A headshot of PhD candidate Jennifer Schaupp.

PhD in Creativity

PhD candidate Jennifer Schaupp is a playwright, theater artist, community teacher, and university instructor at Point Park.


Through interviews, research, and trial workshops, Schaupp's dissertation shows how English language learning programs can provide a holistic foundation for immigrants and refugees in the United States to develop a stake in their adopted homeland and actively participate in the political process. The dissertation is premised on the belief that theatre, due to its democratic, conversational, and empathetic qualities, is the vehicle by which immigrants and refugees can move from language learning to political engagement; and that the therapeutic dimensions of theatre can demonstrate support for the most vulnerable adult learners to face societal biases and find their voices, particularly female-identifying learners with no formal education and with other limitations.


Fadi Skeiker, Professor of Theatre, Fordham University

Pratyusha Tummala-Narra, Research Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Director of Community-Based Education at the Albert and Jessie Danielsen Institute at Boston University

Deniz Ortactepe Hart, Lecturer in TESOL, School of Education at the University of Glasgow

Jennifer Schaupp