Cindy Koenig Richards

Associate Professor, Ringe Media Lab Director, Sabbatical Leave 2015 - 2016

Dr. Richards is a rhetorical critic, historian, and theorist whose work investigates advocacy, social change, and technologies of public discourse.

Her articles and reviews are published in journals including Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Western Journal of Communication, and Southern Communication Journal, and her scholarship has received national honors including the Most Outstanding Dissertation in Political Communication Award and the James L. Golden Award from the National Communication Association.

A recipient of the Willamette University Achievement Awards for teaching and research, Dr. Richards regularly teaches courses including Citizenship and the Public Sphere, Civic Media, US Women's Activism, Public Speaking, and Senior Research Seminar. Her former students, advisees and collaborators are active in leading graduate programs, communication firms, and non-profit organizations.

Dr. Richards holds affiliate appointments in the American Ethnic Studies program, the Women’s and Gender Studies program, and the Arts, Technology and Multimedia program at Willamette. She is a faculty fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion, Law and Democracy. Currently, she is serving a three-year term as secretary on the Executive Board of NCA's Public Address Division. Dr. Richards is a member of the editorial boards for the Southern Communication Journal and the Voices of Democracy Journal.

She is active in the digital humanities, as Director of the Ringe Media Lab at Willamette and as a member of the steering committee for the Learning by Creating initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Beyond the classroom, Dr. Richards promotes public engagement by directing Willamette's DebateWatch, directing the Conversation Series on Freedom and Responsibility in Public Life, and serving on the Native American Advisory Council.

Prior to joining the faculty at Willamette University, Dr. Richards completed her Ph.D. at Northwestern University and served as a Teach For America corps member in Washington D.C.

Willamette students who would like to schedule a meeting with Dr. Richards are invited to view her calendar and sign up for an available appointment.


  • Ph.D., Northwestern University
  • M.A., Northwestern University
  • B.S., Willamette University