Cindy Koenig Richards

Cindy Koenig Richards

Dr. Richards is a rhetorical critic, historian, and theorist whose work explores political communication, civic identity, and technologies of public discourse.

Her articles and reviews are published in journals including Quarterly Journal of SpeechRhetoric and Public AffairsWestern Journal of Communication, and Southern Communication Journal, and her research has received national awards including the Most Outstanding Dissertation in Political Communication Award from the National Communication Association and the James L. Golden Award from NCA.

In addition to serving as an associate professor in the department of Civic Communication and Media (formerly called the department of Rhetoric & Media Studies), Professor Richards is Director of the Ringe Media Lab, whose mission is two-fold: 1) to equip students to analyze and create multimedia communication, and 2) to develop, implement, and showcase models for the effective integration of technology in a liberal arts learning environment. 

Dr. Richards holds affiliate appointments in the American Ethnic Studies program and the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Willamette, and 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.

A recipient of the Willamette University Merit Award for Teaching, Dr. Richards regularly teaches courses in rhetorical criticism, history, and theory; race, gender, and communication; political rhetoric; social movement rhetoric; and technologies of public discourse. 

In addition to her research and teaching, Dr. Richards promotes public engagement by directing the Conversation Series on Freedom and Responsibility in Public Life and Willamette's DebateWatch, as well as 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.

Visit to learn more about her work, and connect with her on Twitter


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