Dr. Richard Mercadante

Dr. Richard Mercadante

Office Information

Clearwater Campus
LA 170
(727) 444-6321


Rich Mercadante joined St. Petersburg College in 2006. He has been teaching for 25 years.  He currently teaches courses in speech communication, philosophy, and interdisciplinary studies (honors). 

He has served as President of the Florida Communication Association and served as Chair of the Clearwater Faculty Council (2008-2011).  Currently, he is the Faculty Governance Organization (FGO) Senate President-elect (2012-2013 term).  He is also the faculty moderator for Students for Educational Reform.  He holds the following degrees:

Ph.D. Philosophy, University of South Florida.
Dissertation:  The Persistence of Casuistry: A Neo-Premodernist Approach to Moral Reasoning

M.A. Speech Communication, University of South Florida. 
        Thesis: Rhetoric, Epistemics, and Public Moral Discourse: Propspects for Rapprochment

M.A. Philosophy, Boston College

B.S. Philosophy, Suffolk University (Boston)


His communication career began in his native state of Massachusetts, as a radio news anchor and disc jockey at several radio stations, including WBMT, WNBP, and WHAV.  As a college student, he earned over 100 awards in speech and debate (forensics) competitions and was the New England Individual Events speaking champion for two years in a row.  He also earned national speaking awards at several National Forensic Association championship tournaments.  As a forensics coach, he trained numerous nationally-qualifying forensics students.

Dr. Mercadante has over 25 years of teaching experience, which includes
Jesuit High School, Hillsborough Community College, University of South Florida, Father Lopez High School, Bethune-Cookman College, Northeastern University, and Our Lady of Grace Seminary.  He has taught a variety of courses including introduction to speech communication, public speaking, critical thinking, logic, ethics, philosophy, contemporary social problems, biblical literature, world religions, humanities, interdisciplinary studies and homiletics.   He also created a professional development course, Communication Skills for Teachers, along with several summer seminars on value debate. In 2004, he received the Florida Communication Association (FCA) Teacher of the Year Award and in 2007 he was received the FCA Outstanding Service Award.

He has been awarded competitive research and education grants from the
National Endowment for the Humanities (Philosophy and Medicine in Ancient Greece), the Council for Basic Education (Aristotle on Friendship), and the National Science Foundation (Vico's Rhetorical View of Mathematics).

In both 1999 and 2006, he was elected President of the
Florida Communication Association - a 75-year old state organization that focuses on best practices for professional teaching and research in speech communication.

His hobbies include attending local auctions and selling books and antiques on eBay.


Upcoming and Recent Academic Conference Presentations

September 2012

October 2012
"The State of the Basic Communication Course in Florida Colleges and Universities"
     (with Dr. Shirley Oakley, SPC)
     Florida Communication Association
     Orlando, FL

May 2012

"Transmitting Best Practices in Teaching and Learning:  Toward a Phenomenological Approach"
     International Journal of Arts and Sciences' International Conference for Academic Disciplines
     Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

May 2012
"Academic Ambitions:  10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won't Tell You."  Keynote Address at the 2012 
     SPC Honors College Graduation Ceremony.  Largo, Florida.

April 2012
"How Colleges and Universities are Teaching Students the Learning Management Systems"
"Four Year Programs at the Community College:  Challenges and Changes"
     Southern States Communication Association Convention
     San Antonio, Texas

"Taking the Lead in PowerPoint Communication:  Overcoming the Abuses of Visual Communication"
     Florida College System Student Government Association (FCSSGA)
     St. Petersburg, FL.

April 2012
"Taking the Lead in Powerpoint Communication:  Overcoming the Abuses of Visual Communication" 
     Florida College System Student Government Association (FCSSGA) Conference
     St. Petersburg, Florida

March 2012
Five Common Communication Mistakes that Educators Make (and How to Correct Them)
     Narrowing the Gulf Conference (SPC)
     Largo, FL

January 2012
" Interdisciplinary Teaching"
     SPC Critical Thinking Institute Retreat (presented with Nadia Yevstigneyeva, SPC Honors College Director and 
     Julia Rawa, SPC English Professor)

October 2011
"Apologia and Nazism:  Rhetoric, Ethos and the Heidegger Case"
     Outstanding Professional Paper Award
     Florida Communication Association Convention
     Orlando, FL

September 2011
"The Persistence of Casuistry:  The Revival of Case-Based Reasoning"
     SPC 2011 Fall Critical Thinking Institute for Thinking and Learning
     Clearwater, Florida

April 2010
"Speech as Part of the Interdisciplinary Studies Honors Program"  Southern States Communication Association Convention
     Memphis, Tennessee                                                                       
"Mentoring Adjuncts: A Multi-Perspective View" (Chair) 
Southern States Communication Association Convention
     Memphis, Tennessee                                                                           
"Positive Communication Through Service Learning" (Chair)  Southern States Communication Association Convention
     Memphis, Tennessee                                                                           
"Epideictic Speaking in the Communication Classroom" 
Southern States Communication Association Convention
     Memphis, Tennessee

March 2009
"The Abuse of PowerPoint: Rethinking Visual Communication in the College Classroom."
      2009 (10th Annual Conference) - St. Petersburg 
Narrowing the Gulf for Underrepresented Students in Postsecondary Education

April 2009 
2009 Southern States Communication Association Convention - Norfolk, Virginia
"Toward a Phenomenology of Communicating Educational Best Practices: 
 Tradition, Transmission, and Jesuit Education."

 "Teaching Speech Communication Using an Excel Notecard Maker" for panel on 
 G.I.F.T.S. - Great Ideas for Teaching Speech

"Collaborating with One Another: Is There a Need for a Paradigm Shift in the 
 Community College?" (Chair)

October 2008       
"The Persistence of PowerPoint: Recent Trends and Research."
Florida Communication Association Convention – Gainesville

November 2008  National Communication Association Convention - San Diego, California

April 2008  Southern States Communication Association Convention - Savannah, Georgia

November 2007
"A Casuistic Theory for Debating Values"
National Communication Association Convention - Chicago, Illinois

October 2007    
"The Rhetorical Making and Molding of Globalization"
Florida Communication Association Convention - Daytona Beach Shores

May 2007
 "Faculty/Student Conflict Resolution: A Communication Perspective"
 International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence
National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) - Austin, Texas

October 2006
"Communication and Social Capital: Crafting the eBay Virtual Community"
Florida Communication Association Convention - St. Pete Beach

"Vico's Constructivist Epistemology and Recent Trends in Philosophy and Rhetoric"

" unConventional Communication Within State Organizations: Strategies and Approaches to 
 Building Strong Associations and Fostering Professional Development." (seminar leader)


Office Schedule

Spring 2013, Monday - Thursday

12:15 pm - 4:00 pm
Clearwater, LA 170
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Clearwater, LA 170
12:15 pm - 6:00 pm
Clearwater, LA 170
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Clearwater, LA 170

Tutoring Availability

Available during office hours or other times by appointment.

Classroom Schedule

Classes shown below are for the current term: Fall Term 2016 (0520)

SPC 1608H   #1492
CL LA190
5:00 pm - 6:15 pm
PHI 1010H   #1859
CL LA190
7:00 pm - 8:15 pm
IDH 2029H   #1099
2:00 pm - 3:45 pm
IDH 2029H   #3371
CL LA190
2:00 pm - 3:45 pm

Subjects Taught

Interdisciplinary Honors, Philosophy, Speech Communication

Course Info

= Richard Mercadante has added information specific to this course. (syllabus, video, class meeting times, etc.)

Fall Term 2016 arrow 0520
  IDH 2029H   Honors College Cornerstone Sem 1099 Blended9/12/1612/09/16
  SPC 1608H   Honors Public Speaking 1492CLBlended8/15/1612/09/16
  PHI 1010H   Honors Intro to Philosophy 1859CLBlended8/15/1612/09/16
  IDH 2029H   Honors College Cornerstone Sem 3371CLBlended9/12/1612/09/16
Summer Term 2016 arrow 0515
  SPC 1017   Intro Speech Communication 0072CLBlended5/16/167/08/16
  SPC 1017   Intro Speech Communication 0074CLBlended5/16/167/08/16