Adam David Roth

  • Assistant to the Dean for Strategic Initiatives, College of Arts and Sciences, Professor, Harrington School
  • Communication Studies
  • Phone: 401.874.9526
  • Email:
  • Office Location: Davis Hall, Rm 101

Adam David Roth Curriculum Vitae


Adam is a skillful, principled, and collaborative academic leader with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and vision and an unwavering commitment to advancing student success through a liberal education. He has extensive experience in strategic planning, curriculum and program development, fundraising, budgeting, marketing, recruitment, enrollment management, and alumni, industry, and community engagement. A graduate of the Management Development Program from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, Adam’s approach to administration emphasizes total quality management that helps academic units achieve excellence and transition from good to great.

Since 2007, Adam has served in a range of administrative positions at the University of Rhode Island, including as the general education program’s basic course director for communication, interim director of the Harrington School of Communication and Media, director of the Harrington School, and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Adam is currently serving as assistant to the dean for strategic initiatives in the College of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining the faculty at URI, Adam served as the director of the Communication Across the Curriculum Program in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.

Adam graduated from the University of Pittsburgh’s business dual-major program with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Rhetoric and Business Administration. He pursued his graduate studies at the University of Iowa, earning an M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication Studies and Rhetoric and a graduate certificate in interdisciplinary inquiry. Adam is currently an M.B.A. candidate in the College of Business at the University of Rhode Island.

As a professor, Adam has delivered a wide range of undergraduate classes, from public speaking, communication fundamentals, and organizational communication skills, to rhetorical theory, advanced rhetorical theory, and the ethics of persuasion, as well as graduate seminars on the rhetoric of science and the history of medicine. His teaching has earned him several prestigious honors, including the Douglas Ehninger Award for Teaching Excellence and The University of Iowa Outstanding Teaching Award.

Adam’s passion for teaching is motivated, in large part, by his active research agenda. One line of his research investigates the central role of rhetoric in the evolution of Western medicine—from the rise of the Hippocratics in ancient Greece to the turf wars fought among various sects of healers in 19th-century United States medical history. Adam has also researched, lectured, and published extensively on the future of higher education and the ways colleges and universities can adapt and thrive in changing times. Adam’s work is published in peer-reviewed journals and academic books, and is frequently presented at national and international conferences that are devoted to the study of rhetoric, communication, philosophy, and higher education. He has been invited to present his research in Greece, Cyprus, Russia, and China, and his work has been translated into Russian and Greek.


  • M.B.A. Candidate, Expected, May 2002, University of Rhode Island College of Business
  • Professional Certificate, Management Development Program for Higher Education Leadership, Harvard University, Graduate School of Education
  • Ph.D., Communication Studies, The University of Iowa
  • Graduate Certificate, Interdisciplinary Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry (POROI), The University of Iowa
  • M.A., Communication Studies, The University of Iowa
  • B.A., Communication and Rhetoric and Business Administration, University of Pittsburgh

Selected Publications

Loberti, A. M. & Roth, A. D. (2018). Embracing a new paradigm for higher education. Journal of Philosophy and History of Education, 68.

Roth, A. D. (2018). The therapeutic function of language in ancient rhetoric and philosophy. In K. Boudouris (Ed.) Greek moral and political philosophy. Paper presented at the World Congress of Philosophy, Athens, Greece, July, 2016.

Abendschein, B., Giorgio, G., Roth, A. D., & Whalen, J. (2018). Asking big questions in the basic course. Basic Communication Course Annual (BCCA), 30, 61–75.

Roth, A. D. (2017). Embodied discourse: Revisiting Plato’s stance on the connection(s) between rhetoric and medicine. Akropolis: Journal of Hellenic Studies 1, 55–71.

Karno, V. & Roth, A. D. (2017). LIS education in an interdisciplinary frame: Integrating digital media into the ethics of digital personhood. DESIDOC Journal of Library and Information Technology, 37(1), 38–41. doi:10.14429/djlit.37.1.10861.

Roth, A. D. & Zhang, H. (2016). A dialogue on traditional medicine: East meets west. China Media Research, 12(4), 85–93.

Roth, A. D. (2015). Plato’s educational foundations and the future of college teaching. Journal of Philosophy and History of Education, 65(1), 1–14. [Lead essay]

Roth, A. D. (2013). Plato on the similarities between rhetoric and medicine. Plato Collection: Supplement to the Bulletin of the Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities, 14(1), 436–452. [Рот, Адам Д. Риторика во плоти: Платон о подобии между медициной и риторикой. Приложение к Вестнику Русской христианской гуманитарной академии] (translated and published in Russian).

Roth, A. D. (2012). Transformative teaching; from classroom lectern to internet-based learning platforms. In K. M. Torrens & J. A. Amador (Eds.), Taking your course online: An interdisciplinary journey (pp. 35–52). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Roth, A. D. (2011). Rhetoric and faith in the Hippocratic philosophy of medicine. In W. H. Krieger (Ed.), Science at the frontiers: Perspectives on the history and philosophy of science (pp. 3–16). Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books. [Lead essay]

Roth, A. D. (2011). Rhetorical technology and the Hippocratic art and philosophy of medicine. In K. Boudouris (Ed.) Philosophy, art, and technology, studies in Greek philosophy series (pp. 345–356). Athens, Greece: University of Athens Ionia Verlag Press.

Roth, A. D. (2010). Plato’s written conception of philosophy and education. Journal of Philosophy and History of Education, 60(1), 57–61.

Roth, A. D. (2009). Following Plato’s advice: Pedagogy and technology for the Facebook generation. Journal of Philosophy and History of Education, 59(1), 125–128.

Roth, A. D. (2008). Philosophy, rhetoric, and medicine in ancient Greece and today. In M. Adam (Ed.) Philosophy and the issues of our age. Studies in Greek philosophy series (pp. 207–221). Athens, Greece: University of Athens Ionia Verlag Press.

Roth, A. D. (2003). Kairos and human agency. In K. Boudouris (Ed.) Polis and cosmopolis: Problems of a global era vol. II (pp. 145–152). Athens, Greece: University of Athens Ionia Verlag Press.