Dr. Mark Hlavacik earned his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in the spring of 2014 and joined the Department of Communication Studies at UNT in the fall of the same year. At Penn State, Dr. Hlavacik led a revival of the university's debate culture, helping to found and expand the Penn State Debate Society. Before attending Penn State, Dr. Hlavacik earned his B.A. in history at Western Illinois University with an endorsement in secondary education. Dr. Hlavacik debated for WIU's college policy debate team and coached high school debate in the Chicago Debate League.
Dr. Hlavacik is a rhetoric scholar specializing in public address and rhetorical criticism. He employs textual analysis to research the rhetoric of public policy and public deliberation. Building on his experiences with secondary education, Dr. Hlavacik specialized in the rhetoric of education policy in the United States. His current book project, entitled Assigning Blame, investigates the preponderance of blaming in public deliberations over federal education policy from the 1980s to the present.
As an educator, Dr. Hlavacik strives to create a classroom environment that facilitates frank and rigorous discussion. He challenges his students to improve their writing and speaking skills along with their content knowledge. Dr. Hlavacik is committed to the idea that an education in rhetoric is simultaneously an education in the habits of good citizenship, especially ethical judgment. As a consequence, Dr. Hlavacik requires that his students demonstrate an awareness of the civic implications of their work inside the classroom.
Away from the General Academic Building, but not too far, Dr. Hlavacik enjoys all of the music and coffee Denton has to offer.