Stephen M. Llano

Associate Professor

Stephen M. Llano holds a B.A. in history from Texas A&M University, an M.A. in Speech Communication from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in rhetoric and communication from the University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on developing rhetorical theory, the ethics of rhetorical pedagogy, debate’s relationship to rhetoric, Buddhist rhetoric, and the rhetoric of the Beat Generation writers.

Dr. Llano came to St. John’s in the fall of 2007 to revive the St. John’s intercollegiate debate team. The newly formed St. John’s University Debate Society (SJUDS) now has over 30 members and travels the world engaging other universities in debate competition. The Society also holds practice sessions in argumentation and debating open to all St. John’s community members. As part of Dr. Llano’s mission, the society is open to everyone who wishes to improve their rhetorical prowess - there are no auditions, as the Society aims to improve the members’ abilities, under a rubric of Vincentian principles.

Dr. Llano is a frequently requested media commentator on civic debate issues, including the United States Presidential debates, as well as issues facing competitive debate globally. His pieces can be read on his academic blog and seen in the top debate publications in the world such as the Monash Debate Review and Achte Minute. He has been invited to teach and lecture on rhetoric and debate in several countries including Hungary, Ukraine, and Japan. He also assisted in the founding of other debating societies such as the debate society at Adelphi University and The King’s College Debate Society, both in the New York City area.

Dr. Llano has served in national debate tournament administration on many levels, frequently assisting in the administration of large competitions, helping to determine appropriate debating topics and running the tabulation of the tournament. He is one of the most frequently requested Tabulation room directors in the United States.

Courses Taught at St. John’s University

Public Speaking
Debate Practicum
Presidential Debate

Other Courses Taught

Feminist Rhetorical Theory