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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

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.

Earn your M.A. in Center City Philadelphia!

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Our M.A. in Communication Studies is now being offered in Center City Philadelphia @ 701 Market Street. The 36-credit M.A. program is designed for students wanting to learn to communicate effectively with multiple and diverse audiences, to develop strong critical thinking skills and conflict management strategies, and to engage in powerful organizational communication. For more info, go to http://wcupa.edu/philly!

Winter Term COM Classes

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Want to get ahead in your program, enjoy a small-class environment and make the most of your upcoming break? Consider a Winter session class in Communication Studies! Here’s what the department is offering – sign up today, or contact the professor listed with the course for additional information!

Writing for Broadcast and PR (COM 202) – The demand for high-quality, fast-breaking broadcast news has never been greater. Nor has the temptation to cut corners and deliver something less than excellent. In this class you will learn the fundamentals of news reporting for broadcast media and writing for public relations. ​You will develop a full media campaign that will allow you to examine how news is both created and reported as well as how public relations plays an integral role in developing relationships between newsmakers, journalists and their audiences. (Dr. Julia Waddell – jwaddell@wcupa.edu)

The Philadelphia Media Experience (COM 203) – This course traces the past, present and future of mass media in the Philadelphia region. Students will read primary text related to media development in newspapers, magazines, websites, cable companies and radio stations in and around Philadelphia. The class includes a series of trips to media centers and historic locations, including Independence Hall, Benjamin Franklin’s print shop, the Philadelphia Inquirer printing plant and the corporate headquarters of Comcast, the nation’s leading cable company. (Dr. Edward Lordan – elordan@wcupa.edu)

Mass Communication (COM 212) – This course provides an overview of many different modes of mass communication such as television, film, newspapers, and social media, among others. This is an engaging and interactive online class as we focus on thinking critically about the media we use and apply this thinking to becoming more savvy users and creators of media. (Dr. Michael Boyle -mboyle@wcupa.edu)

Communication Theory (COM 219) – Dr. David Levasseur (dlevasseur@wcupa.edu)

Communication Research (COM 224) – An examination of the nature of inquiry and research in communication. Emphasis on understanding and appreciating the strengths and weaknesses of various methods of research in communication. This is a required lower-level course for all COM majors. (Dr. Ola Kopacz - okopacz@wcupa.edu)

Intercultural Communication (COM 250) – This class explores culture and communication within the US and globally. We work individually and collaboratively online to better understand issues of the day and our relationship to them. Both theory and application are part of our examination. (Dr. Anita Foeman – afoeman@wcupa.edu)

Communication and Gender (COM 345) – In this course we will look at how meaning is created and maintained in interpersonal communicative interactions between women and men in romantic, friendship, family, and work relationships. We will also explore the messages sent to us from multiple sources throughout our lives about how men and women “should” communicate in both cross-gender and same-gender relationships. COM 345 has an unusual meeting schedule as the class will meet from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on the following dates: Tuesday, December 15, 2015; Thursday, December 17, 2015; Tuesday, December 22, 2015; Tuesday, January 5, 2016; and Thursday, January 7, 2016. While there will be a 15 minute morning break, a 30 minute lunch break, and a 15 minute afternoon break, COM 345 WILL meet from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on the above dates. Thus, please do NOT register for COM 345 if you have a trip planned for the holiday and need to leave before the late afternoon of 12/22/15. And please do NOT register for COM 345 if you need to be at work while the class is meeting or right when it ends at 4:30 p.m. There will be graded in-class activities at the beginning, middle, and end of each of the five class days. However, if you’re willing and able to spend five full days of your Winter vacation taking COM 345 [and still have an entire week off before Spring classes begin since COM 345 ends on Thursday, 1/7/16 and the Spring, 2016 semester begins on Tuesday, 1/19/16], you can earn three credits of upper level COM during Winter Session. (Dr. Elaine Jenks – ejenks@wcupa.edu)

Public Speaking (SPK208) – Dr. Mary Braz or Dr. Elizabeth Munz (mbraz@wcupa.edu or emunz@wcupa.edu)

EPA Grant awarded for food recovery

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Communication Studies professor Dr. Denise Polk just over $13,000 to continue food recovery efforts in the Borough of West Chester. The pilot project will include up to 10 restaurants or other food generators who will divert their food waste for 12 months. The waste will be collected by the Borough of West Chester's Public Works department, where they will transport it to a permitted compost facility. This pilot also will include other food recovery efforts. Specifically, WCU students will help develop outreach materials to help restaurants reduce their waste and offer extra food to neighborhood organizations that feed hungry families. If you're interested in getting involved in the outreach efforts, please contact Dr. Polk directly by sending an email to dpolk@wcupa.edu.

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