Jacquelyn Poapst

Jacquelyn Poapst

Jacquelyn Poapst


critical legal communication, biopolitics, semiotics

Jackie is a doctoral student in the communication department at George Mason, as well as the Assistant Director of the university's nationally ranked intercollegiate debate team. She also received her M.A. in Communication from George Mason University in 2015. Jackie is currently working on research for her dissertation, a critical analysis of the Supreme Court's use of the Chevron doctrine. Jackie has also pursued work in queer rhetorical analysis, critical media studies, co-cultural activism research and research in anti-blackness studies. As an academic, Jackie's paper submissions to the National Communication Association have been nominated for the Cross Examination Debate Association's top paper panel three times. 

Outside of her academic work, Jackie's large focus is on skills development and tournament travel with the #1 nationally ranked GMU Debate Team. Her efforts in the past season helped contribute to one of the best years that the Mason Debate Team has ever had. Jackie also currently serves as the Director of the George Mason Debate Institute, which is the largest middle school and high school debate camp in the state of Virginia. 

In 2018, the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Cross Examination Debate Association nominated Jackie to serve as their regional representative. She was also chosen by the National Debate Tournament in 2019 as the Rankings Director. Jackie has served as the Vice President of Public Relations for the American Debate Association for two years. For her excellence in coaching, Jackie was awarded the Frank Harrison Excellence in coaching award in 2018.

Jackie debated for Liberty University as an undergraduate student, where she was a nationally competitive debater - reaching the elimination rounds of the Cross Examination Debate Association National tournament multiple times. She also won the United States Military Academy and Naval Academy tournaments, and was a semifinalist at the American Debate Association National tournament twice.


Selected Publications

Jackie Poapst, From the Closet to Saint Patrick's Cathedral: Acts of Rage and Opacity within Queer Social Movements, M.A. Thesis

Jackie Poapst & Allison Harper, Debate Like a Girl: An Analysis of the George Mason Celebration of Women in Debate Tournament, Presented at Penn State Communication Conference and published in the Penn State Communication Journal, 2014



Courses Taught

COMM 101, Interpersonal and Group Interaction

COMM 260, Basic Debate Theory and Practice

COMM 261, Argumentation Theory

COMM 302, Foundations of Media Theory

COMM 430, Persuasion

COMM 465, Gender Communication


PhD, Communication, George Mason University, Summer 2019 (Expected)

M.A., Communication, George Mason University, 2015

B.S., Criminology and Psychology, Liberty University, 2012

Recent Presentations

  • Jackie Poapst, Playing with Points, Beyond Representation: Gender at Play in Intercollegiate Policy Debate: CEDA Paper Panel, Presented at NCA 2018
  • Jackie Poapst, Decoding Climate Change: A Semiotic Analysis of the 2016-2017 Collegiate Policy Debate Resolution, Presented at NCA 2017, Top Paper Panel in the CEDA Division
  • Jackie Poapst, This is not an Archive, it's an Anthem: Analyzing Queer Activist Ideologies, Presented at NCA 2016
  • Jackie Poapst, But Diddy Made Me Do It: Hip-hop as a White Excuse for Anti-Blackness, Presented at NCA, 2015
  • Jackie Poapst, Iranian AIDS Movements and Homonationalism: Embracing Opportunities to Understand Western Progressivism, Presented at NCA, 2015
  • Jackie Poapst, Women in Collegiate Policy Debate: Embracing the Opportunity to Break up the Good Ol’Boys Club, Presented at NCA, 2015, Awarded Top Paper in the CEDA Division