Sarah Wolter ’02Alumni and Faculty

Assistant Professor in Communication Studies

My connection to Gustavus started when I attended yearbook camp the summer after 7th grade. Although my photography skills left something to be desired, I left campus that summer knowing that I wanted to attend college at a place that was as amazing as Gustavus. Although I’d like to say my draw was because of the educational opportunities, at that time, I thought the people, the food, and the campus were pretty great. My interest continued, and I returned to Gustavus to pursue a B.A. degree in Honors Communication Studies. After graduation, I only stayed away a few years until coming back as a Visiting Instructor from 2005-2009. I left again to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota and returned again as a Visiting Assistant Professor in 2012. I now serve as an Assistant Professor in the department.

I teach a variety of courses in Communication Studies at Gustavus, though mostly courses in Critical Media Studies. Pedagogically, I approach media courses from a critical cultural perspective, where mediated communication is socially influential, economically powerful, and politically significant. My goal as an educator is to inspire students to be thoughtful, inquisitive, compassionate, and critically-reflexive citizens. My research spans sports discourse and critical pedagogy, and I have published work in places like Communication & Sport, The International Journal of Sport Communication, The Journal of Community Engagement in Higher Education, and The International Journal of Learning.

I harbor tremendous pride for my hometown of Red Wing, MN, home of the Wingers, world-famous Red Wing Pottery, and Red Wing Shoes. I currently reside in Northfield, MN with my partner (Blake Kane ’02) and our two children. In my free time, I enjoy playing golf, boating, and spending time with family and friends.


B.A. Gustavus Adolphus College, 2002; M.A. Minnesota State University, Mankato, 2005; Ph.D. University of Minnesota, 2012.

Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
COM-120 Public Discourse 18 2022/FA, 2022/SP, 2021/FA, 2021/SP, 2020/FA, 2017/FA, 2017/SP, 2016/SP, 2015/SP, 2014/FA, 2014/SP, 2013/FA, 2013/SP, 2012/FA, 2009/SP, 2008/FA, 2008/SP, and 2007/FA
NDL-268 Career Exploration 14 2023/JN, 2022/JN, 2021/JN, 2020/JN, 2019/JN, 2018/JN, and 2016/JN
COM-117 Interpersonal Communication 12 2014/SP, 2009/SP, 2008/FA, 2008/SP, 2007/FA, 2007/SP, 2006/FA, and 2006/SP
COM-383 Communication and Gender 9 2023/SP, 2021/SP, 2020/SP, 2019/SP, 2018/SP, 2017/SP, 2016/SP, 2014/SP, and 2013/SP
COM-115 Screen 9 2022/FA, 2022/SP, 2020/SP, 2019/FA, 2019/SP, 2018/FA, 2018/SP, 2017/FA, and 2017/SP
COM-235 Media and Society 8 2016/FA, 2016/SP, 2015/FA, 2015/SP, 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2013/SP, and 2012/FA
COM-344 ST:Gender & Sport 7 2020/FA, 2019/FA, 2018/FA, 2016/FA, 2015/FA, 2015/SP, and 2014/FA
COM-110 Public Speaking 7 2007/SP, 2006/FA, 2006/SP, and 2005/FA
COM-245 Media & Democracy 5 2023/SP, 2020/FA, 2019/FA, 2019/SP, and 2018/FA
COM-219 Teen Girls and Media 5 2009/JN, 2008/JN, 2007/JN, and 2006/JN
FTS-100 FTS:Comm/Sport Media 3 2021/FA, 2016/FA, and 2015/FA
COM-113 Social Impact of Media 3 2015/JN, 2014/JN, and 2013/JN
COM-373 Gender & Sport 2 2022/FA and 2021/FA
COM-244 ST:Media & Democracy 2 2018/SP and 2017/FA
COM-375 Media/Culture/Power 2 2013/FA and 2012/FA
COM-208 Media Literacy 2.0 1 2017/JN
COM-268 Career Exploration 1 2016/JN