Sara A. Mehltretter Drury is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric. Her research analyzes the quality and character of public discourse in the United States. Her specific interests include presidential rhetoric, the rhetoric of national security, political campaigns, social movements, the rhetoric of religion, and the theories and practices of democratic deliberation. She has published essays in Journal of Communication & Religion
, Voices of Democracy
, and in the edited volume What Democrats Talk about When They Talk about God.
Professor Drury was an undergraduate at Boston College and earned her B.A. degree summa cum laude
in Communication and Political Science, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She did her graduate work at the Pennsylvania State University, earning her M.A. and Ph.D. in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts. In 2010-2011, she worked as a Research Associate at the Kettering Foundation
in Dayton, Ohio, where she took part in Kettering’s research on democratic principles and practices.
Outside of the classroom, Professor Drury enjoys cooking, outdoor activities, and travel. A native of Buffalo, New York, she is a loyal Bills and Sabres fan, and has a discerning palate for the delicacy known to Buffalonians simply as “wings.”
Ph.D. in Communication Arts and Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University
M.A. in Communication Arts and Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University
B.A. summa cum laude in Communication and Political Science, Boston College
RHE 101 Public Speaking
RHE 270 American Religious Rhetoric
RHE 290 Deliberation
RHE 320 Classical Rhetoric
RHE 370 Presidential Rhetoric
RHE 370 The Rhetoric of the Nation's Capital
Freshman Tutorial - Politics and Persuasion
Freshman Tutorial - A Gentleman and a Citizen: Engaging the Liberal Arts, Community, and Profession
Drury, Sara A. Mehltretter. “Connecting the Histories of Rhetoric and Community: Ancient Chinese Rhetoric in the Undergraduate Classroom.” Presented at the National Communication Association, Washington, D.C., November 2013.
Drury, Sara A. Mehltretter. Invited panel presenter, “Shall It Not Utterly Wither,” a Religious Communication Association panel on the connections and disconnect between the American public and faith traditions. Presented at the National Communication Association, Washington, D.C., November 2013
Drury, Sara A. Mehltretter, **Derek Andre, **Seton Goddard, and **Jeremy Wentzel. "Assessing Deliberation in Public Speaking." Presented at the Kettering Foundation Research Exchange meeting, Deliberative Pedagogy Workgroup, May 2013.
"Using iPads to Enhance Undergraduate Civic Engagement." Presented at the 14th Annual Midwest Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Indiana University South Bend, April 2013.
Drury, Sara A. Mehltretter, and Dale A. Herbeck. "Remembering and Re-creating the Great Debate of September 1960: The Kennedy and Nixon Libraries as Sites for Historical Argumentation." Presented at the Eastern Communication Association Convention, Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 2012. Invited session.
"Public Speaking as an Engaged Liberal Art at Wabash College." Presented at the Eastern Communication Association Convention, Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 2012.
"Restoring the 'Margin of Safety': Ronald Reagan's National Security Rhetoric in the 1980 Presidential Campaign." Presented at the National Communication Association Convention, New Orleans, November 2011.
“Walter Lippmann and the Push for a Democratic Foreign Policy in the Early Cold War.” Presented at the National Communication Association Convention, San Francisco, November 2010. Top Paper in American Studies
**indicates Wabash student co-author.
Drury, Sara A. Mehltretter. "More than a Beard and a Pasty Forehead: Lessons from the Great Debate of 1960." Spectra 48 (2012): 12-15
Mehltretter, Sara Ann. “Tim Kaine and the Rhetoric of Catholic Evangelism.” In What Democrats Talk about When They Talk about God, edited by David Weiss, 177-192. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010.
Mehltretter, Sara Ann. “Dorothy Day, the Catholic Workers, and Moderation in Protest during the Vietnam War.” Journal of Communication & Religion 32 (2009): 1-32. Lead essay.
Drury, Sara A. Mehltretter. Review of Religious Rhetoric and American Politics: The Endurance of Civil Religion in Electoral Campaigns, by Christopher B. Chapp. Political Science Quarterly (Winter 2013-2014): 781-783.
Drury, Sara A. Mehltretter. Review of A Presidency Upstaged, by Lori Cox Han. Rhetoric & Public Affairs 16 (2013): 617-620.
Drury, Sara A. Mehltretter. Review of Spirits of the Cold War, by Ned O'Gorman. Presidential Studies Quarterly (2012): 676-678.
Drury, Sara A. Mehltretter. Review of Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities, by Martha C. Nussbaum. Higher Education Research Exchange 2011: 44-48.
40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire. Nerdscholar
Top Paper in American Studies. “Walter Lippmann and the Push for a Democratic Foreign Policy in the Early Cold War.” National Communication Association Convention, San Francisco, California, November 2010.
Carroll C. Arnold Award for Scholarly Excellence. Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, 2009.
Center for Democratic Deliberation Dissertation Fellowship. The Pennsylvania State University, 2009-2010.
Phi Beta Kappa, Boston College.