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Faculty | Kassian A. Kovalcheck

Professor Emeritus

Phone: 615-322-2060

KASSIAN KOVALCHECK, Professor Emeritus, a native of Pennsylvania, graduated from Wabash College in 1965. He received his MA from Indiana University in 1967 and his Ph.D. in 1972.

Since coming to Vanderbilt University in 1969, Professor Kovalcheck has taught Public Speaking, Rhetorical Criticism, Argumentation and Debate, Persuasion, and a popular special topics seminar on the Rhetoric of Irish Nationalism. He served as Director of Forensics and directed a successful intercollegiate debate program from 1972 to 1983. In 1987, he was awarded the Ellen Gregg Ingalls Prize for exceptional teaching, and also received the Ernest Jones Undergraduate Advising Award.  He was awarded the Alumni Education Award in 2001 and the Thomas Jefferson Distinguished Service Award in 2011.  He was Chair of the Department of Communication Studies and Theatre for 13 years, Parliamentarian of the Faculty Senate, and has served 4 times as chair of the Faculty Council of the College of Arts and Science.

Kovalcheck’s scholarly research has focused on argumentation and debate, the rhetoric of Irish nationalism and First Amendment issues. He has published in the British Journal of Sociology. His speech on diplomacy and liberty is included in Representative American Speeches. Kovalcheck has delivered papers at international conferences in Ireland and Scotland.


B.A. Wabash College, 1965

M.A., Ph.D. Indiana University, 1967, ’72

Representative Publications

“Of Rats and Men,” Exegisti Monumentum Aere Perennius Essays in Honor of John Frederick Charles, ed. by Bruce R. Baker and John E. Fischer, Indianapolis: Guild Press of Indiana, 1994.

Reprint: “The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance,” Representative American Speeches 1989, Louisiana State University Press, 1989.

“Eternal Vigilance is Still the Price of Liberty: State Department Control of the Public Platform through Visa Denial,” Brigance Forum, Crawfordsville, IN: Wabash College, 1988.

“Catholic Grievances in Northern Ireland: Appraisal and Judgment,” British Journal of Sociology, March 1987, pp.79-90.

“Traitors and Tyrants: The Burr Trial as a Defense of Individual Rights,” Journal of the Tennessee Speech Communication Association, Spring, 1984, pp. 30-40.