Admissions Ambassadors

Graduate students in the Department of Communication come from a variety of backgrounds and pursue diverse research agendas.  The profiles below provide a sense of the scholarly interests and recent achievements of the students in our program.  Each student on this page serves as ambassador for the Department of Communication and is willing to answer questions that cannot be found on the website.  Feel free to email these students with any questions you might have about the UM Department of Communication graduate program.

Darrian Carroll

  • Year in Program: First year Ph.D.
  • Research Emphasis: Rhetoric & Political Culture
  • Advisor: Dr. Shawn J. Parry-Giles
  • Email: dcarrol5@umd.edu

Darrian is a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland. Darrian is on the Rhetoric and Political Culture track at Maryland. He graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a M.A. in Communication Studies and from the University of North Texas with a B.A. in Political Science. His work focuses on race, rhetoric and the political economy. Darrian is slated to receive a top student paper award from the African American Communication and Culture Division at this years National Communication Association conference. Darrian has also recently published in the Journal of Information Communication Ethics and Society


Aya Farhat

  • Year in Program: First year Ph.D.
  • Research Emphasis: Rhetoric & Political Culture
  • Advisor: TBD
  • Email: afarhat@umd.edu

Aya Farhat is a first-year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Political Culture. She earned both her B.A. as a University Scholar in 2016 and her M.A. in Communication from Baylor University in 2018. At Baylor, Aya was awarded a Graduate Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Rhetorical Studies where she gained experience teaching courses in rhetoric and feminism in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. She has served as an Editorial Intern for Rhetoric and Public Affairs and has a forthcoming book chapter in the edited volume Yoga and Culture. Aya’s research interests include discourses of citizenship, abortion, motherhood, and the rhetoric of law. Aya is currently a TA for COMM 250: Introduction to Communication Inquiry. In her free time, Aya enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, indoor cycling, cooking, and traveling as much as possible. Aya is happy to chat about the program, research, teaching, moving, and general work-life balance concerns.


Randall Fowler

  • Year in Program: Second year Ph.D.
  • Research Emphasis: Rhetoric & Political Culture
  • Advisor: Dr. Shawn J. Parry-Giles
  • Email: rfowler1@umd.edu

Randall Fowler earned his M.A. in Communication Studies in 2016 and his B.A. with majors in Communication Studies and Religion and a minor in Arabic in 2012. He is also a former Fulbright award grantee to Jordan and an AmeriCorps VISTA alumnus. Randall's research explores the intersections of presidential rhetoric, American Middle East policy, the Cold War, Islam, and terrorism. He is the author of the upcoming More Than a Doctrine: The Eisenhower Era in the Middle East (to be released in 2018). Randall's work has also appeared in the academic journal Rhetoric & Public Affairs and Christ & Pop Culture magazine. Randall is currently an instructor for COMM 107 - Oral Communication: Principles and Practices.  Randall is a native of Abilene, Texas. Randall is happy to answer any questions from prospective students, especially surrounding interdisciplinary scholarship, political rhetoric, adapting to Washington, and surviving in DC as a rural Texan.


Victoria Ledford

  • Year in Program: Second year Ph.D.
  • Research Emphasis: Communication Science & Social Cognition
  • Advisor: Dr. Xiaoli Nan
  • Email: vledford@umd.edu

Victoria is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Communication after receiving both her B.A. and M.A. in Communication Studies from Marshall University. Victoria’s interests are in health communication, and her primary research centers on understanding the antecedents and effects of stigma on behavioral health outcomes. She’d love to answer any of your questions, but would be especially happy to provide guidance on the transition from a small town to a big city and her experience navigating the academic world. As a former debater, she also remains very involved in the world of competitive forensics and loves meeting new forensics folks.


Jung Kyu (Rhys) Lim

  • Year in Program: Third year Ph.D.
  • Research Emphasis: Public Relations & Strategic Communication
  • Advisor: Dr. Brooke Fisher Liu
  • Email: jk.rhys.lim@gmail.com

Jung Kyu (Rhys) Lim is pursuing his Ph.D. in Communication, with a focus on strategic communication and public relations. His research interests include issues/ risk/ crisis management and traditional and new media. His research also utilizes mixed methods including quantitative, qualitative, and computational methods. He earned his B.A. degree in Advertising and Public Relations, with minors in Business Administration and Theatre Design, from Chung-Ang University, South Korea. Prior to joining the department, he had work experience at the advertising agency HS Ad as well as the global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller.


http://www.comm.umd.edu/sites/comm.umd.edu/files/MaR.jpgRong Ma

  • Year in Program: Fifth year Ph.D.
  • Research Emphasis: Communication Science & Social Cognition
  • Advisor: Drs. Anita Atwell Seate & Edward L. Fink
  • Email: rmah@umd.edu
Rong Ma is a fifth year Ph.D. student who studies intergroup/intercultural communication. She uses quantitative methods to study the effects of social identities on interpersonal and mediated communication. Her research projects have covered topics such as gender differences in language use, intercultural communication apprehension, and social identity construction in media sport. Her dissertation examines people’s responses to group-directed criticism. She has been a TA for COMM400 (Research Methods) and COMM402 (Communication Theory). She has also been an instructor for COMM107 (Oral Communication) and COMM382 (Intercultural Communication).