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David Sapp - Loyola Marymount University. Los Angeles, CA, US

David Sapp David Sapp

Professor, Dean of Graduate Education, & Vice Provost for Academic Affairs | Loyola Marymount University


Department of Educational Leadership and Administration



David Sapp Publication David Sapp Publication David Sapp Publication David Sapp Publication






David Alan Sapp serves as the Dean of Graduate Education and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Loyola Marymount University, where he is a Professor of Educational Leadership and Chief of Staff for the Executive Vice President/Provost. Dr. Sapp joined the faculty at LMU in 2015 following fourteen years at Fairfield University in Connecticut, where he served as Professor of English and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Sapp earned his Ph.D. in Rhetoric from New Mexico State University and is a graduate of the Institute for Educational Management in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.

As a specialist in technical writing with expertise in civic/community engagement, organizational communication, and educational program development, Dr. Sapp has conducted fieldwork along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as in Brazil, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Spain, along with archival research in Uruguay. This work has explored the ongoing struggles of disenfranchised populations, including civic development projects and environmental activism. His recent research projects include a book on teaching English language learners published by Bedford/St. Martin’s Press and a special issue of the Journal of Rhetoric, Professional Communication, and Globalization that he co-edited on human rights and communication.

Dr. Sapp has also recently served on collaborative research projects on the topics of teacher credibility, student motivation, and conflict resolution that have been published in the International Journal of Communication, Communication Education, the Journal of Communication Studies, Communication Research Reports, and Communication Currents. He co-edited a book on feminist pedagogy published by Johns Hopkins University Press and won a top research award from the Association for Business Communication for an article he published on the assessment of student internship experiences. To support his research and administrative duties, Dr. Sapp has secured $6M+ in external funding through grants and awards.

In 2016, Dr. Sapp received a Fulbright to support his research in República de Colombia and was recognized as a seminal scholar in the field of technical communication. He is a member of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, Alpha Sigma Nu (the national Jesuit honor society), and Kappa Delta Pi. In 2019, he was appointed a member of State Superintendent’s Task Force on College Affordability for the California Department of Education.

Education (3)

New Mexico State University: PhD, Rhetoric and Professional Communication

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga: MA, Rhetoric

University of Minnesota: BA, English/Creative Writing


Areas of Expertise (7)

Administration in Higher Education

Feminist Theory and Pedagogy

Civic Engagement and Social Justice

Rhetoric and Organizational Communication

Service Learning and Community-Based Teaching

Teaching English in Global Contexts

Human Rights

Industry Expertise (2)



Courses (1)

EDLA 7022 Qualitative Research in Education

This advanced research course focuses on a variety of qualitative research methods and designs for diverse educational settings, including ethnography, observations, interviews, and case studies. The research will be focused through the lends of social justice.

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Articles (10)

Faculty leadership

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Higher Education

Sapp, D., & Crabtree, R.


Entry on Faculty Leadership.

International service-learning: Guiding theories and practices for social justice

The Wiley International Handbook of Service-learning for Social Justice

Crabtree, R., & Sapp, D.

Chapter 15 of this publication.

Living the full life: Mentorship for full professors and senior faculty

The Department Chair, 28(3), 22-25

Crabtree, R., & Sapp, D.

Article on the topic of mentoring faculty.

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Identify faculty for administrative careers in academic leadership.

Dean & Provost

Sapp, D., & Crabtree, R.


Universities benefit from a strategic combination of hiring academic leaders externally and promoting from within. Such a combination ensures the consolidation and maintenance of initiatives while also bringing in new ideas and experiences from elsewhere in higher education and, when appropriate, from other industries. Internal academic leaders are often drawn from the faculty, a logical extension of their roles in shared governance and other institutional work. In fact, that was the case for the two of us, who served in roles such as program director, department chair, center director, participants in the faculty senate, and members of task forces charged with imagining, implementing, and/or assessing institutional initiatives. However, not all faculty members who serve in these roles prove to be ideal candidates for promotion to assistant/associate dean or associate/vice provost, or selection into higher-level academic leadership positions typically filled through national searches.

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The Dynamic Interplay of Interaction Goals, Emotion, and Conflict Styles: Testing a Model of Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Effects on Conflict Styles

International Journal of Communication 8 (2014), 534–557

Qin Zhang, Michael Andreychik, David Sapp, Colleen Arendt

This study examines the dynamic interplay of interaction goals, emotion, and conflict styles. Using a three (counterpart conflict styles: competing, integrating, obliging) by two (counterpart emotion: anger, compassion) factorial design, this study seeks to understand the dynamic nature of the conflict process. It also explored a model integrating both intrapersonal and interpersonal effects on conflict styles. Proactive-reactive comparisons reveal both overall changes in interaction goals, emotion, and conflict styles over the course of conflict and specific changes attributable to counterpart emotion and conflict styles. Results also indicate that interpersonal effects of counterpart emotion and conflict styles on one’s own reactive conflict styles are largely mediated through intrapersonal processes of reactive emotion and interaction goals.

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Trends in industry supervisors' feedback on business communication internships

Business Communication Quarterly

2009 The purpose of this empirical study is to explore expectations of industry insiders and identify how student interns are performing in relation to those expectations as defined by 11 performance areas. The results of a survey of 238 industry supervisors were ...

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Comparing grades in online and face-to-face writing courses: Interpersonal accountability and institutional commitment

Computers and Computation

2005 In spite of benefits surrounding distance education programs, many online writing courses suffer from low student completion rates. Student retention has been identified as a concern in a number of studies of online education. We extend this discussion by examining the ...

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Your culture, my classroom, whose pedagogy? Negotiating effective teaching and learning in Brazil

Journal of Studies in International Education

2004 This article explores the cross-cultural teaching and learning environment of a graduate course in a master's degree programin teaching English to speakers of other languages (MA-TESOL) offered by a US university in Brazil. The authors analyze the ...

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Theoretical, political, and pedagogical challenges in the feminist classroom: Our struggles to walk the walk

College Teaching

2003 The authors explore both theoretical issues in feminist pedagogy and the politics of the contemporary university classroom. They examine various intersections of gender, power, pedagogical theory, and academic discipline in order to bring greater attention to ...

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A laboratory in citizenship: Service learning in the technical communication classroom

Technical Communication Quarterly

2002 This article presents an argument for and offers illustrations of service learning in technical communication courses and curricula. Alongside traditional internships that prepare students as future employees, service learning provides students with an education in ...

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