New professor series: Joel Ward

September 8, 2012 | 11 a.m.

Introducing the new faces around Bethel

News | Roberta Fultz

New professor series: Joel Ward

Joel Ward joins the Bethel community in the Department of Communication Studies. | Courtesy of Academic Affairs.

-- Joel Ward first became interested in communication studies when he lived in Bangladesh for four years, researching agricultural techniques. “I was working with illiterate farmers,” he said, “running around on a motorcycle in the middle of nowhere.” As a foreigner who spoke Bengali as a second language, he thought a lot about how to communicate effectively with the people. “It got me interested in questions of not only language differences but also cultural differences.” 

-- Ward is currently completing his doctorate at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. He plans to defend his dissertation this January. He applied to Bethel because of its membership in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and its emphasis on faith integration. “I thought I could learn a lot from a school that seems to be doing it quite well,” he said. He also asserts that Bethel coffee is excellent. 

-- Ward is teaching Persuasion this semester, using the book of the same name by Jane Austen. “I’ve never taught it before,” he said. “(But) if I’m going to include a book in the syllabus, I have to think a lot about why I’m going to include it.” He and his family are anticipating their first Minnesota winter.

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