Her research interests include the intersections of: rhetorical theory and criticism, feminist theories of communication, environmental communication and rhetoric, and intercultural communication and rhetoric. She is especially interested in these areas of inquiries in Asia and Latin America. She has completed research projects in and about Indonesia, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
Her publications appear in Communication Theory, Philosophy and Rhetoric, Communication Studies, The Howard Journal of Communications, Hypatia, Argumentation and Advocacy, Ethics and the Environment, The Globalization of Corporate Media Hegemony, and other outlets. She also received a William J. Fulbright research grant for her dissertation research in 2000-2001 and a Fulbright-Hays grant in 2005. While at UTEP, Dr. Sowards has led study abroad programs/research trips in Mexico, Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Germany. She also serves as the department’s coordinator for UTEP’s master’s program with the non-governmental organization, Rare. Rare is based in Arlington, Virginia, and works to protect endangered species and their habitats in more than 40 countries. Dr. Sowards also worked with the Rare-UTEP training program for conservation campaigns at the Bogor Agricultural Institute in Indonesia and the Universidad Libre in Colombia with students/campaign managers who earn their M.A. degrees from the Department of Communication.