Dr. Brendan B. Kelly
Department of Communication Arts Chair
Dr. Brendan Kelly, also the Director of the School of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts and Chair of the Department of Communication Arts, has led UWF Speech and Debate at the University of West Florida since 2004. He earned his B.S. in Public Relations and M.A. in Communication from Eastern Michigan University, and Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Political Communication from Wayne State University in Detroit.
A faculty member in the Department of Communication Arts since 2004, Kelly serves as the director of the nationally recognized UWF Speech and Debate program, and specializes in speech communication training. He teaches courses in political communication, speech communication, rhetoric, communication ethics and various areas related to strategic communication.
Dr. Kelly's scholarship and research concentrates on political campaign communication, presidential rhetoric, as well as communication pedagogy and training.
Since arriving at UWF, Kelly has been recognized through multiple honors including: the UWF Distinguished Teaching Award; induction into the National Forensic Association Hall of Fame; Eastern Michigan University Outstanding Young Alumnus Award; induction into the Eastern Michigan University Forensics Hall of Fame; and the UWF Faculty Excellence award in Student Affairs. Additionally, Kelly currently serves as the National Tournament Director for the National Forensic Association and the Chair of the Argumentation and Forensics Division of the National Communication Association.
Dr. Tressa Kelly
Dr. Tressa Kelly is the Director of Individual Events for UWF Speech and Debate. She earned her Ph.D. at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI focusing on feminist rhetorical criticism. Dr. Kelly has coached collegiate forensic competitors for over ten years at multiple institutions. In the classroom, she teaches courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels including: Speech Writing Analysis and Delivery, Rhetorical Criticism, Communication Research Methods, Interviewing and Information Gathering and Intercultural Communication. In 2010, Dr. Kelly was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award by the students of the University of West Florida.
Lacey Brown is a second year graduate assistant for the School of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts. Along with being a coach of the university's Speech and Debate team Lacey is an undergraduate academic advisor, a member of the university's Academic Misconduct Committee and teaches a section of SPC 2608, Basic Communication Skills. Lacey is currently pursuing a master's in Strategic Communication and Leadership from the Department of Communication Arts.
Drew Stewart is a second year graduate assistant for the UWF Speech and Debate team. He earned his B.A. in Speech Communication and Film Studies from Carson-Newman College in 2011. He has been a part of competitive speech and debate for 8 years garnering awards on the national, state, and regional levels. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership and is working to become a Director of Forensics and an instructor of communication at the collegiate level.
Whitney Tipton is a first year graduate assistant for the UWF Speech and Debate team. Before receiving her assistantship, she earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish at Carson-Newman College, and worked as an assistant property manager for Merion Realty. Whitney was a speech and debate competitor for eight years, garnering awards on the national, regional, and state levels. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership, and serves on the UWF Graduate Council.