Abby Arnold-Patti


PhD, University of Memphis
MA, University of South Florida
BS, Middle Tennessee State University

Common Courses Taught

Survey of Human Communication
Intercultural Communication
Interpersonal Communication
Media Studies
Gender Communication

Scholarly and Professional Achievements

I use ethnography and critical rhetoric to study the intersection of identity. history, and place. My past research includes instructional communication, organizational communication, and health communication. I was recently awarded the Rose B. Johnson Article of the Year award by the Southern States Communication Association (2023), Outstanding PhD Research Award by the University of Memphis College of Arts & Sciences (2022), Ethnographic Book Chapter of the Year Award by the National Communication Association (2021), and the Top Ethnography Paper by the Southern States Communication Association (2021). I also serve as a reviewer for the Journal of Autoethnography (University of California Press) and am currently the chair of the ethnography divisions of both the Southern States Communication Association and the National Communication Association.

Institutional Service and Responsibilities 

At Lees-McRae I serve on the General Education Committee, the Speaker Selection Committee, and the Stephenson Center for Appalachian and Comparative Highland Studies Committee. I am the faculty advisor for DZN.

Personal Interests

When I am not teaching and writing, I enjoy spending time with my husband, who is also a communication professor, and our three children (ages 17, 15, and 10). We thoroughly embrace mountain life and spend our free time hiking, climbing, and snowboarding.