Jenny A. Armentrout, PhD is a communication scholar with an extensive background in creative writing, research, and composition. Her work expands into the realms of public speaking, lecturing, lesson planning, editing, proofreading, transcription, press releases, press kits, speech writing, presentations, public relations, conference organization, guest-speaking, blogging, installation, photography, sculpture, fiber arts, culinary arts, and graphic/web design. Recently she served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, IN instructing introductory communication, interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, and organizational communication. She currently functions as an Instructor/Lecturer at both
Ferris State University and Central Michigan University. Se is also active in conducting research, reviewing journal articles, and is composing a book manuscript. Jenny hopes to continue her career as a teacher, mentor, and revolutionary in many different higher education realms by focusing on various rhetorics associated with weight discourses, the stigmatization, marginalization, and discrimination of individuals of size, and how these groups compensate with various communication tactics including humor. She also desires to explore numerous corporate and administrative settings where her expertise as a specialist of content production can also be exercised.
At present I can say that many of the communication theories and research methods that I have investigated helped me to engage with the field, to address my personal perspective, to participate with vital in- and out-of-class discussions, and to also spur several changes in my scholarly endeavors. My voice has developed in ways that will certainly benefit my interests within the discipline. My arguments have become more concise, logical, and well-developed. I have thoroughly examined theories concerning Whiteness, feminist standpoints, impression formation, uncertainty reduction, face management, social construction, stigmatization, silence, violence, embodiment, performativity, culture, identity, rehumanization, diversity, conflict resolution, public memory, social movements, peace-building, the media, and hate speech (amongst many others.)
I am particularly interested in the study of rhetorical criticism, health communication, food as communication, interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, family communication, gender communication, feminist theory/rhetoric in the media, and how stigmatized individuals (specifically individuals of size) cope with various communication tactics to maintain relationships. I am also interested in the effects of misogynistic messages in the media, and the use of sarcasm and/or self-denigrating humor in various interpersonal relationships. My writings within this thematic range have allowed me to rethink my place in the world, to make connections, and to acknowledge areas of research that are becoming more prominent.
My thesis was an investigation of communication tactics utilized by individuals to cope with the stigma of obesity. This topic has been somewhat neglected, yet it has proven to be extremely stirring therefore I am particularly interested in the rhetorical contributions of First Lady Michelle Obama pertaining to her childhood obesity initiative entitled Let's Move!
My dissertation entitled: Sugar, Salt, & Fat: Michelle Obama's Rhetoric Concerning the Let's Move! Initiative, Binary Opposition, Weight Obsession, and the Obesity Paradox was a rhetorical analysis on the social and political implications of the First Lady's rhetorical artifacts from 2009 to 2011 regarding her childhood obesity campaign. I analyzed the remarks made by Obama regarding childhood obesity at five separate speaking engagements. The research focused on the rhetorical and social constructions of weight with a Galtungian approach to structural and cultural violence, while emphasizing the immediate need for policy-change. With a human rights focus, my methods centered upon my own autoethnographic research, feminist standpoint theory, and a rhetorically sound critique, arguing that we must focus on the rehumanization of individuals of size in lieu of contemporary US weight discourses that often result in weight stigmatization, marginalization, and discrimination.