Communication Studies

Sue Peterson

Lecturer & Director of Forensics
  • MA (2001) - Communication Studies, Pepperdine University
  • BA (1998) - Speech Communication, California State University, Chico

"I believe that mistakes are the foundation of learning. I try to design my classes to provide a safe, but challenging environment, where students who are willing to take risks and learn from their mistakes are rewarded.”

After completing my graduate degree at Pepperdine University, I worked for a year in the Communication department at a mutual fund company. Although it was great to get experience in the corporate communication environment, I longed to get back to the academic setting.

I left to work with the Urban Debate League, a national movement aimed at fostering civic discourse in underfunded high schools through speech and debate programs. After the first year of getting the grant-funded program started, I began to teach as an adjunct at CSU Fullerton while continuing with the outreach program. After the first year of adjunct teaching, I knew that I had found my professional “place” – the classroom.

I obtained a full-time teaching position at CSU Fullerton and loved every minute of it. I decided to make a move back to my graduate school to replace the former Director of Debate in order to use the valuable experience I had gained through my work with the Urban Debate League on the college level.

Although I enjoyed my time at Pepperdine, I have missed Northern California since moving south for graduate school. I am pleased to be back in Chico and I am looking forward to working with students in the classroom and with the Speech and Debate team.

Professional Affiliations

  • Western States Communication Association (WSCA)
  • National Communication Association (NCA)
  • National Forensics Association (NFA)
  • Pi Kappa Delta (PISD)
  • American Forensics Association (AFA)

Courses Taught

  • CMST 132 - Small Group Communication
  • CMST 133 - Speech and Debate Practicum
  • CMST 255 - Argumentation and Debate
  • CMST 331 - Communication Scholarship
  • CMST 350 - Foundations of Rhetorical Communication Theories and Practice
  • CMST 339 A, B, C - Forensics

Current Interests

Fostering mentoring programs in intercollegiate speech and debate. Feminine style of communication in political and activist discourse. Empathetic communication in argumentative contexts. Civic Engagement in Higher Education. Inclusive Teaching.