Suzanne Lindsey's training at Wright State University was dominated by her participation in forensics, which taught her how to be confident and articulate, how to think on her feet, and how to research anything!!! Her brief sojourn in debate taught her there are two sides to every question, and that most people in this world are far more uncomfortable with that reality than she is. While at Wright State, she earned Honors in Communication and wrote an honors thesis on Government Manipulation of the Media, which enabled her to graduate as a University Honors Scholar in 1979.
Obtaining her Masters' Degree from Louisiana State University (1981) and her Ph.D. from Indiana University (1986), she discovered an interest in how communication functions to change the world, focusing her research on social movements. Her thesis, Forms of Extremism in the Rhetoric of the Christian Right, examined efforts by this contemporary movement to engage Evangelicals with the 1980 political campaign, even though that audience had been largely politically apathetic since Prohibition. Her dissertation, The Land for the People! The Rhetoric of the Irish National Land League as a Response to a Rhetorical Situation, allowed her to focus on a historical, non-American movement that successfully united Catholics and Protestants (for the last time in Irish agitation), and that experimented with the partnership of rhetoric and terrorism (unfortunately, not for the last time in any agitation).
Dr. Lindsey is active in several organizations, from the National Humane Society (this woman cries at cat food commercials!) to Nashville CARES, a help unit for AIDS patients. She acted as the media liaison for an organization that successfully kept Grassmere Wildlife Park from being turned into an office park/condominium/golf course, and she volunteers at the Nashville Zoo that is currently taking over that property.
An associate professor in Rhetoric and Public Address, she teaches Persuasion, Theories of Public Communication, Communication Criticism, Great American Oratory, and the Rhetoric of Social Movements. She has no children, because her cats are allergic to them.