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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 Team Dominates Fall Classic's picture
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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

Undergraduate Handbook's picture
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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's picture
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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:

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

Professor Braz Publishes Article in Human Communication's picture
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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.

Alumni of our Graduate Program: Your Feedback, Please's picture
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Hello COM Studies M.A. Alums!

I hope your summer is going well. As some of you who are recent graduates may recall, I announced in the grad department newsletter that I wanted feedback from you about your experiences in our graduate program. Whereas we have much to be proud of, there’s always room for improvement. Therefore, I hope you can attend one of the following upcoming opportunities.

I would like to invite you to participate in a focus group on 7/19 at 7 p.m.. Please come and share your ideas. The session will be held in Main Hall, Room 132. I expect the session will run about an hour or so – it depends on how many people attend and how much you have to say! Although I have separate sessions lined up for incoming and current students, I wanted to have a separate session planned for alums simply because you have a different experience, having completed our program.

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