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Governor’s Press Secretary Earns Advanced Degree in Political Communication, Noem Not Overjoyed

Congratulations to gubernatorial press secretary Amelia Joy, who just earned her master of arts in political communication from American University after completing her thesis on nonverbal communication. Joy celebrated her achievement by posting monumental photos of herself in our nation’s capital:

Amelia Joy, LinkedIn pix from Washington, DC, 2023.05.17.
Amelia Joy, LinkedIn pix from Washington, DC, 2023.05.17.

Joy’s thesis focused on eye contact, facial expressions, full-body actions, hand gestures, and proximity during handshakes at Presidential debates.

If I were in a prominent public position and Joy were my press secretary, I’d be spotlighting my press secretary’s academic achievement. Here she is, getting an advanced degree in the field in which I’m paying her good money to perform. Look how smart my team is! Look how smart I am for putting together such a smart team!

But Joy’s boss, Governor Kristi Noem, who only has a long-delayed bachelor’s degree, must feel outclassed by her now-university-certified-smarter spokesperson. Noem hasn’t mentioned her press secretary’s achievement yet. Since hiring Joy five months ago, Noem hasn’t unleashed this academic powerhouse to conduct a single press briefing that I’ve heard of. The only time Noem has spotlighted this bright employee was to have Joy strip off her business jacket and perform her old college baton-twirling routine in the Rotunda (and even then, Noem couldn’t get out of the way of the video camera).

Oh well. Now that Joy has her master’s degree, she can easily shop her résumé around, perhaps to someone who might actually use her keen observations on nonverbal communication in Presidential debates.

Amelia Joy, FB photo, 2021.10.23.
Amelia Joy, FB photo, 2021.10.23.


  1. O 2023-05-24 08:08

    “Make America Florida” may well be the most unhinged slogan ever.

  2. Bob Newland 2023-05-24 08:52

    I think her silence, as presented by the Kristi administration, befits the topic of her thesis. Meanwhile, her self-posted posterior view speaks volumes.

  3. Loren 2023-05-24 08:57

    Degree is wasted in SD unless it includes “when to wear camo, when to wear Carharts, Which hat is best, the trucker MAGA or cowgirl, is there too much fringe on the chaps, and should you really apply makeup with a trowel?” All better questions for a Kristi aide.

  4. Phil 2023-05-24 09:27

    Looks kinda self absorbed.

  5. Bob Newland 2023-05-24 09:41

    Self-absorption seems to be endemic in the Kristi group. For Amelia, who holds a position with, seemingly, no duties, it’s probably a way to pass the time.

  6. Anne 2023-05-24 09:55

    The thesis actually is about the ass-flaunt as political dialogue, the role of the gluteus maximus in governance. With an additional salute to dog lovers. A good ass shake is worth a dozen handshakes.

  7. larry kurtz 2023-05-24 09:58

    I, for one, embrace our new pornhub overlords aspirants.

  8. O 2023-05-24 10:11

    Also, not what I would have expected for LinkedIn pics. Maybe a cap and gown or receiving the diploma pic for this occasion? Although American University may have switched from sheepskin to corgis for the printing of their diplomas.

  9. buckobear 2023-05-24 10:52

    an insult to Corgis everywhere.

  10. Bonnie B Fairbank 2023-05-24 11:14

    Oh, Lord, not MORE photos of this perky microcephalic baton twirler. Will our suffering never end?

    Great concise and caustic comments above.

  11. P. Aitch 2023-05-24 11:29

    In the mid 70’s I moved to CO and decided at age 23 to never work outside again. Learning sales from the foundation was the task. The book “Body Language” was the homework assignment. Extremely effective!
    Congratulations Ms. Joy. You’ll be a star. 😎👍🏻🦩

  12. Arlo Blundt 2023-05-24 12:17

    Lights are on. No ones home.

  13. Bob Newland 2023-05-24 12:23

    Are Masters theses publicly available? Hers might be enlightening reading.

  14. e platypus onion 2023-05-24 12:32

    What degree did she get for learning to smile and wave? Spatkly white bell bottoms fell out of fashion when the Navy went co-ed.

  15. sx123 2023-05-24 12:45

    Remember when Noem criticized experts and belittled them?

    Well now Noem has a young one in her midst attempting to better herself and become an expert. Oops.

  16. Donald Pay 2023-05-24 13:29

    Study of non-verbal communication is a Darwinian offshoot. It’s a valid area of study. People look at speeches by Hitler to analyze not only the message he was sending through his words, but how ihs gestures convey hate for various sectors of German society. It’s really how many of us figured out relatively quickly that Trump was mentally ill and a fascist. It’s how we know there is nothing behind Noem’s words. She doesn’t really believe what she says.

  17. grudznick 2023-05-24 16:51

    She seems like a fine young lady.

    Remember that it is important to treat individuals with respect and fairness, recognizing their intrinsic worth beyond their physical appearance. By shifting the focus towards recognizing and appreciating people’s qualities, skills, and contributions, we can foster a more inclusive and equitable society that values individuals for their true worth, regardless of their physical appearance.

  18. buckobear 2023-05-24 16:52

    Now kristi has an incentive to pursue a “work experience” graduate degree to go along with her undergraduate one.

  19. grudznick 2023-05-24 18:07

    Remember, whether it is young Ms. Joy or Governor Noem, beauty comes in various forms, and it is important to acknowledge and appreciate the diversity of beauty standards. Society’s narrow and often unrealistic beauty ideals should not be used as a basis for judgment or criticism. Embracing different notions of beauty promotes inclusivity and helps challenge harmful beauty standards.

  20. Paladn 2023-05-24 20:54

    Mr. Newland: Many Universities keep copies of theses and dissertations authored by graduate students in the libraries or in the libraries of the specific department. I am not familiar with the practice of American University.

    Secondly, I am disappointed that Ms. Joy missed an amazing opportunity to analyze the rhetoric of said speeches simultaneously.

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-05-24 22:06

    Loren, all that nonverbal (not to mention non-policy) communication that dominates South Dakota’s political “discourse” could offer Joy plenty of fodder for a follow-up doctoral dissertation, if only she’s willing and able to stay in South Dakota and conduct her field observations and experiments.

  22. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-05-24 22:07

    Bob, my link above to Joy’s thesis goes to her Linkedin page, where she herself has posted her thesis for the public to read. Feel free to page through it and tell us what your learn.

  23. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-05-24 22:11

    O, yes, it does seem odd that Joy’s social media posts about her graduation seem not to include any photos of the graduation itself. These photos aren’t selfies; they appear to involve going around DC with a photographer to frame Joy amidst the capital’s landmarks.

  24. grudznick 2023-05-24 22:15

    Bob, I have had second breakfasts at NAU over there by the water tower and am somewhat familiar to the staff. I would be happy to accompany you there on a fact finding mission to discover this paper written by Ms. Joy.

  25. Bob Newland 2023-05-25 19:13

    Grudz, I have had goat food for breakfast, and I choose never to join you again at your trough.

  26. grudznick 2023-05-25 19:36

    My good friend Bob types the truth about his breakfasts. My close personal friend Lar, on the other hand, is not forthcoming about his history of breakfasting with grudznick.

  27. larry kurtz 2023-05-25 20:27

    Wearing a firearm to breakfast in Rapid City is not yet on my bucket list but nothing is impossible.

  28. larry kurtz 2023-05-25 20:43

    Tell us how you know Jerry and Joan Scriver, grud.

  29. grudznick 2023-05-25 21:03

    Those bastages have no respect for legacy breakfasting places, Lar. Nope. None.

  30. grudznick 2023-05-25 21:40


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