Steve received his B.A. and M.S. from Syracuse University in Communication and Rhetorical Studies, where he then was hired as a faculty member to teach Presentational Speaking, Small Group Communication, Research Methods, Rhetoric of Popular Culture, Public Advocacy, and Interviewing.
Steve served as a faculty member at the State University of New York at Oswego, teaching Introduction to Communication, Critical Thinking and Public Speaking, Small Group Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Advanced Public Speaking, and Message Criticism (face to face and online). During his time there, Steve served as the co-director of the Hollywood POV Program, which took up to 20 Communication Studies students annually to Los Angeles for a field experience where they met with alumni and professionals in the entertainment industry.
Steve received his PhD from Ohio University in Communication Studies, focusing on Rhetoric and Public Culture. His dissertation was titled: “Being Good at Playing Bad: Performance of the Heel in Professional Wrestling.” It explored professional wrestling as a staple of popular culture, and questioned a phenomenon that is a driving force behind the industry. Through performance ethnography and in-depth interviews with professional wrestlers, Steve’s dissertation explored the role of the “bad guy” in professional wrestling, also referred to as the ”Heel.” Steve traced the transactional nature between extemporaneous performance and audience feedback, and explored how the performance is conducted physically as well as verbally.
His research interests focus on rhetoric of popular culture, fandom, interpersonal and nonverbal communication themes in popular culture, and performance ethnography. The areas that Steve is interested in studying include multi-modal popular culture phenomenon such as The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, the role of the anti-hero in popular culture, professional wrestling, and stand-up comedy.