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Dr. Adrienne Viramontes

Dr. Adrienne Viramontes, Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director & Advisor

Expression (the language we use) is a reflection of how we interpret our realities.


Degrees Held:

  • Ph.D. Speech Communication (Specialization: Phenomenology and Autoethnography) – Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
  • M.A. Communication (Performance Studies & Qualitative Research Methods) – Purdue University Calumet (Now Purdue University Northwest)
  • B.A. Communication (Emphasis in Public Relations)

Career Highlights:

I'm a working-class Mexican American from Gary, IN. I was informed by an advisor in high school that I was not college material and I believed him. So, I became a hairdresser because I thought it was the only thing I could do well. After my third diabetic coma, I realized I needed a job with health insurance and a college degree was the only way to achieve that, so I decided to try. Lesson learned: Don't believe what everyone thinks. It's likely that they are not as smart as you think they are.

Today: I specialize in the study of lived experience and write and publish in the areas of Midwest Mexican American identities, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and the Philosophy of Communication as it relates to understanding the self.

In which online program do you teach?

M.A. in Professional Communication

What do you want your students to take away from class?

The ability to discern the relational difference between appearance and reality.

The ability to recognize the influences of our social, economic, and political matrices within which we are individually situated.

The ability to analyze how those situated forces shape, inform, and constitute our identities through our interpretation of lived experience.

The ability to effectively express oneself is integral to embodying wholeness and fulfillment.

Expression (the language we use) is a reflection of how we interpret our realities.

Why did you start teaching?

I began to think about teaching when one of my undergraduate professors, Dr. Lisa Goodnight, told me she thought I'd be good at it. I'm grateful to her for that.

What advice would you give to your future online students?

Always listen to your inner voice (your intuition) because it's usually correct.

What is the value of a higher degree in the field in which you teach?

The value of a Master of Arts in Professional Communication means that you will become a part of the 11% of the nation's citizenry who have achieved that level of education (Bureau of Labor Statistics). You will be a part of a small group of people who have further educated themselves for the betterment of their minds, livelihoods, and legacies. This is no small achievement.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

Toni Morrison's “Song of Solomon” & Stephen King's “On Writing”

What do you do when you need a laugh?

Watch Dave Chappelle.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students might not know.

I don't believe in coincidence or mistakes. I challenge myself to always tell the truth. It's one of the most difficult things in life to consistently do. I believe that if we tell our truths in moments that truly matter, we have the ability to meet and even exceed our potentials.

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