Ryan Skinnell is an associate professor of rhetoric and writing in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. He holds a bachelor’s degree in english from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in english from California State University, Northridge and a doctoral degree in rhetoric, composition, and linguistics from Arizona State University. His work focuses primarily on public rhetoric—how politicians, public figures, and average citizens use persuasive language to influence public policy. Dr. Skinnell is the author or editor of five books, including Conceding Composition: A Crooked History of Composition’s Institutional Fortunes (Utah State University Press, 2016) and Faking the News: What Rhetoric Can Teach Us About Donald J. Trump, (Societas, 2018). He has also published numerous essays in academic and popular outlets on rhetoric, writing education, political speech, fascism, and demagoguery.
Melinda Jackson is a professor of political science and currently serves as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education. She holds a doctoral degree in political science from the University of Minnesota, with concentrations in American politics and political psychology. Her research focuses on public opinion and political engagement in American politics. She is an expert on polling, and the importance of Silicon Valley in U.S. politics.