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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

Graduating COM Major awarded spot at Media Sales Institute's picture
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Graduating senior (now alumna) Colleen Curry has earned a spot as a participant in the Media Sales Institute at Arizona State University this summer. Sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation (NABEF), the institute provides an intensive "boot camp" experience where students are immersed in learning electronic media advertising sales and sales techniques. Colleen will be working with other young professionals to create media products and present them to media executives. The program concludes with a career fair where candidates engage in one-on-one interviews with media company executives. According to NABEF, more than 75 percent of the participants are hired by media companies two weeks to one month after their completion of the program.

This is a very prestigious honor and we are very excited to have Colleen represent us in Arizona! She will be building on her undergraduate experience in Communication Studies, as well her extracurricular work as Assistant News Editor at The Quad, the Student News Service of West Chester University. Congratulations to one of our outstanding graduates!

COM Alumni Social at the Landmark's picture
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    Read the May 2015 Alumni Newsletter!

The WCU Communication Studies Undergraduate Alumni Chapter is going to be gathering at our old stomping grounds on Thursday, May 7th at Landmark Americana in West Chester. The WCU Senior Reception will be held downstairs and we would love to network with current and potential new members of the COM Undergraduate Alumni Chapter. We will be meeting at the bar area upstairs at 7PM to meet and greet. This event will be very informal.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Virginia Smith or Jillian Morgan via Linkedin! Or send an email to Jillian Morgan, Vice-President, the COM Alumni Chapter, at

Group Communication Students Start Campus Pay it Forward Campaign's picture
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Students in COM 499 Groups in Organizations and Societies had a big project for the semester: apply theories of group dynamics to create or change a group on campus or in the community. One group of students created the Ram it Forward campaign.

Drawing on social network and message design theories, the students set out to increase happiness on campus. They conceptualized, designed, and implemented the project, tracked results, and drew conclusions from their findings. The project involved free drinks at Starbucks, and handing out inspirational quotes to lift spirits as students head in to finals week.

We encourage you to #ram_it_forward (pay it forward at WCU) and engage in random acts to spread happiness during finals week. The students want your help to perform 100 acts of random happiness for students, faculty, and staff between now and Commencement.

PRSSA Students Visit New York City's picture
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New York, New York - the town so nice, they named it twice! And in April, 23 students from the university's chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America took on Manhattan as they toured some of the city's top communications attractions.

The day started with a visit to the offices of Allison+Partners, one of the city's fastest growing mid-sized public relations firms, where students met with account managers and coordinators and learned what to do - and not do - when preparing for a PR job. From there the group headed to the offices of America's leading newspaper, The New York Times, where they were given a tour of the editorial facilities by web editor Mark Bulik. An hour roaming Times Square was followed by the final visit of the day, DKC Public Relations, where students talked with senior management about changes in public relations as well as skill set development. In the past two years, WCU's PRSSA group has seen tremendous growth in participation and programming, thanks to a proactive, hard-working executive board.

Want to learn more? Contact the organization's president, Lauren Grow, at

Dr. Lawton receives Deans' Award for Teaching Excellence in General Education's picture
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The Department of Communication Studies is very pleased to announce that Dr. Bessie Lawton has won the WCU Deans' Award for Teaching Excellence in General Education. This prestigious honor is awarded to a faculty member who has contributed significantly to the General Education Program at West Chester University. Dr. Lawton, an Associate Professor of Communication Studies, will receive the award from Provost Linda Lamwers at this May's Commencement Ceremony. In addition, she will receive a cash prize, and be permanently recognized for this achievement in the listing of distinguished Faculty Awards in the WCU Undergraduate Catalog.

Dr. Lawton's commitment to the General Education Program at West Chester University has been truly extraordinary. She has served numerous terms as both the Department's General Education Coordinator and Assessment Director, and has also served on the University's Assessment Advisory Committee. Dr. Lawton developed the handbook students and faculty use in SPK 208, Public Speaking, our department's main general education course. In addition to teaching nearly 50 sections of SPK 208 during her career at WCU, Dr. Lawton has also taught multiple sections of COM 250, Intercultural Communication, a diversity course in the General Education Program. She was also part of a team of faculty who developed a hybrid version of COM 250, which combined classroom meetings with a substantial online learning component. Drawing from that experience, Dr. Lawton worked as part of a team to develop a hybrid version of SPK 208, which has received very positive feedback from both students and faculty.

Congratulations, Dr. Lawton, for achieving this great honor!

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