Richard Vatz | Towson University


Dr. Richard E. Vatz is a tenured full professor of Rhetoric and Communication at Towson
University wherein he is serving in his 41st year. He won Towson University’s “President’s
Award for Distinguished Service,” the university’s highest honor, in 2004. In the
2009-2010 school year he won the Towson Student Government Association Faculty Member
of the Year and was the first Towson professor to win that award. He won the 2002
“Teacher of the Year Award” from the Student Government of Towson, and he has won
an additional 4 Outstanding Teaching Awards, the most of any faculty member at the
University. He has been a teaching fellow at Eastern Communication Association for
over a decade, and his teaching was honored at the National Communication Association
“Teachers on Teaching” session in the fall of 2012.

Vatz was the 1994 winner of the Thomas Szasz Award for dedication to civil liberties
and has written a book on Dr. Szasz’s work. He also published a book on Persuasion
entitled “The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion” (Kendall-Hunt, 2013) on which he
gave the keynote address at the 2013 Southern States Communication Association Convention,
was chosen to give seminars on the book at the 2014 Eastern Communication Convention
and the National Communication Association Convention of that same year and has lectured
on the work within the past two years at the University of Richmond and gave the University
Lecture at Hillsdale College in Michigan as well. In September of 2014 the new revision
came out, subtitled The Agenda-Spin Model.

Vatz has published articles and/or reviews on persuasion, political persuasion and
psychiatry-and-rhetoric in /The Wall Street Journal/, /The Washington Post/, /The
Baltimore Sun/, /The Los Angeles Times/, /Western Speech Communication/, /Philosophy
And Rhetoric/, /The New England Journal of Medicine/, /Journal of The American Medical
Association/, /Law And Society Review/, /Psychotherapy/ and other journals and newspapers
as well. He has published hundreds of academic articles, reviews and blogs. 


Vatz has presented over 150 Convention papers and panels, and in April, 2015, he was
a participant on the Convention’s marquee panel presented for National Public Radio’s

Over his career Vatz has discussed issues on political persuasion and psychiatry on
CNN (including “Crossfire”), “The Phil Donahue Show” and “Larry King Live” and William
Buckley’s “Firing Line.” He has provided political commentary for local and national
television and radio through 2015, including Fox television nationally, CBS Radio
nationally, ABC Radio nationally, local Fox News, the local Baltimore television news
stations, WBAL Radio and Maryland Public Television, for over 30 years. Since August
2005 he has regularly been employed as a commentator on 50,000 watt WBAL Radio. He
is the longest-serving member of Towson University’s Academic Senate, having served
35 consecutive years thus far.


Vatz, R. (2017). Thomas S. Szasz: The man and his ideas. New York, NY: Transaction.

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