Outstanding Alumni in Academics
Regent University communication alumni are superbly equipped—professionally and spiritually—to return integrity to the fields in which they serve. Many of our successful alumni have been placed in prominent positions in the world of academia. They serve in elite universities as professors, researchers and administrators.
Meet some of our successful Regent University communication alumni who are changing the world of academics.
Debra Buenting, Ph.D.
Debra Buenting graduated with her Ph.D. in Communication in 2006. She teaches several courses internationally at YWAM campuses across the globe while simultaneously teaching online for Spring Arbor University and San Jose State University. Debra teaches on campus classes at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado and leads communication workshops and consultations for missionaries worldwide. She loves to integrate the principles she learned from her professors at Regent. Debra says, "Regent gave me the theory, biblical perspective and practical skills to follow my calling as a video producer, teacher and leader." Debra wrote and produced for KTVT's Newswatch 11 out of Dallas from 1991-1992 and her work has been featured in several publications.
Craig Mattson, Ph.D.
Craig Mattson graduated with his Ph.D. in Communication in 2003. He went on to become a professor at Trinity Christian College and is now the Chair of the Communication Arts Department as well as the Director of the Honors Program. Craig was an on-air radio host, writer and editor for Rejoice Broadcast Network out of Pensacola, Fla. for more than a decade. He has worked with more than 30 stations nationwide and on the internet and his work has been featured in several publications. A member of the Religious Communication Association, he serves as co-chair of the Rhetoric Studies Division and has done so for several years.
J. Matthew Melton, Ph.D.
J. Matthew Melton earned both his Ph.D. in Rhetorical Studies (1994) and his M.A. in Journalism (1992) from Regent University. He was the 1992 School of Journalism's Outstanding Graduate. Matthew currently serves as the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Lee University and was the first Vice President of the Religious Communication Association. He is a member of the National Communication Association and the Southern States Communication Association. Matthew earned the Dissertation of the Year Award in 1996 from the Religious Speech Communication Association. His work has been published in several academic journals and The Bradley News Weekly.
Richard K. Olsen, Ph.D.
Richard K. Olsen earned his Ph.D in Communication Studies in 1998. He is currently the Chair of the Communication Studies Department at UNC-Wilmington. Richard says, "What excited me about Regent was the call to explore my faith and my discipline without compromising either." He teaches Communication Ethics, Rhetorical Criticism and Communication Theory, and has written for numerous publications. He is a member of the American Communication Association, Carolina's Communication Association, and the Southern States Communication Association.
Cameron Pace, Ph.D.
Cameron Pace earned both a Ph.D and a Master's degree from Regent in 2003 and 1985 respectively. He is now a professor of Communication and Electronic Media and the Chair of the Communication Department at Evangel University. Cameron teaches several courses including video production, filmmaking, mass media law and multimedia. "Regent gave me the practical as well as theoretical training I needed to be successful as a college professor in communication media," he states. Cameron is involved with the Broadcast Education Association, the Missouri Broadcast Educators Association and the Missouri Film Alliance of Springfield.
Jonah Rice, Ph.D.
Jonah Rice graduated from Regent with a Ph.D. in Communication Studies in 2006 and is now President of Southeastern Illinois College. He positively recognizes Regent's influence on his academic life stating, "Their dedication to servant leadership provided me with the confidence as well as educational guidance to pursue advanced career opportunities." Jonah holds the position as Division chair of humanities and was the Loren P. Dallas Teacher of the Year in 2009. His published research has covered a range of interests from popular culture, political communication, visual rhetoric, forensics/debate, higher education accreditation and financial modeling in higher education.
Skip Rutledge, Ph.D.
Skip Rutledge graduated with his Ph.D. in Philosophy Communication in 2006. He says, "Regent provided me with the tools and encouragement to become more fully invested in professional writing and scholarly pursuits." Skip attributes his appreciation for pursuing higher standards of academic excellence and spiritual integration with his learning and teaching to his time spent at Regent. He is in the process of writing a book on championship coaching techniques and tips while a full time professor at Point Loma Nazarene University. Skip was actively involved with dozens of associations including the National Parliamentary Debate Association, the National Parliamentary Debate Association and the National Christian College Forensics Association where he is currently the President.
Robert Woods Jr., JD, Ph.D.
Robert Woods graduated with his Ph.D in Communication Studies in 1999, three M.A.s from 1994 to 1998 and a JD in 1994. He is now a communication and media associate professor for Spring Arbor University. Robert served as Dean of the School of Continuing Education at Yellowstone Baptist College from 2000-2001 after serving as Associate Dean of Academics at Regent from 1998-1999. His work, featured in several publications, includes co-authoring Media Ethics: Cases in Moral Reasoning. Robert fondly remembers his time at Regent stating, "[Regent] helped me to understand how being a professor was more than just a job, but a lifestyle; it helped me to realize more fully my calling as a professor and how to integrate my faith with the study of communication.