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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

Lambda Pi Eta Visits Tierney in Philadelphia

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On November 6, Department of Communication Studies Chair Dr. Timothy Brown accompanied thirteen members of the communication honor society Lambda Pi Eta when they visited Tierney advertising agency in Philadelphia. Students met with Tierney professionals for a facility tour and Q&A session, where they learned more about the agency’s work in the areas of advertising, public relations, social media, strategic planning, and crisis management. Students also received professional advice on networking and resume-building. Lambda Pi Eta chapter President Sarah Budzik looks forward to organizing additional professional development opportunities in the Spring 2016 semester. For more information on Lambda Pi Eta, contact Faculty Advisor Dr. Roger Gatchet at rgatchet@wcupa.edu.

COM Major excels as a Fox 29 Junior Reporter

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Earlier this semester, COM major Amber Key was named a Fox 29 Junior Reporter. Her first story aired on the Philadelphia Fox TV affiliate on Sunday, November 22, 2015. She reported on the "My Smart Hands" program in Allentown, an innovative sign language program for babies and young children. You can watch the report below.

Congratulations, Amber! The Communication Studies department is proud of your accomplishments.

Faculty research on Occupy Wall Street published

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Research conducted by Prof. Michael Boyle exploring news coverage patterns for two different Occupy Wall Street (OWS) locations was published in Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest. The study used interviews with journalists and analysis of newspaper coverage to take a closer look at OWS sites in Philadelphia, PA and Madison, WI. The more organized location in Madison, WI experienced greater success based on their ability to focus the group's mission and build relationships with local media. The Occupy site at Madison ultimately evolved into a homeless advocacy group that continued well past the point where many Occupy sites dissolved. The Philly site, on the other hand, experienced limited success and fell into many of the trappings that negatively affect protest groups including lack of message clarity and leadership, and increasingly negative news coverage as internal conflict escalated.

COM Major Presents at Research Day

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Senior Communication Studies major Chloe Neal participated in the Fall 2015 West Chester University Research Day on Tuesday, November 10th. Chloe gave a presentation entitled “’That’s a Good Girl now Smile for the Camera’: Differences in Images of Girls, Boys, and Children of Both Sexes in Parents Magazine.“

Chloe's presentation discussed some preliminary findings from a content analysis study done under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth Munz. Her research was conducted as part of West Chester University's Summer Undergraduate Research Institute.

Congratulations, Chloe, and thank you for representing the Department of Communication Studies at this event!

COM Faculty Present Scholarship at NCA 2015

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Many of our department faculty will be presenting their scholarship at the annual convention of the National Communication Association. This year's convention will be held November 19 - 22 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Below is a list of the scholarship our faculty will be presenting.

Brown, T.J. (2015). Top papers in African American communication and culture (Respondent). Panel presentation at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.

Brown, T.J. (2015). Learning outcomes in communication project: Starting conversations on curriculum, teaching, and learning (Panelist). Panel presentation at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.

Castle Bell, G. (2015) “Mama’s Boys”, Black boys and black families: Collaborative Explorations of masculinities, identities and attachment. Paper presentation at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.

Foeman, A.K, Lawton, B.L. & Thompsen, P.A. (2015). What makes public speaking public speaking? Paper presentation at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.

Gatchet, R. D., & King, S. A. (2015, November). Music & public memory. Transcending the past at the B. B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center. Paper presentation at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.

Gatchet, R. D., & Gatchet, A. D. (2015, November). The good, the bad, and the ugly: Violating audience expectations in Clint Eastwood’s speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Presentation at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.

Hickman, M. (2015). Beyond policy statements: Fostering a culture of adapting to differently abled students in forensics activities. Presentation at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.

Hickman, M. (2015). Shared governance? Making Pi Kappa Delta provinces relevant at the national level. Presentation at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.

Jenks, E.B., & Jeffress, M.S. (2015). Creating a special topics course in communication and disability. Paper presentation at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.

Jenks, E.B. & Rawlins, W.K. (2015). Embracing Bakhtin as a writing guide: Learning with and representing others ethnographically. Paper presentation at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.

Meier, M. (2015). Stand-up comedy and the public sense of humor. Paper presentation at annual convention of the National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.

Polk, D. M. (2015). Building community one child at a time: A grassroots approach to taking young South Africans off the streets. Paper presentation at the annual convention of the 5 National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV.

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