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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

COM Grad Publishes Book's picture
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It's not just COM Studies professors who publish books....our students do as well!

Stephen J. Edgcumbe, who has taken classes in our graduate program, recently published a history of West Chester Pike through Arcadia Publishing. A native of Delaware County who grew up on the eastern edge of the pike, Stephen has written a fascinating story of how this important road grew from a dirt lane to a major thoroughfare for commerce in the county.

The book includes 200 images of the people, businesses and communities associated with the pike. For more information, go to (or just click on the image of the book on the left).

Congratulations, Stephen!

COM Professors Publish Study in The Journal of Intercultural Communication Research's picture
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Three professors in the Department of Communication Studies—Dr. Bessie Lawton, Dr. Anita Foeman and Dr. Mary Braz—are co-authors of an article published in the latest issue of the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research. The article, "Interracial Couples’ Conflict Styles on Educational Issues," reports the results of a quantitative survey of interracial couples’ conflict styles on one specific issue—education.

Dr. Lawton, lead author of the study, provides the following summary of the research:

Interracial couples answered a slightly revised version of Putnam-Wilson's Organizational Communication Conflict Instrument to assess conflict styles in dealing with education. The study had three research questions: (1) Do men and women score differently on self-reported use of conflict styles when dealing with educational issues? (2) Does age or race predict self-reported conflict style for husbands when they deal with educational issues? and (3) Does age or race predict self-reported conflict style for wives dealing with educational issues? A difference on control emerged between husbands and wives, with the latter showing more control-oriented behavior compared to the former. Wives’ age and race were not related to control, non-confrontation, or solution. Husbands who are Asian or Latino were more likely to exercise control. Older husbands’ responses reflected that they were more likely to display solution-oriented behaviors over control-oriented ones.

COM grad seeks to scale Mt. Kilimanjaro's picture
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Ten years ago, Avi Lazar was getting ready to start his senior year as a Communication Studies major at West Chester University. Today, he's getting ready to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.

Since receiving his degree in Communication Studies from West Chester in 2003, Avi has become an information technology specialist with Accenture, a global management consulting firm. Later this summer, he will travel to Kenya with a group of his fellow employees to observe the work of VSO, a British service organization which Accenture supports. The trip will include an attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in neighboring Tanzania.

Lazar's planned African adventure was the subject of a recent feature article in The Jewish Exponent, which can be read online: Climbing Kilimanjaro and Helping Kenyans.

COM Department welcomes Grandparents University's picture
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The Department of Communication Studies was pleased to welcome grandparents and grandchildren to the 2012 Grandparents University Program at West Chester University. Established by Communication Studies professor Mary Braz in 2010, Grandparents University brings children and their grandparents to campus for a few days each summer to experience the fun and excitement of college life. Numerous faculty from the Department of Communication Studies are involved with Grandparents University, including Dr. Michael Boyle, Dr. Tim Brown, Dr. Denise Polk, Dr. Anita Foeman and Dr. Meghan Peirce.

This year's Grandparents University was June 25 to 27, and received great reviews, including this report from CBS Philly...

Grandparents And Their Grandkids Take Classes At West Chester University

...and this report in the Daily Local News...

WCU program welcomes a different kind of student

Plans are now underway for the 2013 Grandparents University. Information about the fourth annual event will be posted soon to the Grandparents University website at

Dr. Polk selected to attend PASSHE's Leadership Institute for Faculty Women's picture
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Dr. Denise Polk has been selected to attend the 2012 PASSHE Leadership Institute for Faculty Women. The institute is offered by the Women’s Consortium of the State System of Higher Education and has been held approximately every two years since 2003. The program employs an innovative model developed specifically for our state system and includes elements of national leadership programs. Sessions are designed to assist participants in addressing social and structural barriers that may inhibit both personal and professional advancement. Dr. Polk is one of two faculty members from West Chester University selected to attend this Institute.

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