Delanna Reed, Ph.D.


Hailing from Texas, Delanna Reed adopted Tennessee as her home in 1990. Even though Texas is in her blood, she admits to a strong preference for the trees and mountains of East Tennessee over the concrete and traffic of her hometown, Dallas. She taught college level Speech Communication for 13 years before joining the Storytelling program at ETSU. In a decade gone by, Dr. Reed worked in television as an air director for an independent Dallas station. She also performed in Cripple Creek, Colorado in a summer melodrama theater, returning to Big "D" to work for Eastern Onion as a singing telegram messenger. A career change to teaching brought her to Cumberland College in Williamsburg, KY where she taught as an Assistant Professor of Communication for 10 years. There she combined a background in Theatre and Communication by teaching Performance Studies, Storytelling, Voice and Diction, Public Speaking, Small Group Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Television Journalism. She was Director of Individual Events for nine years, coaching and travelling around the state and southeast region of the U.S. with a successful speech team.

Dr. Reed's educational background and prior teaching experience prepared her to teach full time in the ETSU Storytelling Program.  She studied oral interpretation of literature (now Performance Studies) at the University of North Texas during her graduate work in 1984-1986. At that time she became involved in storytelling, working as an intern storyteller at a local primary school. Now, Dr. Reed continues to tell stories whenever possible. She has told stories as a volunteer and a professional for school classes, historic sites, churches, civic and professional organizations in Tennessee, Texas, California, and China. Dr. Reed enjoys stories which touch upon the sacred, explore relationships, expand our understanding of humanity and make us laugh.

Dr. Reed has many hobbies: travel, singing, playing guitar, hiking, camping, snow skiing and biking. In 1995 she traveled to China as a chaperon for Cumberland College students who studied at Peking University for 4 weeks. In 1997 she returned to Beijing to present a paper at the International Conference on Teaching English. 

Dr. Reed completed her PhD in the Cultural Studies in Education Program.at the University of Tennessee in August 2012. In addition to ongoing oral history research on local railroad stories and studying the impact storytelling and music have on elementary students, her research emphasis on social justice issues in graduate school will remain a central focus in the future.