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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

Forensics Team Wins Tournament

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WCU Forensics Team
Our Award-Winning Forensics Team
(Click thumbnail to view larger size.)

The West Chester University Forensics Team won top honors at the 2011 Collegiate Forensic Association Holiday Tournament held on December 2-3rd at Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown, Virginia. The team dominated the competition winning 29 individual awards. West Chester University had three of the top Pentathlon (speaker versatility award) winners at the tournament in addition to taking championships in seven different categories offered at the tournament.

Individual awards went to:

Daquann Chung, sophomore communication studies major from Pocono Lake: First Place in Dramatic Interpretation, First Place in Dramatic Duo Interpretation with partner Imani Thomas, and Fifth Place in Informative Speaking.

Dan Hinderliter, junior Honors middle grades education major from Allentown: Third Place in Pentathlon, First Place in Poetry Interpretation, First Place Parliamentary Debate Teamwith partner Lanie Presswood, Third Place Speaker in Parliamentary Debate, Third Place in Extemporaneous Speaking, and Fourth Place in After Dinner Speaking.

Andy Lloyd, junior communication studies major from Reading: Fourth Place in Persuasive Speaking, and Fourth Place in Prose Interpretation.

Jake Markiewicz, junior communication studies major from West Grove: Second Place in Pentathlon, Second Place in Extemporaneous Speaking, Second Place in Impromptu Sales, Third Place in Informative Speaking, Fourth Place in Dramatic Duo Interpretation with partner Joe Tetreault, Fourth Place Parliamentary Debate Team with partner Joe Tetreault, and Fifth Place in Prose Interpretation.

Ashley Murphy, sophomore Honors English and special education major, from Wallenpaupack: Third Place in Poetry Interpretation, and Fifth Place in Dramatic Interpretation.

Lanie Presswood, junior communication studies major from Bloomsburg: First Place in Communication Analysis, First Place Speaker in Parliamentary Debate, First Place Parliamentary Debate Team with partner Dan Hinderliter, Second Place in Impromptu Speaking, and Sixth Place in After Dinner Speaking.

Joe Tetreault, junior history education major from Southampton, New Jersey: Sixth Place in Pentathlon, First Place in Informative Speaking, Fourth Place in Poetry Interpretation, Fourth Place in Dramatic Duo Interpretation with partner Jake Markiewicz, Fourth Place Parliamentary Debate Team with partner Jake Markiewicz, and Fifth Place Speaker in Parliamentary Debate.

Imani Thomas, first year communication studies major from Philadelphia: First Place in Dramatic Duo Interpretation with partner Daquann Chung, and Sixth Place in Prose Interpretation.

In addition, valuable preliminary team points were added by Tiffany Lopez, senior communication studies major from Glenside and Nic Sardo, junior history education major from Glen Mills. The team effort was also assisted by Kelly Ratka, senior communication studies major.

WCU Forensics Team Dominates Fall Classic

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The West Chester University Forensics Team won top honors at the 2011 Collegiate Forensic Association Fall Classic Tournament held on October 28-29th at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Winning nineteen awards, the team dominated the competition. West Chester University had three of the top six Pentathlon (speaker versatility award) winners at the tournament including the Pentathlon Champion in addition to taking championships in six of the twelve events offered at the tournament.

Individual awards went to:

Dan Hinderliter, junior Honors middle grades education major from Allentown: Pentathlon Champion, Dramatic Interpretation Champion, Impromptu Speaking Champion, Dramatic Duo Champion with Alane Presswood, Second Place in Poetry Interpretation, and Second Place in After Dinner Speaking.

Lanie Presswood, junior communication studies major from Bloomsburg: Fourth Place in Pentathlon, After Dinner Speaking Champion, Poetry Interpretation Champion, Dramatic Duo Champion with Daniel Hinderliter, Fifth Place in Prose Interpretation.

Jake Markiewicz, junior communication studies major from West Grove: Informative Speaking Champion, Second Place Parliamentary Debate Team with Joseph Tetreault, Third Place in Prose Interpretation, Fourth Place in Impromptu Speaking, and Fifth Place Parliamentary Debate Speaker.

Joe Tetreault, junior history education major from Southampton, New Jersey: Fifth Place in Pentathlon, Second Place Parliamentary Debate Team with Jake Markiewicz, Second Place in Prose Interpretation, Second Place in Informative Speaking, and Sixth Place in Poetry Interpretation.

The team will next travel to George Mason University on November 11-13. For more information, please contact the Director of Forensics, Mark Hickman, at 610-430-5848 or mhickman@wcupa.edu.

Undergraduate Handbook

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With the start of a new academic year, I'm pleased to announce that the Department of Communication Studies has issued a new Undergraduate Handbook. You'll find it as a link under the "Undergraduate Program," or just click this direct link. I encourage all undergraduate students to read the Undergraduate Handbook, as it contains important information about our program, our mission and our policies. It is a valuable resource that can help you achieve success in our program.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. I wish you all the best in your academic career at West Chester University.

A Second Call: Alumni of our Graduate Program

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Hi again!

Summer's time is precious, and it's getting closer to the start of our academic year. We didn't have a lot of success gathering you together for those focus groups -- I know it's different when you're already on campus for class, so summer just may not be the time to do it. The advantage of a face-to-face focus group is that the interaction tends to bring about more feedback, but it is less convenient for participants.

To make it more convenient for you, I've created a survey. I'm hoping that you'll please take some time to respond to the questions. It's a way for me to find out and prioritize tasks for the program.

It would be great if you could respond by Monday, August 15th. Thank you for any feedback you think might be valuable. To access the survey, please click on this link:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7K8QNGP

-- Denise
Denise M. Polk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies

Professor Braz Publishes Article in Human Communication

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Mary Braz published an article on group communication titled, "Are we being watched? A test of hand washing in public restrooms as communication behavior" in the peer-reviewed journal Human Communication. In this study, Braz and co-authors investigate the influence of social norms on hand-washing behavior. Group norms influence hand-washing behavior in college campus restrooms such that when others are present, hand-washing behavior increases.

http://www.uab.edu/Communicationstudies/humancommunication/03_01_2011_He...

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