University Park, IL,
13:20 PM

David M. Rhea, Ph.D.


Election Campaign Communication, Personality Attitudes and Media, and Assessment, Admissions Research Expert

Portrait photo of a smiling man in a suit and tie

Dr. David Rhea is the Interim Dean of the Crawford Honors College and a Full Professor of Communication at Governors State University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication and Political Science from Pepperdine University, a Master of Arts in Communication From University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in Communication from University of Missouri - Columbia.

Outside of his role at Governors State University, Dr. Rhea is the sitting President of the Honors Council of the Illinois Region through February 2025, the sitting 2024 Chair of the Assessment and Evaluation Committee of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) as well as a program reviewer for NCHC, and one of three facilitators of NCHC's Institute for Strategic Planning, Assessment and Reviewer Knowledge (iSPARK) for 2024.

Before Governors State University, Dr. Rhea taught at University of Maryland - College Park.

Dr. Rhea's Research Focus:

  • Election campaign communication - ads, debates, humor
  • Personality attitudes and media
  • Assessment, admissions research - honors education and communication

Relevant Work:

  • Rhea, D. M. (2017). A regression model approach to first-year honors program admissions serving a high minority population. Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 18, 135-147.
  • Rhea, D. M. (2016). Humor use in political campaigns. In W. L. Benoit (Ed.), Praeger handbook of political campaigning in the United States, Vol. 2 (pp. 25-40). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Press.
  • Rhea, D. M. & Goodwin, K. (2014). High impact educational recruiting. Honors in Practice, 10, 111-118.
  • Aubrey, J. S., Rhea. D., Olson, L., & Fine, M. (2013). Conflict and control: Examining the association between exposure to television portraying interpersonal conflict and the use of controlling behaviors in romantic relationships. Communication Studies, 64, 106-124. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2012.731465
  • Rhea, D. M. (2012). There they go again: The use of humor in presidential debates 1960-2008. Argumentation and Advocacy, 49, 115-131.

Dr. Rhea is available to talk about election campaign communication, personality attitudes and media, and assessment and admissions research. If you would like to arrange an interview with Dr. Rhea, please contact Zion Banks, Media & External Relations, 708.235.7685 or