- One of featured honorees in the book African American Pioneers in Communication
- 2002: Honored with an award from the KU Center for Teaching Excellence
- Recipient of a national teaching award from Teachers on Teaching Series of the National Communication Association
- Mentor for women through University Scholars Program and McNair Program
- 1999: received Steeples Service to Kansas Award for taking her research to groups outside of the academic community.
Dr. Dorthy Lee Pennington, a graduate of Rust College and the University of Kansas, is an associate professor of African and African-American Studies, and Communication Studies. She is a specialist on intercultural communication and African-American culture, the cultural discourse on trauma/terror and has taught courses on the Rhetoric of African Americans, the Black Woman, Black Male and Female Communications, among others. She has had teaching experiences at Texas Tech University and at the Department of Defense where she taught courses on Race Relations and Equal Opportunity Management.
Dr. Pennington is the recipient of many awards, including: a distinguished teaching award from the National Communication Association in recognition of outstanding contributions to the philosophy and methodology of teaching communication; a Teaching Excellence Award (University of Kansas Center for Teaching Excellence); an award as a teacher, scholar, mentor in intercultural communication by the National Communication Association; the Steeples Service to Kansans Award (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, KU); she has been invited multiple times to present at Oxford University, England, and invited to present on intercultural communication in Germany, Japan, and Korea. She is listed in Black Pioneers in Communication Research. She has been inducted into the Phi Beta Delta International Scholars Society. Her professional memberships include: the National Communication Association, where she served as Black Caucus chairperson; the Central States Communication Association, where she served as chairperson of the Intercultural Group; the National Council of Black Studies; and the National Consortium of Doctors, where she received its most distinguished member award. She serves on several national journal editorial boards.
Dr. Pennington is the author or co-author of Crossing Difference. Interracial Communication; African-American Women Quitting the Workplace; and Interracial Communication: Case Studies and Critical Incidents. She has published in the Journal of Afro-American Issues; The Speech Communication Teacher; Handbook of Intercultural Communication; Contemporary Black Thought; American Orators of the Twentieth Century; Intercultural Communication: A Reader; Seeing Female: Social Roles and Personal Lives; African-American Communications: An Anthology; Voices of Multicultural America; Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the 21st Century: A Communication Perspective; Understanding African-American Rhetoric; The African Presence in America; The Howard Journal of Communications; Die Rolle der Zivilgesellschaft und der Religion bei der Demokratisierung Afrikas; and Promoting the Success of Students of Color in Communication Departments.