Susan Millsap, Professor & Faculty Trustee, Communication

Susan P Millsap



33 Collegeview Rd, C120

Susan Millsap has been teaching and coaching forensics for forty years, thirty-five of those years at Otterbein University.  In the Department of Communication, she teaches Public Speaking, Argumentation and Advocacy, and Interpreting Communication Research.  Over the years, her Speech and Debate Teams have won numerous state and national awards.  She has served on the national councils of the National Forensic Association and Pi Kappa Delta, the forensic honorary.  Susan was inducted into the Pi Kappa Delta Hall of Fame in 2019.  She is currently serving as the National Historian for Pi Kappa Delta.  Susan was awarded the Teacher of the Year Award by Otterbein University in 2004 and was recognized as the Outstanding Advisor of the Year in 1999.  The Ohio Forensic Association has recognized her twice as Educator of the Year in 1998 and 2005.

Susan’s research has focused on the use of argumentation in the classroom and the creation of a safe environment so that students feel free to voice their thoughts on subjects that some may find controversial.  Watching students develop their own opinions and explore new ideas that they can defend is what Susan finds most rewarding as a teacher.  Building on her doctoral dissertation, Susan has also focused her research on the adult student in the classroom and how they navigate the communication environment with other adults as well as traditional aged students. She strongly believes in the value of life-long learning and the university’s role in making that available for adults. She has also published research on a feminist perspective of the use of argumentation as well as the use of argument in music.

Susan is a graduate of West Chester University (B.A., Speech Communication), the University of Tennessee (M.A., Communication Studies), and The Ohio State University (Ph.D., Adult Learning).


  • PhD 1995 The Ohio State University
  • MA 1982 University of Tennessee
  • BA 1980 West Chester University

Research, Creative, & Professional Work

  • Argumentation
  • Debate
  • Oral Interpretation
  • Public Speaking
  • Communication Research
  • Communication Apprehension in the Classroom


  • “The Use of Oral Interpretation in the Secondary Classroom.” Journal of the Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri, 41 Fall 2011.
  • “Gender Bias in NFA-LD: An examination of participation rates and a content analysis of NFA-LD ballots.” Journal of the National Forensics Association, 24 Spring 2006.
  • “Musical Remakes: A Rhetorical Criticism.” The Forensic, 89: 2 Summer 2004 .
  • “Rumors, Reality, and NFA - Lincoln Douglas Debate” The Advocate, Winter 2002.
  • “The Benefits of Forensics Across the Curriculum: An Opportunity to Expand the Visibility of College Forensics.” The Forensic, 84: 1, Fall 1998.
  • “A Feminist Perspective on Argumentation: A Narrative.” The Forensic, 83: 3, Spring 1998.
  • “Reflections on Solvency in Quasi-Policy Resolutions.” The CEDA Yearbook, 1986 with Scott Millsap.