Dr. Kelly M. Young



Dr. Kelly Michael Young is an associate professor and the director of graduate studies for the department.

He primarily teaches courses in argumentation, persuasion, and rhetoric, specifically COM 2000 (Intro to Com Studies), COM 2110 (Argumentation & Debate), 2160 (Social Movements & Campaigns), 2170 (Persuasive Speaking), 4190 (Rhetorical Criticism), and other 4000 and graduate courses in rhetorical studies.

Dr. Young’s scholarly interests include the humanistic study of arguments and discourse about public memory, public protest and controversy, and forensic (competitive speech and debate) pedagogy.

Young was selected in 2020 as a member of the Wayne State's Academy of Teachers. Previously, he has received the John T. Warren Mentoring award from the Central States Communication Association (2018), Wayne State’s President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2018), Wayne State's Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award (2019) and the department’s Bantz, Petronio, and Bantz faculty research award (2011). The Ball State University Communication Studies department gave Dr. Young the department’s distinguished alumni award for contributions to the communication field and Ball State (2011). As the former director of the WSU speech and debate teams, Young directed national and state champions in both speech and debate and ran a top-25 program for much of his tenure at WSU.

He is the current Vice President of the American Forensic Association. At the university level, he was on the General Education Oversight Committee and its subcommittee on General Education program assessment. In his leisure time, Dr. Young enjoys watching movies, professional baseball and football, and spending time with his family and pets.

View Professor Young's Academia.edu profile. Learn more about his research, service and awards in his curriculum vitae.

Area of Expertise

Argumentation studies; forensics pedagogy; Native American discourse; rhetorical criticism & theory; public controversy (agonism); public memory.


Degrees and Certifications

PhD, Communication Studies, Wayne State, 2005

MA, Communication Studies, Ball State University, 1997

BS, Secondary Education: Speech Comm & Theatre, Ball State University, 1996

Primary Research Interest

Dr. Young’s scholarly interests include the humanistic study of arguments and discourse about public memory, public protest and controversy, and forensic (competitive speech and debate) pedagogy.



Primary Research Link


Recent Publications

Young, K. (2018), “The Rhetorical Persona of the Water Protectors: Anti-Dakota Pipeline Resistance with Mirror Shields,” Decolonizing Native American Rhetoric, ed. Jason Edward Black and Casey Kelly (New York: Peter Lang).

Young, K. (2018). “One year of Watergate is enough”: Richard Nixon’s 1974 State of the Union address and the tactics of distraction, minimizing, and maximizing,” The State of the Union is…: Memorable Addresses of the Last Fifty Years, ed. Aaron Kall (Ann Arbor: CreateSpace), 31-41.

Young, K., Henry, A., & Koch, J. (2017), “Why Forensics Matters: The Development of Emotional Competence in Competitors,” National Forensic Journal, 35 (1): 47-55.

Young, K. (2017), “What government can do because government must do more: President William J. Clinton’s February 15, 1993 address before a joint session of Congress,” Mr. Speaker: The President of the United States, ed. Aaron Kall (Ann Arbor: CreateSpace).

Young, K. (2017), “Bill Clinton Second Inaugural Address, 1/20/1997,” I Solemnly Swear: Presidential Inaugural Addresses of the Last Forty Years, ed. Aaron Kall (Ann Arbor: CreateSpace).

Young, K. (2016), “GOP Primary Debate #11: Detroit, Michigan, March 3, 2016,” Debating the Donald, ed. Aaron Kall (Ann Arbor: CreateSpace), 183-200.

Young, K., Koch, J., Najor, B., Hiland, A., Justice, J., Meloche, B., Slaw, T. “Restoring Balance: An Academic Review of Arguments For and Against the Restriction of Presidential War Powers.” Contemporary Argumentation & Debate (2014).

 Young, K. (2011). “Impossible Convictions: Convictions and Intentionality in Performance and Switch-Sides Debate,” Contemporary Argumentation & Debate, 32.


Director, Graduate Studies.


Courses Taught