in Speech Communication
Spring 1993


2008-2009 (August), Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Communication & Journalism, The University of Wyoming

2008-2009, Acting Director of the African American Studies Program when director is away, The University of Wyoming

2007 (January-April), Visiting Associate Professor of Communication, American Institute for Foreign Study, University of London, London England

2006-present, Associate Professor of Communication, Department of Communication & Journalism, The University of Wyoming

2003-2006, Assistant Professor, Communication, Department of Communication & Journalism, The University of Wyoming

2003-2009 Affiliate Member, African American Studies, African American Studies Program, The University of Wyoming

2003-2009 Advisory/Adjunct Member, Women Studies, Womens Studies Program, The University of Wyoming

2001-2003, Affiliate Member, Womens Studies, Womens Studies Program, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

2000-2003, Assistant Professor, Communication, Greenlee School of Journalism & Communication, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

2000 (February-May), Interim Assistant Dean of Diversity, Graduate School, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

1996-2000, Graduate Teaching Fellow, Department of Communication, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

1994-1996, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Speech Communication, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO


(2003 February - 2004 June). Recipient of the Carnegie Academy Award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 2003-2004 Cohort of Carnegie Scholars Program (CASTL). Working with the community: Moving from service learning to social justice, The Carnegie Academy.


Refereed Journal Articles:

Patton, T. O. & McGriff, Deborah. (in press, 2009, August). Blak iz Blak: Linking The Black Diaspora With Bamboozled Film. The International Journal of Africana Studies, 15(1).

Patton, T. O. (2008, July-September). Jim Crow on fraternity row: A study of the phenomenon of Blackface in the southern White fraternal order. Visual Communication Quarterly, 15.

*This article was awarded the 2008 Outstanding Refereed Journal Article by the African American Communication and Culture Division of the National Communication Association on November 22, 2008.

Patton, T. O., & Snyder-Yuly, J. (2007, July). Any four Black men will do: Rape, race, and the ultimate scapegoat. The Journal of Black Studies, 37(6), 859-895.

Johnson, J. R., Bhatt, A. P., & Patton, T. O. (2007). Dismantling Essentialisms in Academic Organizations: Intersectional Articulation and Possibilities for Alliance Formation. International and Intercultural Communication Annual.

*This essay is a result of a politically and pedagogically intertwined collaboration among the authors. Our alliance made the writing of this essay possible and we equally contributed to the development of arguments therein.

Patton, T. O. (2006, Summer). Hey girl am I more than my hair?: African American women and their struggles with beauty, body image and hair. National Womens Studies Association Journal, 18(2), 24-51.

Patton, T. O. (2004, September). Reflections of a Black woman professor: Racism and sexism in academia. The Howard Journal of Communications 15(3), 185-200.

Patton, T. O. (2004, Spring). In the guise of civility: The complicitous maintenance of inferential forms of sexism and racism in higher education. Womens Studies in Communication, 27(1), 60-87.

Patton, T. O., & Reed, K. K. (2002, Spring). City Times Newspaper: A cross disciplinary exercise in ethical dilemmas. Communication Teacher, 16(3), 11-13.

Patton, T. O. (2001, Fall). Teaching controversy. Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy, 2, 72-73.

Patton, T. O. (2001, November). Ally McBeal and her Homies: The reification of white stereotypes of the other. Journal of Black Studies, 32(2), 229-260.

Patton, T. O. (1999). Ethnicity and gender: An examination of its impact on instructor credibility in the university classroom. The Howard Journal of Communications, 10(2), 123-144.

Refereed Chapters in Books:

Patton, T. O. (accepted 2008, September). Original poetry submitted for blind review to One Hand Clapping, a Communication book about the rhetoric of silence and the transformative possibilities of silence. Poems are titled: Wanderer and "The Power of Silence.

Patton, T. O., & McGriff, D. (2008, November). Ya been took, Ya been hookwinked, Ya been Bamboozled: Mau Maus, diaspora, and the mediated misrepresentations of Blacks. In Janice D. Hamlet, & Robin Means Coleman (eds.), Fight the Power! The Spike Lee Reader. New York: Peter Lang Publishers.

Patton, T. O. (2006, Summer). Through Whose Lens? (Re)framing the Race and Gender Divide in Journalism. In B. Musa, & C. Price (Eds.) Emerging Issues in Contemporary Journalism: Infotainment, Internet, Libel, Censorship, Et Cetera. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.

Reviewed Encyclopedic Entry:

Patton, T. O. (2008, January). John Edgar Wideman. BlackPast: Remembered & Reclaimed. BlackPast is a national and international online reference center for African American history. There were 1.3 million people who visited the site, generating 17 million hits for 2006-2007 and 350,000-400,000 in the month of February alone. Average hits per month in 2008 sans February, 95,000.


Memberships in professional societies:

Member of International Communication Association

Member of National Communication Association

Member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, inducted May 2000

Member of Visual Communication Association

Member of Western States Communication Association


When not involved with her academic duties, Dr. Patton is a dancer; she dances ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, lyrical and hip hop. In addition, she also dances with the 7220 Ballet Company.

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