Communication Faculty

The Speaking Intensive Program is an Across the Curriculum program. As such, courses designated as Speaking Intensive are taught in every department. Below is a list of the Communication faculty.

Anand RaoDr. Anand Rao, Speaking Intensive Program Director

Anand received his Bachelors degree in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh in 1992. Following his interest in the history and philosophy of science, he entered the Rhetoric of Science program at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a Masters of Arts in 1994, and a Ph.D. in rhetoric and communication in 1996.

In 1995, Anand joined Clarion University as an assistant professor in the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre, where he also served as director of the speech & debate team. While at Clarion, Anand started an active public debate series and moved the speech and debate team back into the more competitive and challenging format of policy debate. He was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2000, and served as chair of the Faculty Senate in 2001.

In 2002, Anand joined the faculty at Mary Washington College as an associate professor and Director of the Speaking Intensive Program. Excited to be a part of the Mary Washington community, Anand enjoys working with MWC students and faculty, and looks forward to working with the SI program.

Anand’s areas of specialty in communication studies include visual rhetoric, argumentation, rhetorical criticism, rhetorical studies of science and public address. He teaches a variety of courses in speech, including public speaking, small group communication, argumentation, and upper-level courses in communication and rhetorical theory, including Environmental Rhetoric, Visual Rhetoric, and Intellectual Foundations of Communication.

Tim O'DonnellDr. Tim O’Donnell, Professor of Communication

Dr. Timothy M. O’Donnell (“Tim”) teaches courses in rhetoric, public address, and argumentation. Dr. O’Donnell is regarded as dedicated teacher who enthusiastically combines cutting edge pedagogical methods with a strong belief in the virtues of a debate education to create an energetic learning environment for members of the Debate Program. During his tenure, UMW Debate has won three consecutive American Debate Association National Championships at the novice and junior varsity level and has been ranked consistently among the top 20 programs in the nation by the National Debate Tournament (NDT). Before he arrived at UMW, he was an assistant coach at both the University of Pittsburgh and Wake Forest University where he worked with teams that consistently reached the late elimination rounds of virtually every major college tournament including the NDT.  Prior to that, he served as the Director of Debate at Brookfield Central High School (WI), where his student’s accomplishments included appearances in the finals of the Montgomery Bell Academy Tournament and the Tournament of Champions (TOC), as well as the top speaker at the TOC.  He has taught at the Wake Forest Summer Debate Workshops for the past ten years and has served as a senior researcher for the Debater’s Research Guide. He received his Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Pittsburgh and his research interests include argumentation, rhetoric and public address, and science policy.


Dr. John Morello, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs

John T. Morello received his Bachelors degree in government from the College of William and Mary in 1970. He earned a Masters of Arts degree in speech from Northern Illinois University in 1972, and a Ph.D. in speech communication form Wayne State University in 1979.

He was appointed to the position of instructor of speech and director of debate at Madison College (now James Madison University) in 1972, and was promoted to assistant professor in 1979, and to associate professor in 1984. In 1986, he accepted a position as associate professor of communication at Simpson College (Iowa) where he developed a new major program in communication studies.

In 1989, Dr. Morello joined the faculty at Mary Washington College as associate professor and director of debate. Following his promotion to professor, he became chair of the Department of English, Linguistics, and Speech and served in that position until his appointment as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs in January 1998. He also served as founding Director of the Speaking Intensive Program, and planned the original Speaking Center (which he opened in 1996).

His areas of specialty in communication studies are argumentation, political communication (especially televised presidential debates), public speaking, and rhetorical criticism. He generally teaches one course a year at MWC selected from the current offerings in speech as listed in the College catalogue.