Welcome to the official page of Cheló̱na RSA!

We are the University of Maryland’s graduate student chapter of the Rhetoric Society of America. Cheló̱na (the Greek, χελώνα) means “turtle.” Terp pride!

RSA is dedicated to bringing scholars of rhetoric together across traditional university and field boundaries, and it is our mission to do the same at Maryland.

Why is this important? At the Biennial RSA Institute last June, the joint-keynote speakers emphasized this message: Inter-, Intra-, or Trans- disciplinarity encourages the most fruitful academic conversations. The speakers jokingly lamented that Communication rhetoricians and English rhetoricians “don’t understand each other.” The truth of that statement reinforces the exigence for RSA, and consequently, university student chapters that support the future academics in the field of rhetoric.

Along with our parent organization, we strive to make scholarly and pedagogical collaboration between Comm and English rhetoricians not only possible, but regular. Through various programs, workshops, colloquia, and other initiatives, we hope to foster an academic climate in rhetoric that supports the interests, needs, and desires of our graduate students at Maryland.

Our mission is not solely about enriching our own experiences. Cheló̱na RSA also recognizes the number of undergraduate students at the University of Maryland who are interested in studying rhetoric now and possibly later in graduate education. These are our students, and their ideas, issues, and needs matter to us. We seek to support them through mentoring programs and by providing opportunities for their academic growth and advancement.

We also hope to engage in the wider scholarly and civic communities we are a part of. Our Conferences and Rhetorical Community Activism committees ensure that our members are taking advantage of opportunities to attend national, regional, and local conferences as well as opportunities to serve our university community and the neighborhoods in which we live and work.

Members of Cheló̱na RSA have a shared belief in not only the work we do as professionals, but the manner in which we do that work. Crossing arbitrary disciplinary and university boundaries demonstrates the commitment to meaningful scholarship, valuable networking, and collegiality.

We hope to continue this work for many years to come at the University of Maryland.

Rebecca Alt
2015/2016 President

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