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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

Faculty Scholarship: It's not always what you do, it's how you do it

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Prof. Mike Boyle co-authored the study "Measuring level of deviance: Considering the distinct influence of goals and tactics on news treatment of abortion protests" published in the December issue of the Atlantic Journal of Communication (Vol 17: 166-183). The study assessed news coverage of abortion protests in The New York Times and Washington Post from 1960 to 2006 and found that when abortion protesters used more extreme/aggressive tactics they were more likely to be treated more critically by news media. There were little differences in treatment from before Roe v. Wade to after the court decision suggesting the landmark court decision had a limited impact on how journalists covered the issue. Further, although pro-choice protesters tended to receive more favorable coverage, their tactics tended to be less extreme/aggressive than pro-life protesters. The study also revealed that shifts in public opinion toward abortion rights exerted little influence on how critical or supportive news coverage was. Overall, the findings suggest that it is more the specific actions - whether they hold a peaceful vigil vs. a confrontational rally - of a protest group rather than their goals that influence how journalists treat them.

The Ayer Cup is back in West Chester!

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The Cup is Back!! The N.W. Ayer Cup, the trophy that symbolizes the annual advertising showdown between WCU Communication Studies students and their counterparts from Villanova University, is back in West Chester!

On Wednesday, December 2, five WCU comm majors (Jessica Shultz, Courtney Conigliaro, Don Beaver, Amber Loiselle and Kevin Conner) presented their advertising campaign for the new sport, Kronum, to five advertising executives in the boardroom of the prestigious law firm of Fox Rothschild in Philadelphia. The student team, dubbed ad savvy, promoted their plan to use social media to reach critical audiences around the world, then responded to questions from the panel on everything from audience analysis to their annual budget. When it was all over, ad savvy had won the account, and they brought the hardware back to campus! If you see members of ad savvy around campus, please congratulate them on their big win!

Communication Studies Student Gains Blog Success

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With all of the media competition out there, it takes a great product to stand out and get attention. Communication Studies major Erinn Carey is demonstrating how to do that with her new blog, "My 2 Cents...on Fashion, Finance and your Future." You'll find Erinn's work at erinns2cents.wordpress.com. For the past year, Erinn has been working with Tracy Davidson, anchor and consumer reporter for NBC10 Television. This work has sharpened her reporting and writing skills and allowed her to gain experience in two different media - television and internet - at the same time. "Erinn is doing all of the things an undergraduate comm studies student needs to do to succeed," Dr. Ed Lordan says. "She is getting professional experience, sharpening her skill set, and focusing on a service that is extremely useful to a specific audience. She is taking chances, trying new things, and learning every step along the way." Erinn's blog features information that is particularly useful to undergraduate students, and includes a lot of useful financial info on deals, budgeting and other important topics - you should definitely check it out.

Department Effort Noted as a "Best Practice in Technology"

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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?

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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 http://www.gbcwcu.org/gmatprep.html.

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