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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

WCU Forensics Showcase on March 30

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The award-winning members of the WCU Forensics speech team will be putting on a showcase on Tuesday March 30th at 7:30 p.m. in Main 168. Members Sara Franklin, Cass Lowry, Alane Presswood, Jule Coppa, and Caitlin Rivera will be exhibiting a wide range of both prepared address and interpretive events, including persuasive speaking, informative speaking, after dinner speaking, interpretation of prose, and dramatic duo interpretation, among others. All events shall be explained and performed for your viewing pleasure.

At the recent Pennsylvania Forensic Association State Championship Tournament, West Chester (under the guidance of coach Mark Hickman) placed 1st in their division and carried home numerous individual first place awards. You can witness the talent first-hand; come join us for an evening of enlightened oration and discover the joys of one of WCU’s lesser-known but lively competitive arts.

Faculty Scholarship:Web-based Video Management

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At the 2010 Northeast Regional Computing Program (NERCOMP) conference, Dr. Philip A. Thompsen presented "Watch Your Speech Online: A Web-Based Video Management System for Public Speaking Courses." His presentation described the system Dr. Thompsen has developed for capturing and managing videos of student speeches, and for displaying these videos on the web and on mobile devices (such as iPods and iPhones). The NERCOMP conference is an annual meeting of educational technology leaders in higher education, and is a regional meeting of EDUCAUSE, the nation's leading educational technology association. To the left is a "screencast" of his presentation; click the large "play" button to watch, then move your cursor over the video while it's playing to access additional playback controls.

Faculty Scholarship: Cultural Difference in Nonverbal Communication

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Dr. Martin Remland's research on cultural differences in nonverbal communication is spotlighted in the February issue of NCA's online journal, Communication Currents. Dr. Remland was one of six other communication scholars interviewed by the editor of the journal at the recent national convention in Chicago. In the featured interview, he discusses his recent study comparing frequencies of conversational touch in northern European and Mediterranean countries. Read more at http://www.communicationcurrents.com/, or click the play button below to listen to Dr. Remland's interview.

Dr. Remland was also recently interviewed by Discovery News and asked to briefly comment on the release of a major new Tufts University study concerning the nonverbal expression of racial bias in prime time televison programs. Read the article at Discovery News.

Good Day West Chester now online

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Students in Dr. Boyle's Communication 317: Advanced TV & Video production are hard at work this semester producing episodes of Good Day West Chester produced at the campus television studio located in Brandywine Hall. Each episode highlights a West Chester faculty member discussing their teaching, research, or other interests and recent episodes have featured Dr. Anita Foeman talking about her DNA research and Dr. Phil Thompsen sharing his insights on technology in the classroom. The show also mixes in field productions ranging from comic takes on The Jersey Shore and Valentine's Day to profiles of members of the campus community. Students take on all roles of the television production including director, camera operator, and host, among others. Episodes of the show can be viewed HERE. You can also sign up for the podcast of the show to receive downloads of new episodes of the show as they are added.

Faculty Scholarship: Evaluating Computerized Speech Analysis

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Dr. Philip A. Thompsen participated in a recent research project that evaluated different approaches to the automatic computerized analysis of speech. A scholarly article based on this research is scheduled to be published in a forthcoming issue of the CALICO Journal, the official peer-reviewed publication of the Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium. Dr. Thompsen is listed as a co-author of "Quantitative, notional, and comprehensive evaluations of spontaneous engaged speech," to be published in Volume 29, Issue 1 of the journal (September 2011). Dr. Thompsen worked with lead investigator Dr. Garrett Molholt (a faculty colleague from the Department of English) in the development of web-based technology for experimentally testing the efficacy of three different methods of measuring speech proficiency. Other West Chester University professors participating in this interdisciplinary research effort, and listed as co-authors of the article, include Dr. María José Cabrera (Department of Languages and Culture) and Dr. V. Krishna Kumar (Department of Psychology). The study examined the extent to which quantitative measures, common sense notional measures, and comprehensive measures adequately characterize spontaneous though engaged speech. The article contributes to the growing body of literature describing the current limits of automatic systems for evaluating spoken proficiency, provides examples of the essential nature of various notional and comprehensive variables, supports the continued development of hybrid systems, and includes suggestions for the possible utilization of additional variables for automatic analyses.

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