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Faculty Profiles

Rebecca Border Sietman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Communication & Director of Forensics

On Faculty since 2008
630.752.5259
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Dr. Sietman’s research specializations include political communication, media effects, public opinion, and survey research. Her current research considers the spiral of silence theory of public opinion in the context of communication about infertility. She does ongoing survey research on both short-term and long-term gains in oral communication competency. Her recent research examines the implications of political discussions for academic debate and learning. In her spare time, Dr. Sietman enjoys reading, singing and playing piano, going for a run, and traveling with her family, especially to the beach.

The Ohio State University
Ph.D., Communication, 2005

The Ohio State University
M.A., Journalism, 2002

Cedarville University
B.A., Communication, 1999

  • Survey Research
  • Oral Communication Competency
  • Academic Debate
  • Infertility Communication
  • Political Learning
  • Media Effects
  • Political Discussion
  • Public Opinion
  • Member: National Christian College Forensics Association (NCCFA)
  • Member: National Communication Association (NCA)
  • Member: National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA)
  • Vice President: National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence
  • Member: Pi Kappa Delta
  • Member: US Universities Debating Association

Tree of Hope honors memory of abandoned baby found last August near Wheaton
My Suburban Life online

"'This is about protecting as many babies as we can,' Christiansen said.

As part of the ceremony, husband and wife Dan and Rebecca Sietman led those in attendance in prayer and song. Rebecca Sietman was one of seven moms who organized a memorial service for Baby Hope in September 2016..."

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New lessons in ethos: The role of speaker credibility in learning at liberal arts symposia.
Paper presented at the 2014 meeting of the National Communication Association Chicago, Illinois, 2014.

Under the influence: Creating community through an honor code.
Paper presented to the Ethics division at the 2012 meeting of the National Communication Association Orlando, Florida, 2012.

The implications of political discussion for NPDA debate.
Paper accepted for the 2012-2013 meeting of the National Parliamentary Debate Association Salt Lake City, Utah, 2012.

Antifundamentalism and vote choice: Public opinion in rural Ohio.
Paper submitted to the Political Communication division for the 2008 meeting of the International Communication Association Montreal, Canada, 2007.

Discussion and selective attention: An overlooked explanation for learning from the news.
Paper presented to the Political Communication division at the 2005 meeting of the National Communication Association Boston, MA, 2005.

The process of public opinion: Understanding psychological, social, and political filters.
Paper presented to the Political Communication division at the 2005 meeting of the International Communication Association New York, NY, 2005.

News use, discussion, and knowledge of local public affairs: An experimental and observational study.
Paper presented to the Political Communication division at the 2004 meeting of the International Communication Association New Orleans, LA, 2004.

The law of news consumption and news media effects.
Paper presented to the Political Communication division at the 2004 meeting of the International Communication Association New Orleans, LA, 2004.

  • Advanced Argument
  • Argumentation and Debate
  • Fundamentals of Oral Communication
  • Fundamentals of Speech
  • Human Communication Research
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Public Opinion and Polling
  • Public Speaking

Infertility and the Spiral of Silence

Implications of Political Discussion for Academic Debate and Learning

Short Term and Long Term Gains in Oral Communication

Debate Coaching Success: 2003 - 2010

Coached the Cedarville University Debate Team to a #72 national ranking for its first competitive season (2003-2004) within the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) and to a #40 national ranking the next year (2004-2005).

Coached the Cedarville Debate Team to 1st place team sweepstakes awards at Western Kentucky University, Berea College, Hillsdale College, and University of Notre Dame, resulting in a 14th place finish for the NPDA Regular Season Sweepstakes (2005-2006).

Coached the Cedarville Debate Team to 1st place team sweepstakes awards at Western Kentucky University, Berea College, and Wheaton College, resulting in an 11th place finish for the NPDA Regular Season Sweepstakes (2006-2007).

Coached the Cedarville Debate Team to an 18th place finish for the Tournament Sweepstakes at the NPDA Championship Tournament (2007).

Coached the Cedarville Debate Team to 1st place team sweepstakes awards at Berea College and Belmont University, resulting in an 8th place finish for the NPDA Regular Season Sweepstakes (2007-2008).

Coached the Cedarville Debate Team to 1st place in debate, 1st place overall, and 1st place quality award at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational, earning the title National Champions.

Coached Cedarville teams to National Champions in Open Parliamentary Debate (2008) and National Champions in Junior Parliamentary Debate (2008) finishes at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational.

Coached Cedarville teams to Quadra Octofinal (2006), Triple Octofinal (2005, 2007), Double Octofinal (2007) and 3rd Place Novice (2008) finishes at the NPDA Championship Tournament.

Coached Wheaton College teams (ranking 37th and 45th in the nation) to qualify for the 2009 National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellent.

Coached Wheaton teams to Quadra Octofinal (2009) and 3rd Place Novice (2010) finishes at the NPDA Championship Tournament.

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Debate Coaching Success: 2011 - present

Coached the Wheaton Debate Team to 1st place quality award at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational, earning the title National Champions (2011).

Coached Wheaton teams to National Champions in Novice Parliamentary Debate (2011), Semifinal in Junior Parliamentary Debate (2011), and Octofinal in Open Parliamentary Debate (2011) finishes at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational.

Coached Wheaton teams to Quarterfinal in Junior Parliamentary Debate (2012), Quarterfinal and Octofinal in Open Parliamentary Debate (2012) finishes at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational.

Coached the Wheaton Debate Team to 1st place quality award at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational, earning the title National Champions (2013).

Coached Wheaton teams to Quarterfinal in Open Parliamentary Debate (2013) finishes at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational.

Coached Wheaton College team (ranking #42 in the nation) to qualify for the 2014 National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence.

Coached Wheaton College teams (ranking #23 and #46 in the nation) to qualify for the 2015 National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence.

Coached Wheaton teams to Triple Octofinal (2015) finishes at the NPDA Championship Tournament.

Coached Wheaton College team (ranking #24 in the nation) to qualify for the 2016 National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence.

Coached Wheaton team to an Octofinal (2016) finish at the NPDA Championship Tournament.

Coached Wheaton College team (ranking #12 in the nation) to qualify for the 2017 National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence and to receive a 20th place finish.

Coached Wheaton team to a Triple Octofinal (2017) finish at the NPDA Championship Tournament.

A call to heterogeneity: The implications of political discussion for parliamentary debate., The Forensic of Pi Kappa Delta
Sietman, R. B., Paper submitted. 2018.

Assessment of student learning gains in oral competency. [Chapter], Basic Communication Course Annual
Cooper, L. O., & Sietman, R., 2016.

The role of communication in public opinion processes: Understanding the impacts of intrapersonal, media, and social filters., International Journal of Public Opinion Research
Hoffman, L. H., Glynn, C. J., Huge, M. E., Sietman, R. B., & Thomson, T., 2007.