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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

Department Effort Noted as a "Best Practice in Technology"'s picture
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The Department of Communication Studies effort to advance student learning through the online viewing of student speech videos has been noted as a "Best Practice in Technology" by the Curriculum and Policy Committee (CAPC) of West Chester University. While the Department has been recording student speeches in public speaking classes for decades, in recent years we have moved from a tape-based system of recording to a digital one, with the videos available for students to view over the web. On December 3, Dr. Philip A. Thompsen gave a short presentation to CAPC describing the technology used to record videos of student speech performances and present them on the web, as well as recent efforts to make them viewable on other platforms, including iPods, iPhones and other mobile media players. Dr. Thompsen also discussed some of the technological advances currently under development, such as a system for presenting synchronous instructor feedback during playback of speech videos. Click here to view Dr. Thompsen's presentation.

Need help with the GRE?'s picture
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Interested in graduate study in the Department of Communication Studies, but worried about doing your best on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)? Consider enrolling in one of the 2010 Graduate Prep Courses, offered by West Chester University and Advanced Test Review. GRE prep classes are available in both traditional one night per week sessions as well as an intense 1-day session. All classes are held at West Chester University's Graduate Business Center on McDermott Drive. For more information, visit

Flash Mob Panel at WCU's picture
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On Wednesday night, Rob Lathan of Improv Everywhere and Lt. John Walker from the Philadelphia Police Department spoke to roughly 200 students about Flash Mobs and Crowd Behavior. Rob Lathan, a member of Improv Everywhere, has made national appearances because of his work with flash mobs, including appearances on the Conan O'Brian Show, the Today Show, and VH1, and has been profiled in Rolling Stone Magazine. He told audience members about behind-the-scenes information about some popular Improv Everywhere missions including High Five Escalator, Rob!, and Frozen Grand Central. To see more about these missions, visit

Lt. John Walker provided the audience with information about the darker side of flash mobs, including the challenges police officers face when engaging in crowd control, riot prevention, and responding to an aggressive gathering. He shared his own philosophy on crowd control and reported on some real life events he's encountered in the city of Philadelphia. Lt. Walker is also an alumni of WCU and spent time on campus from 1985-1989. We can't thank him enough for coming up during such a busy time of the year in Philadelphia.

Dr. Ed Lordan was instrumental in putting this panel together. The thanks and praise for a well executed event go to him. Thanks also to the Department of Communication Studies for hosting the event.

Department Scholarship News: Lawton Publishes Journal Article's picture
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Dr. Bessie Lee Lawton (and co-author Kim Logio) just had an article entitled "Teaching the Chinese language to heritage versus non-heritage learners: Parents' perceptions of a community weekend school in the United States" published in an international journal called Language, Culture, and Curriculum. Results show differences in expectations regarding teacher communication and teaching style, and an increasing call to incorporate cultural practices into the curriculum and language learning process. These changes not only helped self-identified non-heritage learners achieve identification with the ethnic group; heritage learners who experienced ethnic ambivalence were also drawn back through increased pride and enjoyment in their heritage.

Lamda Pi Eta Announces Upcoming Events - Open to all students!'s picture
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Join Lamda Pi Eta, the Communication Department Undergraduate Honors Society, for fun social and service events in the upcoming weeks!

October 21 - Lambda Pi Eta is inviting the entire COM department to a social event at the haunted Bates Motel. Around 6:15PM in 10/21, we will leave the Lawrence parking lot and carpool to the event. Sign ups are available in Main 512 and the event is open to anyone in COM. Ticket price is $25 with an online coupon but the *first 10 people to sign up will get a $10 discount* courtesy of Lambda Pi Eta.

October 27 - Please join us at Iron Hill anytime on 10/27 and tell your waiter you are supporting Lambda Pi Eta. This "Dine to Donate" event is sponsored by Lambda Pi Eta. A percent of your meal will go to supporting our goals and mission. Remember: Social at Iron Hill, Oct. 27, Dine to Donate fundraiser, Open to entire campus!

October 29 - If you're interested in volunteering in the community, we will be working the West Chester Halloween Parade as parade marshals. Email the LPH Service Coordinator Emily Bass at if you are interested. It starts at 5:30PM.

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