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Mr. Robert Ballenger

Senior Lecturer

Senior Lecturer

Institute of Applied Agriculture 2123 Jull Hall 4196 Stadium Drive College Park, Maryland 20742-2525


  • Communication
  • Oral Communication/Public Speaking
  • Extension media relations
  • journalism


  • M.A. Speech Communication, University of Washington
  • B.A. Communication Studies, Virginia Tech

Rob Ballenger earned a master’s degree in Speech Communication from the University of Washington, where his interdisciplinary coursework included cultural studies, international studies, and higher education issues. Rob also taught public speaking while at the University of Washington, which led to a position at Seattle University teaching courses in communication theory and intercultural communication.

Rob – a news junkie – eventually took a break from university teaching to try his hand at the news industry. That hiatus evolved into a 15-year journalism career as he advanced from local news at CBS and NPR affiliates in Washington state to NPR’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.  At NPR, Rob played a key role for the network’s flagship program All Things Considered. He led much of the show’s breaking news coverage as a producer, and as a reporter he filed enterprising features from datelines in New Orleans, Taipei, Prague and beyond.

Rob now combines his years of “real world” communication experience with his teaching background to benefit the undergraduates at College Park. He is well situated in Maryland as it lies squarely between Rob’s two home states: Pennsylvania, where he was raised; and Virginia, where he was born and went on to become a Virginia Tech Hokie.