Profile for Katherine Lavelle

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Katherine Lavelle

Associate Professor
Communication Studies
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Specialty area(s)

My office hours for Spring 2022 are the following:

  • Office Hours: In person or via MS Teams
  • Mondays 10-10:40am 
  • Wednesdays 9:40-10:40am; 2:10-2:30pm;
  • Virtually on MS Teams Thursdays 2:30-3:30pm 
  • Meeting availability Mondays, Wednesday-Friday by reaching out at least 24 hours in advance to set up an appointment 
  • Access my Teams room - 

I teach in the area of Public Communication and Advocacy

I am the Director of the Public Speaking Center

My research area is communication and sport, focused on the rhetoric of female athletes and mental health in sport. 

Brief biography

Since coming to UWL in 2013, I have taught a variety of courses in public communication and advocacy, the CST research core, General Education, and Communication and Sport. 

Since Spring 2018, I have been the Director of the Public Speaking Center

In 2016-17, I was a Teaching Fellow as part of the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows & Scholars Program.

At UWL, I enjoy working with students as they develop their persuasive writing, speaking, and research skills. 

Current courses at UWL

CST 110: Communicating Effectively

CST 322: Communication and Sport


Wayne State University, Ph.D. (2006)
Miami University, M. A. (2002)
John Carroll University, B. A. (2000)


Teaching history

Other courses I have taught at UWL:

General Education:

UWL 100/FYS 100: Change starts with Us: Gender, race, and identity in sports 

Public Communication & Advocacy

CST 210: Presentational Speaking

CST 310: Debate

CST 315: Communication Criticism

CST Research Core:

CST 498: Research Methods

CST 499: Senior Project


Professional history

Prior to coming to UWL - I was involved in NDT/CEDA policy debate for more than two decades.

I have served on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Communication and Sport since 2012 (Treasurer since 2016)


Research and publishing

My research program focuses on the representation of race, gender/sex, and nationality in sports. Publications include:

Lavelle, K. L. (2020). Striking a middle ground: A Neocolonialist analysis of the NCAA’s mascot ban. In M. Milford & L. R. Smith (Eds.), Communication and contradiction in the NCAA: An unlevel playing field (pp. 235-247). Peter Lang. 

Lavelle, K. L. (2020). The face of mental health?: Kevin Love and hegemonic masculinity in the NBA. Communication & Sport. Advanced online publication.

Lavelle, K. L. (2019). A "fireable offense?" Jemele Hill and the rhetoric of public correction. In G. G. Armfield, J. McGuire, & A. Earnheardt (Eds.), ESPN and the changing sports media landscape (pp. 127-145). Peter Lang.

Lavelle, K. (2019) “Change Starts with Us”: Intersectionality and Citizenship in the 2016 WNBA. In D. Grano & M. Butterworth (Eds.), Sport, Rhetoric, and Political Struggle (pp. 38-53). New York, NY: Peter Lang. 

Lavelle, K. (2016). No Room for Racism: Restoration of Order in the NBA. Communication & Sport, 4, 424-441. Doi: 10.1177/2167479515584046

Lavelle, K. (2015). As Venus turns: A feminist soap opera analysis of Venus Vs. Journal of Sport Media, 10-2, 1-16. 

Lavelle, K. (2014). Cullen Jones is my Friend!: Increased Diversity in Swimming through Parasocial Relationships on Facebook. In B. Brummet & A. Ishak (Eds), Sport and Identity: New Agendas in Communication (pp. 44-59). London, UK: Routledge.

Lavelle, K. (2014). “Plays like a Guy”: A Rhetorical Analysis of Brittney Griner in Sports Media. Journal of Sports Media, 9 (2), 115-131.

Lavelle, K. (2013). Guns are no Joke: Framing Plaxico Burress, Gilbert Arenas, and Gunplay in Professional Sports. In L. A. Wenner (Ed.), Fallen Sports Heroes, Media, & Celebrity Culture (pp. 179-192). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Lavelle, K. L. (2012). Great Expectations: An analysis of the fan base for WNBA's Expect Great. In A.C. Earnheardt, P. M. Haridakis, & B. S. Hugenberg (Eds.), Sports Fans, Identity, and Socialization, (pp. 237-254). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Lavelle, K. L. (2010). “A critical discourse analysis of black masculinity in NBA game commentary.” The Howard Journal of Communications, 21 (3), 1-21. Doi: 10.1080/10646175.2010.3966675.



Katherine Lavelle, Communication Studies, presented "A voice for the voiceless: Enactment of citizenship in ESPN’s 144" at the International Association for Communication & Sport Summit on March 4 in Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ. She also presented "‘Burn It All Down’: NWSL players’ engagement in critical rhetoric to challenge systemic abuse and interest ideology," along with with co-authors, Beth Fielding-Lloyd & Korryn Mozicek, at the same conference.

Submitted on: May 5



Katherine Lavelle, Communication Studies, authored the chapter ""The Team's Best Interest": COVID-19, Mental Health, and Neoliberalism in College Football" in American Sport in the Shadow of a Pandemic: Communicative Insights published in 2022, by Edited by Billings, Hardin, and Wenner.

Submitted on: Feb. 22



Sierra Rooney, Art; Megan Litster, Biology; Katherine Lavelle, Communication Studies; Sarah Pember, Health Education & Health Promotion; and Jennifer Kosiak, Mathematics & Statistics; presented "Where Do We Go From Here?" at OPID Spring Conference on Teaching on Friday, April 16 online. Invited to be featured roundtable presentation.

Submitted on: April 16, 2021



Katherine Lavelle, Communication Studies, authored the chapter "Striking a middle ground: A Neocolonialist analysis of the NCAA's mascot ban" in Communication and Contradiction in the NCAA: An Unlevel Playing Field and was accepted for publication by Peter Lang.

Submitted on: Feb. 26, 2021



Katherine Lavelle, Communication Studies, authored the article "The face of mental health?: Kevin Love and hegemonic masculinity in the NBA" in Communication & Sport published on Thursday, April 30 by Sage.

Submitted on: April 30, 2020