Tullia infuses lessons learned at TWU into dean's job

July 1, 2022 – You'd be hard-pressed to find a better example of the symbiosis between a Texas Woman's University education and an emerging career than that of Tawny LeBouef Tullia.

Tawny LeBouef Tullia

The combinations of job and education, challenges and preparation, environment and interests have taken Tullia to Memphis, Tenn., where she just completed the first month of her interim year as dean of the Rosa Deal School of Arts at Christian Brothers University.

"I have a year to earn the full job," said Tullia, who earned her PhD in rhetoric from TWU in 2017.

In many ways, Memphis is a fitting location for Tullia. In addition to her courses on rhetoric, she spent much of her time at TWU taking classes in multiculturalism and gender studies, expanding her expertise as a teacher. She not only teaches classes on first-year composition and professional communications, but also on gender and rhetoric, and critical-race theory and rhetoric.

"Being able to teach those courses in Memphis, with such a rich history of the civil rights movement and social justice work, has been really compelling," Tullia said. "My education at TWU helped me dive into social justice work."

She also teaches a course on sports rhetoric, again bringing together her interests and education with her environment. Memphis is not only known for its social-justice history, it's also in the middle of a sports-centric territory, located in the back yard of the powerhouse Southeastern Conference and local NFL and NBA teams.

"My dissertation was on rhetoric and the NFL," she said. "How through sports we create identities that trickle down to children, how to be a man, how to be a tough woman, how to be this or that."

Tullia emphasizes that none of this would have been possible without her TWU education.

"I got to be in classes with people that expanded my way of thinking," she said. "My classes at TWU taught me how to foster open dialogue. How to be more comfortable having uncomfortable conversations, which is so important."

Tullia has kept in touch with her mentors at TWU, including Dr. Genevieve West and Dr. Gretchen Busl.

"Those opportunities from TWU and my mentors are continuing to foster my growth."

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David Pyke
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dpyke@twu.edu

Page last updated 8:29 AM, July 5, 2022