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Dr. Andrew Rancer, recipient of 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award

Posted Nov. 15, 2011

Dr. Andrew Rancer, the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award, received his doctoral degree from Kent State in 1979. The Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient is one who has at least 15 years since graduation from the School of Communication Studies.  Rancer is a professor of Communication in the School of Communication at the University of Akron since 1991.

The awards were presented during an awards ceremony in October as part of a Homecoming reception hosted by the school and held in Taylor Hall, home to the School of Communication Studies.

Rancer's primary research is in the area of aggressive communication traits, in particular, argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness. The subject of aggressive communication predispositions has been a research interest for almost thirty years, and originated with his work with Dr. Dominic Infante, professor here at Kent State University. Rancer and his colleagues developed a training program designed to enhance adolescents' motivation and skill in argumentative communication, while attempting to decrease their tendencies to engage in verbal aggression. The results of that research were featured on Good Morning America. Rancer is also investigating perceptions of argumentative and verbally aggressive behavior when they are presented on different channels of communication, such as scripts vs. video, and most recently developed a taxonomy of "nonverbal 'verbal' aggression."

Rancer is widely published.  He is the co-author of four texts, including Contemporary Communication Theory (2010), Organizational Communication: Strategies for Success (2010), Argumentative and Aggressive Communication (2006), and most recently, Arguments, Aggression, and Conflict: New Directions in Theory and Research (2010).  He has published chapters on aggressive communication and communication theory in recent books, including The Encyclopedia of Communication Theory, The Encyclopedia of Human Relationships, Explaining Communication: Contemporary Theories and Exemplars, and in Personality and Communication: Trait Perspectives.


Rancer received his B.A. (1974) and M.A. (1976) in Communication from Queens College of the City University of New York. Rancer was an assistant and associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, MA from 1979 to 1991 until joining the School of Communication at UA in the Fall of 1991.