Susan Millsap

Susan P Millsap



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Professor & Faculty Trustee
Department of Communication

Dr. Susan Millsap has been teaching and coaching forensics for forty years, thirty-five of those years at Otterbein.  She is a professor of Communication teaching; 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 council of the National Forensic Association. She has served on the national council for Pi Kappa Delta and is currently serving as its National Historian.

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.


  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 1995 - Adult Learning
  • M.A., University of Tennessee, 1982 - Communication Studies
  • B.A., West Chester University, 1980 - Speech Communication
  • 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.

    Affiliations & Awards

  • 2019 Inductee, Pi Kappa Delta Hall of Fame
  • 2004 Teacher of the Year Award, Otterbein University
  • 1999 Outstanding Advisor of the Year, Otterbein University
  • 1998 & 2005 Educator of the Year, Ohio Forensic Association