Lois Self was born in Durham, NC and earned a BA with honors in History at St. Andrews Presbyterian College, an MA in American History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.. She has taught rhetoric and gender and communication courses at Northern Illinois University since 1979 and is co- author of a textbook on multicultural aspects of communication skills and author of numerous articles and professional papers presented at conferences throughout the U.S. and abroad. She has also visited Ireland and Thailand to consult on the development of Women's Studies and conduct research. In addition to having mentored literally hundreds of students at the university, Professor Self consults with various non-profit, professional and corporate groups on gender and communication skills and issues in the workplace. She directed Northern's interdisciplinary Women's Studies Program for nine years and chaired the Provost's Task Force on Multicultural Curriculum Reform from its inception until 1996. She has served as an officer in numerous academic professional organizations. She now serves as the Chair of the Department of Communication at Northern which has the university's largest undergraduate program with majors in Communication Studies and Journalism and a Master's degree in Communication Studies. Dr. Self is also the Executive Secretary of Northern Illinois Newspaper Association and a Board member for the DeKalb Area Women's Center. She has been the recipient of numerous recognitions for professional and community service and received the 1997 Francine Merritt Award for contributions to women in the National Communication Association and the communication discipline.