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Timothy J. Brown, Ph.D.
Department Chair
Discover the Power of Communication

Welcome to the website of the Department of Communication Studies at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Whether you are a current student, a prospective student, or just looking for more information about our department, you've come to the right place. Use the drop-down menus above for quick access to our site's content. If you are a student or faculty member, login to access additional content.

Communication is an essential part of human life. It affects how we relate to each other, how we achieve success, and how we view reality. It has shaped the world we live in, and it will shape the world ahead. We invite you to discover the power of communication. Contact us today, and discover how the Department of Communication Studies at West Chester University can be a part of your future.

Department News

Grant Supports Documentary Film on Dr. Grasty Gaines's picture
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Communication Studies instructor Jesse Piersol and Dr. Ruth Porritt from the Department of Philosophy have received an EAIDI grant to produce a short documentary film about Dr. Patricia Grasty Gaines, co-founder of the Frederick Douglass Institute and visionary leader in the field of multicultural education. Along with Dr. James Trotman, Dr. Gaines co-founded the Frederick Douglass Institute of WCU in 1995 and continued to develop its multicultural projects until her death in 1999. Their film will share some of Pat's story as told through the eyes of those who knew her, as well as current students who have been impacted by her legacy.

The Equity, Access, Inclusion, and Diversity Initiatives (EAIDI) Grant is offered to faculty members through WCU's College of Arts and Humanities. In addition to preserving the legacy of Dr. Gaines, their project aims to bring her work and vision to a new generation of students, and also welcome traditionally underrepresented student populations to WCU, a key focus of the university.

Pre-production for the project is underway, and the goal is to premier the film next spring at the annual Dr. Patricia Grasty Gaines Multicultural Awards Dinner.

(This 1986 photo of Dr. Grasty Gaines is courtesy of The Quad.)

Congratulations Amber Key!'s picture
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Congratulations to Amber Key, who will begin her career in media sales as an account executive for the CW Network in Richmond. Amber will work with local businesses in the Richmond area and sell digital and television advertising spots on the CW channel. Among her many responsibilities include: prospecting clients in the area, creating television and digital campaigns, assisting in ad production, and marketing.

Amber is a recent graduate (2016) of the Communication Studies program. As a student, she was a Junior Reporter for FOX29 in Philadelphia, in addition to, being a co-host of WCU Weekly and Executive Producer of the Ram Center sports show.

Com Studies professor wins research award's picture
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Michael Boyle and project co-director Mike Schmierbach from Penn State University received a research award at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conference. The award was part of the Mass Communication & Society division's research proposal contest. In winning the award, Boyle and Schmierbach received $10,000 to put toward research expenses. The proposal, titled "Exploring the use of exemplars and perspective-taking to encourage media literacy training," was one of two projects to be awarded by the division at this year's conference.

The overall goal of the project will be to explore ways to improve the effectiveness of media literacy programs. According to Dr. Boyle, "the idea is to develop different types of media literacy messages and then use an experimental design to test which one's are most effective at increasing people's willingness to be receptive to media literacy programs." The project will also test which media literacy programs are most effective at promoting critical thinking regarding media effects and how creators of media literacy programs can shift content characteristics to achieve a greater impact.

COM students hit the DNC floor to work for CNN!!'s picture
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Check out our recent post to the WCU COM Facebook page to see our students at the DNC convention helping out with the CNN media booth set up. Also look to their pages for more pictures of the events!
(Great work: Nicole Cattan, Kaitlin Clark, Anjelica Finore, Julia Rittenhouse, Alex Mapa, Sam Landsberg, Angela Clemons, Dan DeBrakeleer, Dylan Messerschmidt, Kayla Morgan. Thanks for making us look so good!​)

Congratulations to our first accelerated program graduate!'s picture
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Congratulations to Dena Ostrowski, who has accepted the position of Marketing Associate at Quintiq. As the Marketing Associate, Dena is responsible for leading the execution of the lead generation and marketing programs for the company's supply chain planning and optimization software. Some of her responsibilities include: planning, developing and executing multi-channel marketing campaigns, providing sales assistance with content development, and working with corporate marketing to align all efforts and leverage support across the organization.

Dena is a 2016 Communication Studies graduate who also holds the distinction of being the department’s first graduate of its B.A./M.A. accelerated program.

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