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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

EPA Grant awarded for food recovery's picture
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Communication Studies professor Dr. Denise Polk just over $13,000 to continue food recovery efforts in the Borough of West Chester. The pilot project will include up to 10 restaurants or other food generators who will divert their food waste for 12 months. The waste will be collected by the Borough of West Chester's Public Works department, where they will transport it to a permitted compost facility. This pilot also will include other food recovery efforts. Specifically, WCU students will help develop outreach materials to help restaurants reduce their waste and offer extra food to neighborhood organizations that feed hungry families. If you're interested in getting involved in the outreach efforts, please contact Dr. Polk directly by sending an email to

Find out what you can do with a COM degree!'s picture
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Find out what you can do with a degree in Communication Studies! Join us on Wednesday, September 9 and Friday September 11 for two informative panel discussions. There will be sessions at noon (Main 313) and 1 p.m. (Main 402) on both days. See the flyers below, and contact Dr. Kanan Sawyer at if you would like more information.

Lambda Pi Eta Welcomes New Advisor's picture
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With the start of the Fall 2015 semester, new COM faculty member Dr. Roger Gatchet will be serving as the new faculty advisor for the department's active chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association's student honor society. "I was a member of Lambda Pi Eta as an undergraduate, and I am looking forward to continuing the good work that outgoing faculty advisor Dr. Castle Bell has been doing for the past several years," Gatchet said. "With the coming academic year I'll be working closely with our dedicated student officers to reach out to new students who are eligible to join. I'm also excited to help them develop an even stronger presence on campus and in our local community."

Dr. Gatchet holds an undergraduate degree in Speech Communication from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and he completed his graduate work in Communication Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests focus on the rhetoric of popular culture and music, public memory, and social movements. A trained oral historian, he also incorporates oral history methods in his work, and he has spent the past several years interviewing blues musicians in Austin, Texas. His current research investigates how authenticity has become a principle category around which people organize and make sense of their lives and identities. His research has appeared in edited collections as well as the journal Oral History Review. In his free time, Dr. Gatchet enjoys cooking, gardening, and playing harmonica.

To get in touch with Dr. Gatchet, swing by his office in Main Hall 317 or email him at

WCU Students Explore Media in Ireland's picture
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A dozen WCU students took a whirlwind tour of the Irish communications world in July, visiting Limerick, Galway and the Dublin as they learned about media systems past, present and future. The twelve, majoring in history, education, English and communication studies, met with authors, on-air personalities, editors and computer programmers along the way. Students visited Google’s European headquarters, the editorial offices of the leading newspaper in Limerick and the broadcasting facilities of rte lyric, the nation’s classical music station. History fans weren’t disappointed, with tours of Kilmainham Gaol and a private meeting in the offices of the General Post Office, the center of the Irish revolution, as well as Bunratty and Dublin Castles. It wasn’t all work, however, as the trip included tours of the Jameson Distillery, the Cliffs of Moher and the Guinness Storehouse. Wish you were with them? Next year the department will run another Media in Ireland course in July – if you are interested, contact Dr. Mike Boyle at for details!

COM Major Gary Prince Elected SGA President's picture
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Congratulations to Gary Prince, a senior Communication Studies major, who was elected President of the Student Government Association (SGA) at West Chester University for the 2015-2016 academic year. Prince is the first African American male to hold this salient leadership position. Prior to his election, Prince served on the SGA Executive Board as its parliamentarian. In the upcoming year, Prince plans to build bridges among West Chester University’s various student organizations and to represent the “student voice” in working with the administration. In addition to governance, Prince’s top priorities for the year include: creating a scholarship fund for students interested in study abroad and increasing the quantity and quality of community service initiatives. Before being elected President of SGA, Prince held many leadership positions on campus including: President of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Kappa Gamma Chapter, Vice-President of the Inner Greek Council of WCU, SGA Representative for the Black Student Union, Historian for the Black Student Union, and Ambassador of the Golden Rams Society. Prince is a graduate of Northeast High School Magnet & Aerospace program and a former student athlete.

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