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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 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.

Professor Mary Braz Awarded 2011 – 2012 Faculty Leader of the Year's picture
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Mary Braz has been nominated by the Fraternity and Sorority Community at WCU as the 2011 – 2012 Faculty Leader of the Year Award. She was presented with this recognition at the annual Student Affairs Leadership Award Ceremony on Sunday April 15th at 2:00 PM in Sykes Student Union Ballrooms.

WCU Forensics Team Claims Three State Titles's picture
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WCU Forensics Team

Capturing championships in Impromptu Speaking, Rhetorical Criticism, and Program Oral Interpretation, the West Chester University Forensics Team competed at the Pennsylvania State Championship Tournament held on February 18-19, 2012, at Cedar Crest College, in Allentown. The team finished second overall and won twenty-six individual awards.

Dan Hinderliter, junior Honors middle grades education major from Allentown, won a spot as one of Pennsylvania’s two representatives to the Interstate Oratorical Contest, the oldest continuously running national speech competition in the nation (143 years), which pits the nation’s best collegiate persuasive speakers against one another for top national honors in oratory. Many of our nation’s leaders have competed in this contest throughout its history including William Jennings Bryan, Vernon Jordan, George McGovern, and Robert M. LaFollette.

Individual honors went to:

Dan Hinderliter: Third in Pentathlon (overall speaker versatility), Second Place in Persuasion, Third Place in After Dinner Speaking, Fifth Place in Duo Interpretation with Lanie Presswood, Fifth Place in Poetry Interpretation, and Fifth Place in Dramatic Interpretation.

Lanie Presswood, junior communication studies major from Bloomsburg: First Place in Rhetorical Criticism, Second Place in After Dinner Speaking, Fifth Place in Program Oral Interpretation, and Sixth Place in Pentathlon (overall speaker versatility).

Joe Tetreault, junior history education major from Southampton, New Jersey: Third Place in Prose Interpretation, Fourth Place in Poetry Interpretation, Fourth Place in Program Oral Interpretation, and Fifth Place in Informative Speaking.

Jake Markiewicz, junior communication studies major from Avondale: First Place in Impromptu Speaking, Fifth Place in Extemporaneous Speaking, and Sixth Place in Informative Speaking.

Andrew Lloyd, junior communication studies major from West Chester: First Place in Program Oral Interpretation and Sixth Place in Persuasion.

Ashley Murphy, sophomore English BSED/special education major from Lake Ariel: Second Place in Impromptu Speaking and Second Place in Rhetorical Criticism.

Imani Thomas, first year communication studies major from Philadelphia, Third Place in Duo Interpretation with Daquann Chung, Fourth Place in After Dinner Speaking and Sixth Place in Prose Interpretation.

Siobhan Harding, first year political science/international relations major from Bear, Delaware, and Tiffany Lopez, first year undeclared major from West Chester: Second Place in Parliamentary Debate.

Daquann Chung, sophomore undeclared major from Pocono Lake, Third Place in Duo Interpretation with Imani Thomas.

West Chester University’s Director of Forensics, Mark Hickman, was elected to a third term as Executive Secretary of the Pennsylvania Forensic Association.

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